Striving for revenues and production records and fulfilling corporate goals for high achievements should not be the sole concern to focus on. Each petroleum entity or corporation has several duties towards the environment and employees have rights to keep their health and safety intact. This can be summarized in three words Health, Safety and Environment (HSE)

In Egypt, being one of the first nations in the region in which oil was discovered, the petroleum sector plays an indispensable role in the country’s economy and has a distinguished contribution to its growth. And, since the year of 2000, when the Ministry of Petroleum set up a comprehensive strategy that included a number of new implementation mechanisms focusing on adjusting and developing the structure of the sector, a new burden has been imposed on petroleum entities and corporations to implement the new strategies, including the ones about HSE.

The HSE Culture
HSE is an integrated part of any business, including the oil and gas sector, which is becoming more complicated with the ongoing innovative technology. Despite the facilities granted through the utilization of up-to-date techniques, challenges are generated and the safety of workers and the surrounding environment can be in jeopardy. In other words, most of today’s technologies focus on enhancing and smoothing the progress of work in order to increase the production level. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the company to provide a safe environment to personnel during work and specifically while utilizing the different technologies to face its challenges.
Though the different ideologies of each corporation, they commonly agree on the importance of HSE, not only for the prosperity of their business, but also as an indispensable duty towards the surrounding society and environment. For instance, Schlumberger has a long-standing HSE commitment to the highest standards for the health and safety of employees, customers, and contractors as well as to the protection of the environment in the communities in which we live and work.
Another example is Weatherford; in all of the company’s operations, the most important mission is to pursue the highest possible standards to maximize Quality, Health, Safety, and Environmental performance. In order to achieve this goal, Weatherford pays a special attention to the effective implementations of these policies, which are on the top priority list for all employees. “By maintaining compliance with all applicable laws and regulations within the areas of operation and by conducting all operations in a manner that promotes safe work practices and avoids risk to our employees, our neighbors, and the environment, we can optimize the value created for our customers,” highlighted the company in a statement posted on its website. The company developed direct rules to fulfill its HSE targets; to assure the quality and technical integrity of products and services so that they are fit for purpose and that their functional specifications match the customer’s application in all instances, to conduct operations with zero risk to personnel or the environment, to seek continuous improvement and finally to consult regularly with employees, and others, with regards to Quality, Health, Safety and the Environment.
Similarly, Baker Hughes Incorporated believes that one of its greatest responsibilities is to be committed to the health and safety of people and the protection of the environment while supplying products and services in a safe and sustainable manner.
“We firmly believe this commitment adds value to our customers, employees and shareholders.”
In order to serve this belief, the company’s HSE management system has been founded on some basics, which are the following:

  • Measurable goals promoting continual improvement toward zero incidents and the prevention of pollution
  • Visible management commitment, effective communication and training to ensure environmental protection, and the safety and health of our employees and the community
  • Line management accountability for HS&E matters and the individual contribution of all employees
  • Recognition by all employees and contractors that safety and environmental protection is a condition of employment and that they are responsible for their safety and the safety of those around them
  • Promoting a culture where Stop Work Authority is exercised freely and is valued as a proactive process to control HS&E risks and impacts
  • Integration of HS&E considerations, including identifying and controlling risks and impacts into our business decisions, plans and operations
  • Periodic audits and reviews of HS&E systems and performance
  • Compliance with applicable legislation, regulations and relevant industry standards
  • Providing appropriate resources to implement this policy

Moving to the local level, the Egyptian companies recognized the vitality of HSE to the sustainability of operations, leading to higher achievements and success. For instance, the Egyptian Drilling Company (EDC) has been committed, since its establishment, to conducting all its activities in a manner that ensures a high standard of quality to its services, conforms to contractual obligations, safeguards human life and health, and protects the environment. The company’s Quality Management System (QMS) aims at achieving customer satisfaction, being fully complied with local laws, rules and regulations in the country where EDC is operating, providing all employees with procedures, guidelines and references to assure standardization of work, based on the established requirements, planning its activities in a manner that assure quality of deliverables and also evaluating performance through measuring achieved results against own targets & industry performance.
EDC’s QMC covers all services, which are carried out by EDC today and anticipated future tasks. The system compiles with relevant authority requirements, typical QMS requirements from clients/customers, and EDC’s own requirements.
Despite the simple meaning of the HSE concept, it in fact acts as the pilot guiding any business towards the land of success and high achievements and if implemented in the best way, the HSE guidelines create a risk-free working environment, adjust operations flow without accidents, keep the personnel in good health condition and at the same time avoid any dreadful harm endangering the environment we are all living in.

By Yomna Bassiouni

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