Health And Safety Strategies Implemented In Oil Industry Construction Essay

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The development of technology and the pressure of competition have brought rapid changes in working conditions, processes and organization in terms of safety and health. In these circumstances, the law is essential but it can't provide management of new types of hazards and risks. Organizations there should be able to face continuously toward healthy and safety issues and to follow them through dynamic management strategy. Its safety and quality of staff work in a friendly environment is the unequivocal priority for the oil companies. Applying the concepts of safety and zero accidents is basic objectives of these companies. To this end, this paper proposes to structure the strategic directions which these companies can take to achieve goals in health and safety at work.

Key words: sickness and accident risk assessment, zero accidents, occupational diseases.


Current trends manifested in the economic field both at European level and international too, clearly show an on the one hand, the necessity of each organization (operator) to establish targets on occupational health and safety, on the other hand, these objectives need to be considered as important as objectives on productivity, product quality or environmental protection.

Oil industry, have an increased risk of accidents and occupational diseases in all three sectors of its: upstream, midstream and downstream. The most relevant types and specific sources of risk in oil industry are: air emissions, water and soil, accidental discharges of hazardous substances from industrial installations, transport and storage of petroleum products. In this context, one of the main objectives of companies in the oil industry is the safety of its employees. Creating a safe environment for work, informing employees about the risks of work and how to reduce and even eliminate them, have become priorities for the management of oil companies.

Companies in the oil industry have realized the importance of promoting a system to know and to control risks and occupational health and safety line should be able to continuously improve its performance on that line.

A Health, Safety, Environmental & Quality (HSEQ) Management System is a necessary prerequisite for all organisations working in oil industry.  An effective management system provides a structured approach to managing risk and facilitates the application of controls to help prevent and mitigate hazards in the plant or office environment.

HSEQ Management System

Implementation of an integrated management system, environmental health and safety at work (HSEQ) is a basic necessity for companies in oil industry. This system integrates the requirements of the following international standards

ISO 9001 - Quality management system;

ISO 14000 - Environmental Management System

OHSAS 18001 - Occupational health and safety management systems

HSEQ management system can be regarded as a continuous improvement program with the following principal components: policy, planning, implementation and operation, checking and corrective action management analysis, elements that take place in a continuous cycle known as the methodology PDCA (fig 1).

Fig.1.HSEQ management system model

Management system, quality - environment - health - safety at work, creates the potential that the organization will meet at the same time, requirements on product quality provided to beneficiaries, employees on providing protection and society provides life and environmental protection. Its efficiency and effective functioning of such a system is based on several elements such as: organizational culture, human resources, leadership commitment at the highest level.

By implementing an integrated management system, the oil companies will comply with HSEQ requirements as well as legal requirements, obtaining the following advantages:

Systematic and comprehensive approach to security work;

Elimination of injuries, illnesses and unsafe practices;

Reducing environmental impact;

Facilitate cooperation, association and exchange information with internal and external partners;

Improved company image and its ability to communicate with authorities and partners;

Moving the focus of the inspection after the fact on preventive actions;

Better regulatory compliance and enhanced customer service.

The oil companies HSEQ management system is structured on several levels depending on the degree of integration of activities from upstream and downstream. This structure include: HSEQ Policy, Management System Manual, plans and operational procedures, activities, working instructions.

The HSEQ policy emphasis should be placed on principles and objectives upon which the organization is committed to meet on the health and safety at work of employees. Expressed briefly, they are:

Protect all members of the health and safety by preventing injury, health degradation, diseases and incidents;

Compliance with laws and regulations concerning occupational health and safety and the protection of voluntary, collective agreements and other commitments to which the organization has subscribed;

Monitoring compliance with the requirement those employees and their representatives are consulted and encouraged to participate actively in all elements of the system.

To ensure control and keeping health and safety (OSH), requires a number of specific documents (table 1).

Table 1. Documents specific to ensure health and safety at work

Document Type


Evaluate the effectiveness of document

Statutory regulation of OSH

-National OSH-Point for the whole economy and different sectors;

- General measures to prevent risks of injury and occupational disease;

- Risk assessment;

-Statistical analysis;

-Determination of pollutants;

-Audit system.

Own occupational safety instructions

Prevention of occupational accidents and occupational diseases

-Level of risk assessment, determination of the level of nuisance;

-Statistic analysis of accidents, occupational diseases, damage, incidents;

-Personnel testing;

- System audit.

Control procedures, monitoring and evaluation

- Rules for internal control and safety;

- Monitoring procedures and monitoring of working conditions;

- Risk assessment procedures accidental and occupational disease;

-Training procedures

-Level of risk assessment,

- System audit

Records OSH

Records of accidents, illnesses, incidents, damage


Sickness and accident risk assessment

Integrated risk assessment assumes that all risks incurred by man and environment in a given region can be systematically identified, analyzed and evaluated so as to be able to make rational choices on how to reduce risk associated costs, ensuring the integrated management and secure environment. [2]

The oil industry, measures to ensure safety and health, based on risk assessment are: technical, organizational, health, any kind. They must be adapted to areas of work / job in question, appropriate working conditions and approved specific unit with high-risk list of areas and specific.

Establishment of work involving high risk needs:

Identifying and assessing risk factors for occupational injury and illness and the consequences of their action on the body - death or disability;

The quantitative level of risk factors for occupational diseases;

Duration of exposure to risk factors action;

The level of morbidity by occupational accidents and diseases.

At the level of the task may appear two categories of potential causes of injury or occupational disease:

Inappropriate content or structure of the task, in relation to system requirements to work or risk situations (operations, rules, procedures wrong, lack of manpower, inadequate working methods);

Under / over sizing requirements contractor, that its failure (the physical: exercise static or dynamic postures forced / vicious - and mental application: high work pace, difficult decisions taken in the short term, complex or repetitive operations short cycle, monotony).

Surrounding physical environment may present deviations overruns as functional level or intensity of specific parameters (microclimate, noise, vibration, noxious chemicals, irradiation, lighting, etc.) or features that are bad working conditions (physical overload).

Systematic study of these deviations in relation to their negative action generating accidents or illnesses of contractor, leads to the following generic list of risk factors:

Physical risk factors: temperature, pressure and humidity, air currents, water pressure at depth, sound, ultrasound, vibration, lighting, electromagnetic and ionizing radiation, natural disasters;

Chemical risk factors: gases, vapors, toxic or caustic aerosols, particulate matter, gases or explosive or flammable vapors.

Biological risk factors: organisms suspended in air (bacteria, viruses, etc.),

Special nature of the environment: underground water, underwater, marsh air, space, etc.

These actions cause violent injury to body or by violating the anatomical integrity, causing the cancellation or reduction of one or more physiological functions or the condition of the body. In the first case an accident occurs at work and in the second case, an occupational disease. Currently, depending on the determining factor, were identified five types of injury: mechanical, thermal, electrical, chemical or irradiation combined.

Picture of occupational diseases is virtually unlimited. Practical reasons, the laws of various countries limit the number conventionally considered occupational diseases.

Depending on the nature of the risk factor that has caused illnesses include: poisoning caused by inhalation, ingestion or skin contact with toxic substances, pneumoconiosis caused by inhalation of toxic mineral dusts, radiation diseases, diseases by exposure to extreme temperatures , noise and vibration, atmospheric pressure, allergies and occupational dermatomes.

Quantitative assessment of risk

Modern occupational safety and health legislation usually demands that a risk assessment be carried out prior to making an intervention. It should be kept in mind that risk management requires risk to be managed to a level which is as low as is reasonably practical

Risk assessment is necessary in breaking down organizational system components to identify areas with high potential for accidents and occupational diseases. Thus, it will make an assessment of risk for each area of technology and several will be employed in an overall risk level throughout the organization, to develop appropriate programs.

The calculation of risk is based on the likelihood or probability of the harm being realized and the severity of the consequences. This can be expressed mathematically as a quantitative assessment (by assigning low, medium and high likelihood and severity) with integers and multiplying them to obtain a risk factor, or qualitatively as a description of the circumstances by which the harm could arise

Risk assessment technology area or place of employment must contain:

Component system work, which can be: the performer, the task, the means of work and working environment;

Risk factors identified for each component;

Concrete form of expression of each factor;

Maximum foreseeable consequence of the action of risk factors;

Probability of occurrence of accidents at work;

Class of severity and probability class depending on the frequency producing an undesirable event;

Level of risk expressed quantitatively by scores of 1-7 granted depending on the severity class torque and class probability.

The assessment should be recorded and reviewed periodically and whenever there is a significant change to work practices. The assessment should include practical recommendations to control the risk. Once recommended controls are implemented, the risk should be re-calculated to determine of it has been lowered to an acceptable level.

Strategic directions to ensure occupational safety and health

Oil companies operating in Romania designed to align with international standards of health and safety, environmental protection, thereby ensuring a healthy life and community workers in general.

Employees must implement the concept of zero accidents, by understanding the actions they take and the responsibilities arising there from. This objective can be achieved on the basis of sound HSEQ management, the relationship between organizational structures are well defined. In the upstream sector, either on land or on sea platforms, there must be a supervisor to handle HSEQ conduct safe operations by implementing HSEQ management system and staff training on specific procedures and work instructions.

The main strategic directions implemented by oil companies to ensure the health and safety at work are:

Involvement by staff: training programs, opening programs HAZID (hazard identification) cards reported by HSE;

Ensure work equipment to international standards;

Ensure personal protective equipment;

Ensure regular medical control.

The training program, employees are informed of HSEQ responsibilities deriving from petroleum activities, especially regarding risks occurring and their efficient removal. Employees are informed of specific procedures to be used for reporting and / or investigation of any incident or accident at work. These programs have the purpose to change employee attitude towards safety at work and improve safety management skills of personnel to the mainland or offshore.

Hazard analysis or hazard assessment is a process in which individual hazards of the workplace are identified, assessed and controlled/eliminated as close to source (location of the hazard) as reasonable and possible. As technology, resources, social expectation or regulatory requirements change, hazard analysis focuses controls more closely toward the source of the hazard. Thus hazard control is a dynamic program of prevention. Hazard-based programs also have the advantage of not assigning or implying there are "acceptable risks" in the workplace. A hazard-based program may not be able to eliminate all risks, but neither does it accept "satisfactory" -- but still risky-outcomes. And as those who calculate and manage the risk are usually managers while those exposed to the risks are a different group, workers, a hazard-based approach can by-pass conflict inherent in a risk-based approach.

To protect the health of its employees, many oil companies have set up dispensaries and clinics, through which medical assistance staff. In these respects the work of medical monitoring ensures the health of employees, who are obliged to carry out periodic audits and annual blood tests. Staff working in the polluted environment, especially in refineries, must undergo a greater number of annual inspections, thus seeking to prevent acute illness that permanently affects the health of employees. Also important is the involvement of health professionals in medical casuistry analysis in order to find joint solutions to improve the working environment and thus reduce illness.