Health Safety And The Environment Engineering Essay
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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016
Health, Safety and Environment is considered as the top priority among the activities carried out in an oil gas industry. The oil industry has commitments to develop and maintain the technologies, standards, best practices and programs which are essential to enhance the workplace safety. The ultimate goal of the HSE is to increase safety by preventing accidents and injuries.
Also, a good HSE system in an oil industry leads to reduced material losses, direct and indirect costs for accidents and improves productivity . Especially for a small to medium size oil company, the record of consistency in safe operations can be used to attract new business and investment. This makes the case that safety is good for business.
Therefore, Economy of the oil industry largely depends upon HSE. The management and rest of organization in an oil and gas company have more responsibilities in doing the operations in safe way. The improvements in an oil business could be achieved by reviewing the rules, policies and procedures of HSE. The emphasis should be followed by both peers and management that violations of HSE rules will not be tolerated. This report deals with the necessity of HSE for a small to medium size oil company to achieve safe and profitable business.
HSE plays a vital role in an oil company’s development. HSE plans, policies, strategies, objectives, procedure, safety management system, Implementation and monitoring, Audit and management reviews and benefits of effective HSE system for a small to medium size oil company are discussed in this report.
Policy and Strategic Objectives
Leadership and Commitment
Leadership and commitment
Risk Evaluation and management
Fig:1 shows the process involved in a typical HSE system.
[SAFETY HEALTH AND PERSONNEL COMPETENCE and ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY COMMITTEES 1994.]
The duties, responsibilities and process carried out in an small to medium size oil company to make development in all levels of HSE are discussed here.
3.1) LEADERSHIP AND COMMITMENT:
The senior leaders of the company should involve and observe the activities carried out in the industry and should make changes if needed.
Some of the roles of leaders to maintain a good HSE system are listed below,
1) Top to bottom level commitment in all aspects of operations carried out in an oil industry.
2) They are responsible to improve their company’s HSE performance.
3) Keen observation of critical operations and maintaining perfect records for analysing and improving HSE performance.
4) They should ensure the workplace safety and profitability of the company.
5) Participation in every level of HSE development.
6) Making Cost-Benefit analysis of HSE.
7) Continuous studying and learning from accidents happened to other oil industries and implementing good methods to prevent such accidents in their company.
The expected achievement from a leader in HSE is “GOAL ZERO – No harm to people and the environment”. [ Petroleum Development
Oman 2011 p.2 ]
3.1) HSE POLICIES AND STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES:
The HSE policy and strategy of an oil company should be framed to avoid injuries and ill-health of employees, contractors, neighbours and public at all times and to minimise the adverse effect of operations on environment.
Some of the HSE policies of an oil company are stated below,
1) Ensuring HSE considerations are given primary preference than the other business considerations.
2) Maintaining a systematic approach to HSE Management to achieve consistency in HSE improvement.
3) Performing regular audits and reviews.
4) Ensuring compliance with international standards, relevant legislations and client requirements.
5) Making availability of Health, Safety manuals and safe working procedures to all employees.
6) Designing the workplace and developing the work practices to reduce risks to the personnel as low as reasonably practicable.
7) Implementing the use of best technologies to reduce the impact of our operations to the environment.
8) Ensuring ability of our employees to compete their task and providing regular training and awareness program to manage the HSE risks.
9) Developing communication channel to ensure the HSE policies and procedures are understood by all our personnel.
10) Making repeated record of inputs, feedback and requirements of employees in all sections of operation.
11) Plan for react to and recover from the emergency situations.
12) Reporting accidents, near misses and investigating in the way to prevent similar incidents in future.
13) Ensuring legal Airport certification.
3.2) ORGANIZATION, RESOURCES AND DOCUMENTATION:
The oil industry should make sure the workforce required to do HSE policies and procedures. Tasks of each and every employee are documented and accurately maintained. The daily work of employees are recorded and strictly supervised to prevent the violations of rules and regulations. Senior supervisors should undertake responsibility of maintaining safe working conditions. Some of the organisational resource issues related to HSE are as follows,
1) Regular worksite inspection by senior managers,
2) Daily workplace inspection by safety engineers,
3) Making availability of well trained supervisors and safety engineers for an emergency situation and for control room operations.
4) Providing guideline, HSE policies and procedures in understandable way to every worker.
5) Make sure that all employees are adults and they are physically and mentally fit for their respective operations.
6) Providing regular HSE awareness training to all employees of all disciplines to make them familiar to handle the risk situations and to prevent the similar faults.
The small and medium size oil industry should maintain the contract details with the large size oil industry by proper documentation. They should compare their level and standard of HSE practices with the activities carried out in a large size oil company through benchmarking. The supervisors and managers should adopt continuous learning to enhance the quality and performance of HSE.
Employees should be provided with safety and protection equipments like heavy impact safety helmets, safety eye goggles, boots, gloves, coveralls and other safety tools to minimise injuries. Safety boards, signals, alarms, traffic and pedestrian signs should be installed in the workplace. These instruments are inspected frequently and documented to enhance the safe working environment.
3.3) RISK EVALUATION AND MANAGEMENT:
It is impossible to completely eliminate all the risk in an oil industry. But, it could be reduced or prevented before occurring through an effective safety risk management system.
Safety management system (SMS) is the crucial part in an oil and gas industry. Safety risk management techniques consists of Hazard identification, Risk assessment, Risk mitigation and tracking.
i) HAZARD IDENTIFICATION:
Hazard Identification is the initial step carried out in Safety Management System (SMS). This method is used to identify the hazards that the organization faces in its working environment. Hazard could be a fire explosion, blow out, chemical hazard, ill-health, transportation, environmental hazard, etc….
The safety management system should undergo a detailed analysis of all operations. Then documents should be prepared based on what could go wrong in an operation. The hazard is a potential or existing dangerous condition that could result in an accident or incident.
In a safety management system, all hazards in operations are identified and documented to analyse and implement the necessary techniques required to eliminate or reduce the risk associated with the hazard.
ii) RISK ASSESSMENT:
Risk assessment is the technique of analysing the identified hazards to know the consequence of each hazard. The risk assessment considers both the severity of each hazards and the probability of its occurrence.
The risk assessment may show that certain hazards have acceptable level of consequence, while other risks need definite mitigation. Proper risk assessment in an oil industry can reduce the number of accidents and can almost prevent them before occurrence.
iii) RISK MITIGATION AND TRACKING :
If the root cause of hazard is identified, then the proper mitigation process can be made. The risk mitigation can reduce or eliminate the hazard’s likelihood of occurrence or it can manage the risk by reducing the severity of its effects. The systematic and logical approach should be in place to counteract any risk for maintaining safe operation. The whole mitigation process should be monitored and tracked to conform that all control objectives are working properly. [ Bayuk ]
Gas cut mud
Influx of Hydro- carbon
Injury to personnel
Damage to safety critical system
Hydrocarbon flow from pressurised formation
Prevention/ Control Barriers
Event / Hazard
Fig:2 Risk diagram shows the causes and consequences of influx of hydrocarbon during drilling. [ Brian 2012 ]
To mitigate the hazards during drilling and to control the well, the operator should identify the exact causes and should respond appropriately if influx occurs.
HSE plans of a small to medium size oil company are prepared in the way to enhance and guarantee the safe working conditions and healthy working environment. Some effective HSE plans includes,
1) HSE policies, procedures, strategies and objectives, target and responsibilities.
2) Cost Estimation for implementing HSE practices.
3) Leadership and commitment, regular inspection, supervision and risk management.
4) Hazard identification, risk assessment, risk mitigation and tracking.
5) HSE policies, plans implementation, monitoring and documentation.
6) Reporting and recording accidents and near misses.
7) Availability of safety equipments like Fire prevention and fighting devices, first aid medical facilities.
8) Environment pollution control, sanitation, waste management and reducing the usage of natural resources.
9) Employees selection, proper communication and training, work inspection, monitoring.
10) special training for emergency response for both employees and control room operators.
11) Identifying employees fitness both physically and mentally for their tasks and making regular health check up and collecting feedback.
Priority in HSE Practices:
Eliminate the hazard
Use process or method with low risk impact
Segregate the hazardous products
ISOLATE / SEPARATE
Prevention: Design to prevent an unwanted event
Recovery: Design to mitigate harmful consequences
Operating Procedures, Work instruction, Permits, Maintenance, Emergency Response
Training, competency, communication
Personal Productive Equipment to wear in working environment.
Fig:3 shows the priority in HSE operations which are carried out in oil industry. [ Petroleum Development Oman 2011 ]
3.5) IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING:
Effective implementation of HSE plans will lead to the safe and successful business and give high secure conditions to the employees. The effective and dedicated team of supervisors, safety manager should be active every time to ensure that all HSE policies are followed without violations.
The PDSA, PDCA cycle and gap analysis are necessary to compare the existing HSE standards with the large scale oil industry’s standards. This will achieve quality in HSE performance (QHSE).
Proper monitoring should be carried out to avoid the ignorance and violations of the HSE rules to made the job done.
Fig:4 Shows the PDSA cycle. [THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT HEALTH DELIVERY DIRECTORATE 2008]
ISO PDCA Cycle
Fig:5 Shows the PDCA cycle. [OSAKA CITY WATERWORKS BUREAU]
The workers should give correct statement about the accidents and near-misses to implement necessary practices to prevent such incidents in future. Implementation of regular survey of the following aspects are very necessary,
1) Health and Safety – Protection equipments, Shift phase, to workers Physical and Mental health, work hours and Sleep patterns, Alertness, Emergency response, work adaptation and satisfaction.
2) Safety in Operations – Drilling, Well completion, Installation, Production, Processing, Aircraft operation and control, Transportation.
3) Environmental Hygiene – Pollution due to accidents, Oil spill, Corrosion in pipelines, Offshore marine health issues, reduced natural resource usage, waste management, sanitation, Promotion of renewable energy, hazardous product management, reduction of toxic gas emission.
[Mearns et al. 1997]
3.6) AUDIT AND MANAGEMENT REVIEW:
i) Auditing is the major process carried out in the business to determine whether or not the HSE management processes are implemented and functioning effectively.
ii) Auditing determines the compliance of company’s HSE policies with relevant legislative requirements
iii) It identifies the areas which need improvements to develop a powerful HSE management.
iv) The specific areas that should be audited regularly are, a) Organisation, resources and documentation, b) Safety management system, c) Plans, policies and procedures, d) Implementation and monitoring.
v) Audits may involve following methods, a) use of questionnaires, b) direct measurement and observations, c) Interviews and d) checklists.
vi) Auditing process should compare the results of previous audits and are recorded properly.
vii) The senior level management should review their HSE policies and management approach to maintain the continuity of suitability and effectiveness of the safety management system.
[SAFETY HEALTH AND PERSONNEL COMPETENCE and ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY COMMITTEES 1994.]
4) BENEFITS OF HSE:
Undoubtedly, HSE is the primary goal of an oil company. Some of the benefits of HSE in a small to medium size oil company are stated below,
1) It will develop the business by new business tie-ups and new investments.
2) Logical priority to safety lead to the mitigation and prevention of risks before it occurs.
3) Hazard reporting ensures the effective scheduling and maintenance of the resources for the safety actions.
4) Effective safety management system avoids the cost for accident investigation and it leads to an uninterrupted operation.
5) It enhances the productivity through continuous operation.
6) Effective HSE management system and proper communication between management and rest of the organisation will lead to the prevention of accident from ever occurring.
7) In terms of cost: Effective HSE practices will reduce the cost of accidents like repair costs, fines, damage claims, insurance claims by injured workers, Potential economic effects due to aviation mishap.
This will lead to the business enlargement and enhances productivity and turn over. Therefore, the ultimate aim of a business is to achieve targeted profit. In oil business, the profit can be achieved only due to an efficient HSE system.
The piper alpha accident in 1988 and Texas city refinery accident in 2005 are the catastrophic accidents which ruined many lives and polluted the environment. These accidents caused the loss of oil production and insurance payout and fine of several billions of USD.
The small to medium sized oil companies should study these types of accidents and remedial actions. The large sized could survive the severe loss of money due to accident. But, the small to medium sized oil company couldn’t overcome such losses due to catastrophe.
A small to medium size oil industry has key business plans towards the future. Their aim is to give the best safe performance in every department like drilling, completion, production, refining, transportation. Every small or medium size oil company is very enthusiastic and eager to become as a large scale oil industry by enlarging their business. They want to participate in national and international business by increasing their annual productivity and turn over.
In order to achieve these, their HSE practices should be in high standard. Because, a single catastrophic accident may reduce credibility of the company and it will reflect as a severe loss in business. So, in a medium or small sized oil company, workplace safety should be at the forefront of its activities.
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