Many oil and gas companies operate in regions where HIV, TB and malaria are highly problematic health issues and can pose a strong risk to worker productivity. In addition to the endemic risk, the typical characteristics of oil project life often serve to exacerbate the risk of contraction of these diseases and/or make treatment provision difficult.

Our report focuses on the industry’s upstream and midstream supply chain where contractors, suppliers and other indirect employees represent a large portion of the workforce. To better understand oil company and oil services contractor responses to HIV, TB and malaria, we examined their level of engagement, drivers behind it, reasons for inaction, areas of high impact and opportunities for progress.

We found that the industry has made inroads in addressing HIV and malaria, but that TB has received little attention by comparison.

There is wide variation in company interaction on these health issues. While oil companies are ahead of the curve in developing targetted programs, the contractor community has not been as active. Contractor action is largely dependent on guidance from oil companies and – in some cases – financial institutions if they are providing funding. Contractual clauses to address these diseases are becoming more prevalent and are generally considered effective, but there is still room for improvement. Contractual language could be clearer and more standardized; monitoring of contractual compliance could increase.

In addition to client requirements, risk perception remains a primary driver of health initiatives but our research showed that the perception of the risk of these diseases as well as their impact was mixed.

Finally, our survey revealed greater interaction between oil companies and oil services contractors than between oil services contractors and their sub-contractors. We found that the sub-contractor community remains the most poorly served in terms of disease prevention and management programs yet it is this community which is the most at risk. Interaction across the industry supply chain needs to be increased in order to ensure that this group is not excluded from health initiatives.

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