Getting to Zero: SPE Posts Report for Public Comment

Between 2009 and 2016, the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) facilitated a series of global sessions to develop ideas for the future advancement of health, safety, and the environment (HSE) in the industry. The result is the technical report “Getting to Zero and Beyond: The Path Forward.”

A draft of the report has been posted online in an effort to gather public input before the final report is published. Comments will be accepted until 31 December.

This draft report is a compilation of the discussions from various SPE sessions and expands on the discussions to identify and evaluate elements that may aid the industry in removing obstacles to achieving zero harm. The draft explores current thinking and views, incorporates experiences and learnings from other industries that are mature in the application of human factors, and suggests the next steps that will enable the oil and gas industry to meet an expectation of zero harm.

These sessions leading up to the report brought together more than 850 leaders from across the oil and gas industry, government, and academia, representing diverse disciplines, to discuss the question “How can the oil and gas industry achieve zero harm?”

The ideas generated by the participants precipitated a vision of safety, specifically the expectation of zero harm. The participants agreed that achieving zero harm was possible but, given the oil and gas industry’s varied cultures and risk tolerance, that it was necessary to collaboratively identify the methods for reaching zero. It was widely agreed that the effort must begin with the industry’s most valuable resource—its people—and the elements of human factors.

Specific recommendations for the industry discussed in this report include

  • Define a safety vision in which zero is an attainable expectation today—not a future goal
  • Learn from other industries mature in human factors with the expressed intent to progress the application of human factors across the oil and gas industry
  • Achieve the right balance between leading and lagging indicators to ensure a progressive and preventative focus on expected behaviors rather than outcomes of the process
  • Establish a no-risk-to-sharing culture—a commitment of collaboration—across the industry with the expressed intent to overcome perceived risks and competition barriers
  • Remove barriers to open sharing of lessons learned from major incidents, high-potential near misses, and projects where, although complex and with considerable risk, the work was executed without incidents
  • Work with regulators to ensure they can match the best minds in industry so that competent discussions about the risk-management strategies are occurring

For individual companies, the recommendations include

  • Realize an interdependent HSE culture demonstrated by a commitment to a collaborative environment and consistent safety culture at the worksite regardless of company position
  • Achieve operational ownership of HSE
  • Ensure sustainable HSE leadership programs

This report builds on two previously published reports, Assessing the Processes, Tools, and Value of Sharing and Learning From Offshore E&P Safety-Related Data (SPE-182847-TR) and The Human Factor: Process Safety and Culture (SPE-170575-TR).

Additionally, this report serves as a catalyst to jump-start SPE’s recently approved Safety and Environment Strategy. Specifically, it supports the strategic objective of strengthening HSE integration into other SPE disciplines as well as SPE’s 2013–17 Strategic Plan goal to promote safety and environmental protection as high priorities with the membership.

Read the draft here (PDF).

Email a comment here (SPE members only).


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