Companies operating in the petroleum industry are showing an increasing collective awareness of safety and environmental issues. The objective of management in any organization is to identify potential hazards and develop and implement an action plan to eliminate these hazards.

Joint audits between operating companies and service companies have proved an effective means of developing an objective and realistic safety awareness program. Joint audits, unlike external audits, enable both companies to develop, implement and monitor a meaningful safety policy based on factual information.

Audit findings which are classified as either positive or areas in need of improvement are then reclassified into sub-groups according to the time frame required to complete the action item.

Findings are then analyzed to ensure that the internal safety management policies of the operator and contractor are in place and adhered to.

To date, the most beneficial point of interest from these joint audits is the reaction of management to translate the audit findings into tools with which to improve and enhance their existing safety and environmental management policies.

The paper describes the planning, execution and follow up of an in-depth joint audit. Analysis of the audit results generated action plans to correct areas in need of improvement for both the operating and service companies.

Of these areas, most could be corrected and resolved within three months while the remainder were targeted for remedial action to be completed within one year.

The paper provides a thorough set of guidelines for all stages of a successful joint audit and illustrates, with examples, the operational improvements to be gained from such operator/service-company cooperation.

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