The oil and gas industry prides itself on having some of the best safety records compared to many industry sectors. Health, safety and environment (HSE) became a familiar term and number one consideration in oil and gas industry. Nevertheless, traditional HSE manuals, bulletins & instructions are not enough to guarantee that the system is effective and serving the organization. Well structured safety policies, training and employee handbooks are the norm but for a safety policy to have any relevant meaning HSE values cannot remain as words on paper, they must be taken up and used by employees and translated into performance.
It became mandatory to the industry to find a way to make sure that HSE instructions reach every employee and accurately implemented. This could only be achieved if proper auditing is employed. Proper auditing for a professional HSE system can definitely close the loop and fill the gap between what is written in manuals and what is eventually implemented. In the mean time, while establishing your HSE system make your reference one of the recognized international standards known to most of companies. This will make the language of your system familiar to others and help auditors when reviewing the system.
Before you start, a team of experts must be formed to sponsor this task. Team members must be solicited from different company disciplines to cover all potentially hazardous areas. The team will thoroughly consider the following areas when designing the project; equipment reliability, maintenance standards, operations procedures, emergency preparedness, proper documentation and people.
Effective HSE Auditing System insures the different resources inside the company are employed efficiently. Safety manual and instructions are not enough to protect company's assets and interests. Author will use their experiences in several upstream and down stream oil and gas companies to develop a sound safety culture to develop a reliable system and design the relevant audit plans to observe proper implementation. More emphasis will be given on how to put together a professional HSE system and how to design a fit to purpose auditing system. Different examples and case studies will be highlighted to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Auditing system.
The paper will also describe the international OH & safety system 18001 integrated with the Environmental Control System ISO 14001 in a one global system, taking care of the workplace safety at its widest range followed by some details on how to audit the system ensuring effective and smooth implementation.
The success of any new management system has several aspects but the main is the top management commitment.
It has been found that regular follow up by Line Management is a key ingredient in improving risk records. Methods of promoting education, measuring compliance with standards and evaluating progress are used by supervisors with encouraging results.
In the meantime, several audits are still identifying many inconsistencies in the overall approach to HSE management at the work site. The company main operating risks differ from division to another. Training needs vary, emergency response procedures may be conflicting, and even HSE statistics are not always comparable.