Focused on maintaining safe and reliable operations, we have rigorous safety programs and strengthen our safety culture by making process and occupational safety improvements on an ongoing basis. Our goal is that no one is injured on the job.
In 2018 we had two significant process safety events. On April 26 there was an explosion and fire at our Superior Refinery in Superior, Wisconsin. On November 16, we had an oil spill offshore Newfoundland and Labrador at our White Rose field.
Structural Changes to Promote Safety
In 2018 we committed to several initiatives to reinforce our commitment to process safety and asset integrity, which have been implemented to help drive our safety improvements.
Compensation, starting in 2019, is more tightly aligned with safety performance throughout the organization, with an explicit link between safety performance and the employee bonus program.
A Senior Vice President, Safety & Operations Integrity has been hired and reports directly to the CEO.
We have engaged independent experts, the High Reliability Group, to assess our existing asset integrity and reliability processes and make recommendations for further improvements, and to mentor our employees and provide guidance as we move towards becoming a high reliability organization. The principles of a high reliability organization include:
- Knowledge and learning – we understand facts, interpret our environment and apply knowledge to all our activities. We seek to be a learning organization, learning from our performance and making necessary changes.
- Standards and procedural compliance – we capture our knowledge in standards, processes and procedures, which we follow.
- Questioning attitude – we always ask whether we understand the hazards and risks, what could go wrong, do we have the right process, procedure or tool.
- Team backup – we support and look out for each other, intervening when something isn’t right.
- Integrity – we do the right thing, the right way, every time.
Critical and Serious Incidents
Our critical and serious safety incidents rate includes both safety incidents which result in a lost-time incident, permanent disability or fatality, and incidents which meet the severity consequence on our risk matrix for safety, environmental or asset impact. We communicate the risks associated with these types of incidents to employees and contractors so they can take actions to mitigate them. The rate of critical and serious incidents per hours worked in 2018 continued to reflect improvements we’ve made in recent years.
To enhance existing training, we employ the nine International Oil and Gas Producers’ Life-Saving Rules, which focus on activities most likely to lead to fatalities or significant life-altering injuries. In 2018 we moved from 18 rules to nine, aligning with a simplified, standardized, industry-wide approach that empowers employees and contractors to stop work when it is unsafe. The rules provide specific actions for workers to follow and make it easier to identify situations that, if not properly managed, may lead to hazardous conditions.
As we continue to work to reduce the number of incidents, we evaluate our performance to identify and address areas of potential risk. To ensure the potential for those risks isn’t recreated in other areas of the company, we share what we’ve learned across the organization and track actions to closure.
Total Recordable Injury Rate
The total recordable injury rate (TRIR) measures lost time, restricted work and medical aid incidents, and fatalities.
In 2018 our TRIR was 0.57, a decrease from 0.62 in 2017.
Lost Time Injury Frequency
Lost time injuries are those preventing a worker from performing their job. We maintained a frequency of 0.11 per 200,000 exposure hours in 2018, recording 20 lost time injuries.
Employees and contractors receive ongoing training in safety processes and procedures to continuously drive better performance.
We track all incidents and use a company-wide tool to learn from the ongoing monitoring and assessment of reported events. Integrating the reporting and review of events such as injuries, equipment failures and complaints from the public can proactively reduce the probability of repeat events.
Investigation results, action items and lessons are incorporated in our standards and processes to reduce the likelihood of a reoccurrence.
Our corporate vehicle safety procedure includes mandatory driver training and vehicle monitoring devices, improving safety by providing drivers with reports on their speed, seatbelt use and driving practices. Our Drive Safe program provides real-time support and coaching on safe driving behaviours, reinforcing our commitment to the Life Saving Rules.
In 2018 there were nine motor vehicle accidents involving employees and contractors, compared to 24 the previous year. The number of driving accidents has dropped 88% over the past three years. Husky’s fleet of approximately 1,200 vehicles covered about 21 million kilometres, a decline from 31 million kilometres in 2017, in part due to the disposition of assets in Western Canada.
Ground Disturbance Prevention
Our ground disturbance damage prevention program protects worker and public safety and the environment by deterring contact with underground facilities, such as pipelines. “Line strike” incidents range from a portion of a line being inadvertently uncovered by farm or other equipment to actual contact with a line. Husky’s ground disturbance program clearly defines and communicates our procedures to minimize these risks.
Implementing the damage prevention process has resulted in no enforcement line strikes since 2013 and reduced the severity of contacts, even though there are increased reporting requirements to federal and provincial regulators. We use a risk-based approach to continually strengthen the program.
Office Safety Program
A safety program developed for our Calgary office promotes an understanding and commitment to safety similar to colleagues in the field. The program provides a consistent approach to minimizing risk and understanding safety. Based on shared responsibility, the program builds a work space where every individual is aware of potential office hazards, how to mitigate them and what to do in the event of an incident or emergency.
The level of safety engagement by office personnel has significantly increased and we plan to expand the program to our regional offices.
Offshore Well Management
Our well management programs offshore Newfoundland and Labrador and at the Liwan Gas Project offshore China start at the planning stage and continue through construction, commission and operation.
Wellbore monitoring, inspection of subsea trees, testing of subsurface safety equipment, plans for blowout mitigation and an inventory of relief well materials are part of the programs. During operations, at least two independent well barriers are in place.
With other area operators we participate in mutual emergency aid partnerships and a number of international safety initiatives, such as the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers.
In Indonesia, we have programs and activities in place with our partners who operate those facilities.
In the Atlantic region, a harsh environment with a seasonal risk of sea ice and icebergs, our comprehensive ice management plan mitigates this risk with multiple layers of surveillance and a range of ice management techniques. These include towing icebergs and using water cannons to direct them away from operational areas.
We protect our employees and contractors by identifying, assessing and controlling occupational health hazards. Our industrial hygiene program includes ongoing surveillance, assessment and specific control procedures for a number of recognized hazards.
Our facilities use 14 hazard-specific procedures to control potential risk, including benzene exposure control, hearing conservation, respiratory protection and management of silica, asbestos and chemicals. Most have site-specific plans and strategies in place, based on comprehensive assessments that are used to define, communicate and report on industrial hygiene activities.
In 2018 we completed 91 quantitative surveys, including more than 2,000 assessment samples that produced 3,600 results.
In 2018 we introduced an audit tool to review the compliance components of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods program at our Western Canada and Lloydminster pipeline operations. More than 2,300 shipping documents were audited, resulting in the identification of minor cases of non-compliance that were addressed with additional training and awareness.
Our operations are aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), placing an emphasis on hazard communication and compliance. We have implemented a formal chemical approval process for new products, with increasing levels of review required for more toxic chemicals. Less toxic alternatives are investigated for use, and suitable controls are established prior to chemicals arriving on-site.
We provide employees and contractors at rural facilities with proper water quality through our Water Supply Integrity Program. Water sources at sites, including groundwater wells, tanks and cisterns, undergo regular sampling and maintenance to ensure water quality and quantity. This includes any source for washing, including eye wash stations.