At ConocoPhillips, our work is never so urgent or important that we cannot take the time to do it safely.
Developing a strong safety culture and delivering superior safety performance is achieved by having dedicated and engaged leadership working with a committed and skilled workforce. Together, we work toward the goal of zero injuries, illnesses and incidents. Our businesses develop programs that emphasize personal and process safety. Working safely is a condition of employment, and each employee and contract worker has the right to stop any job they believe to be unsafe.
Our improvement in safety performance has resulted in significantly fewer people being injured, but we cannot rest on that success. We must continually work to achieve the goal of zero.
We strive to be a learning organization and as such encourage the reporting of both actual incidents and near misses. Although a near miss is an event without immediate consequences, we recognize that it could have resulted in personal injury, property damage, fire, process upset, spill, release or other failures. If a potential hazard is identified through a near miss or other hazard analysis, we believe reporting the problem is not enough; we implement corrective actions to address the root cause in order to eliminate recurrence.
Safety leadership is a key responsibility of line management. Employee participation is a key component to our safety efforts and can be evidenced through work in various safety committees, behavioral based safety observation programs and industry forums. In 2010, a company-sponsored upstream safety summit brought together ConocoPhillips management from around the world to discuss our safety programs and commitment. We also use internal and industry case studies to share knowledge and to strive to prevent unsafe situations.
Through the implementation of HSE Management Systems, our businesses identify and eliminate work hazards and risks. The process builds on the principle that all incidents are preventable and that HSE considerations must be embedded into every task and business decision. HSE Management Systems are assessed annually using a common tool to guide continuous improvement and ultimately achieve the highest standards of excellence. Each year, all business units review their management systems against corporate HSE standards using the HSE Excellence Assessment Tool. They analyze current status, identify areas for potential improvement, and then implement key activities to reduce risk and further enhance HSE performance.
Additionally, we strongly support the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), which distinguishes work sites that achieve exemplary occupational safety and health standards. In 2008, we served as title sponsor for OSHA’s Exploration and Production Safety Conference. Many of our operations have achieved VPP Star recognition in recent years including Alaska operations, Bossier Operations in Franklin, Texas, and the Wingate Fractionator plant in Gallup, N.M. Recently certified refineries include the Sweeny refinery in Old Ocean, Texas, Wood River refinery in Roxana, Ill., and the Alliance Refinery in Belle Chasse, La. We have also earned stars at lubricants plants in Savannah, Ga., Portland, Ore., Hartford, Ill., and Lake Charles, La. In addition to these operating units, the office complexes in Bartlesville, Okla., Anchorage Alaska, and the ConocoPhillips Headquarters Campus in Houston have gained VPP Star recognition. This raises the total number of ConocoPhillips VPP Star sites to more than 20. Our goal is for all company sites in the U.S. to work toward star certification, with our international sites striving to earn equivalent recognition from their country or region.
In late 2008, we conducted an employee opinion survey that included questions related to safety. This provided employees the confidential opportunity to share their opinions about leadership and the company’s safety culture. The results were shared with the entire organization and used to conduct follow-up programs, such as conducting focus groups and strategy workshops, to improve areas of low performance.