Abstract

The purpose of this report is to show the evolution and improvements in safety performance of the companies in the Oil & Gas sector in Latin America and to explore the possible reasons of the improvement achieved.

The assessment consists of two different steps: the quantitative analysis, which evaluates safety indicators and identifies the trends, and the qualitative one, which tries to identify the root causes of the safety performance evolution.

Two widely used indicators are employed here to assess safety performance: Total Recordable Injury Rate (TRIR) and Fatality Rate (FAR). Five business lines are considered: E&P, Refining, Transportation, Distribution and Others. All the results include both the company employees and the contractor employees.

Data were directly submitted by ARPEL member companies for the period 2014-2018.

For the qualitative assessment, four semi-structured interviews to subject matter experts from Oil & Gas companies were conducted in 2019.

Data gathered during the last 5 years show a positive trend regarding TRIR in the Oil & Gas industry in Latin America. This trend is robust globally and for all the business lines considered. This is not the case for the Fatality Rate that remains globally stable over the period, following a 10-year period of significant decrease between 2004 and 2014 as indicated in ARPEL's report Evolution of safety performance in the oil and gas sector (2004-2014) (Reference 1).

Improvements in the approach of human and organizational factors, the deployment of more robust safety management systems and a closer work with the front-line workers, among other factors, were mentioned as key factors for the recorded improvement of the TRIR. The industry shall focus its effort on process safety and major risks events (a single event can lead to several fatalities) and on the other side of the risk scale, on the frequent routine low risk work in order to reduce significantly the fatalities, and hence the fatality rate.

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