Safety, security and health management
The safety of our employees, contractors, and communities is the core of our commitment to operations integrity. We remain steadfast in our goal that Nobody Gets Hurt.
Excellence in safety, security, and health in the workplace is a core value for our company. We manage the risks associated with our operations through the implementation of our Operations Integrity Management System (OIMS). Every ExxonMobil employee and contractor accepts safety as a job requirement, whether working at a desk or on an oil platform.
While our safety performance remains strong in the industry, in 2011, our combined employee and contractor workforce lost-time incident performance declined. This outcome reinforces our steadfast commitment to thoroughly investigate the underlying causes of incidents and focus relentlessly on effective risk management.
In 2011, XTO safety data were combined with data for the rest of ExxonMobil’s operations, which introduced a basis change. XTO is in the process of implementing OIMS and is committed to achieving solid safety performance. It took ExxonMobil many years to develop its safety culture and to embed OIMS throughout its operations. We are confident that XTO will continuously improve performance as implementation proceeds.
The safety performance of legacy ExxonMobil assets (excluding those of XTO), through year-end 2011, did not meet our expectations. As a result, we have increased emphasis on the prevention of serious incidents, which can lead to lost-time injuries and fatalities. We continue to set high expectations for safety performance across our operations for all workers—contractors and employees. As always, our goal is to provide and maintain a workplace where Nobody Gets Hurt. We know this is achievable, and will continue to work toward that standard.
It is with deep regret that we report that nine workers were fatally injured in 2011 in connection with ExxonMobil operations. We thoroughly investigated each incident, determined root causes, and identified steps to prevent similar events in the future.
During 2011, we began to apply learnings from cross-industry research efforts to study improved approaches for the prevention of serious injuries and fatalities. Through these studies, ExxonMobil gained new insights into more effective prevention strategies that focus on identifying underlying causes and expanding data analysis associated with incidents and near misses that have potential serious outcomes.
Personnel safety study
As a result of the personnel safety study concluded in 2010, we are enhancing our leadership training through the development and piloting of new OIMS Leadership Academies.
During 2011, we oriented global safety awareness efforts around “Actively Caring and Approaching Others”—an integral characteristic of an established and effective safety culture where all workers take ownership and accountability for their own and each other’s personal safety. Workers are empowered and encouraged to ask questions or to comment when another worker—whether peer or supervisor—appears to be at risk. Workers also learn how to constructively receive input from others, knowing it is intended to keep them from harm.
From building pipelines to working on offshore platforms, thousands of contractors support our operations every day. At many of the projects that ExxonMobil manages, the majority of workers at the project site are contractors. When prequalifying contractors, we evaluate safety performance as a key criterion. In 2011, the ExxonMobil Development Company conducted a series of global contractor safety forums for approximately 4,800 attendees in 33 countries. The main theme of this effort was Safety Excellence through Visible Leadership and each forum featured a series of presentations intended to help contractors consider new ways to lead with safety practices. Planning is underway for another series of contractor safety forums in 2012.
Protecting worker and community safety also means ensuring security and protection of information. Our security programs are designed to meet the challenges of the diverse locations where we operate. At ExxonMobil, Security is Everybody’s Business. In 2011, we focused on enhanced security countermeasures for people, assets, and information in higher-threat locations where ExxonMobil operates. We also continued implementation of risk assessment processes to identify and implement asset-specific security enhancements.
Process safety is a framework for managing the integrity of operating systems by applying good design principles, engineering, and operating and maintenance practices. Effective process safety management prevents the uncontrolled release of hydrocarbons and other hazardous substances to avoid significant incidents with potential for serious injuries and fatalities, widespread environmental impacts, and property damage. Our approach focuses on reducing risks and incidents through the flawless execution of OIMS. We subscribe to industry standards—the American Petroleum Institute’s Recommended Practice 754 and International Association of Oil & Gas Producers No. 456—which define process safety events and use a process safety incident triangle to represent events from Tier 1 through Tier 4.
During 2011, we had 71 Tier 1 process safety events. Incident analysis indicates that human factors and procedures were the contributing element for nearly half of these events. Our emphasis on process safety management across the company remains constant, as we investigate, analyze, and learn from these and lower severity Tier 2, 3, and 4 events and indicators. We focus on best practices in design, mechanical integrity, and upgrades using advanced technologies, and we train employees in process safety and effective procedures.