At ExxonMobil, our efforts to protect the safety and health of our employees, contractors and communities are fundamental to our long-term business success. As such, we are committed to providing the energy needed to power the world’s progress safely and responsibly. We seek to promote a culture of safety and health by attracting, developing and retaining individuals who share our core values and our commitment to integrity and operational excellence.
At ExxonMobil, safety is more than just a priority — it is a core value and an integral part of our culture that applies to every aspect of our operations. Wherever we are in the world, we are committed to doing the right thing, the right way, every time so that every employee and contractor comes home from work safe and healthy each day. We will never stop working toward our goal of Nobody Gets Hurt.
Safety, security, health and environment vice president
“We all have a responsibility to manage risk as part of our roles, be that technical, operational or financial. Identifying, assessing and managing the risks is key to our operations integrity. I am proud to see the leadership and commitment toward safety everywhere I go, embedded in our corporate culture around the world. We are truly relentless as we work toward our goal of Nobody Gets Hurt.”
ExxonMobil's Operations Integrity Management System (OIMS) drives the sustainability of our disciplined approach to safety. OIMS is embedded in our everyday work and serves as the foundation for managing our risks. For more information about OIMS, see our case study. As a result of our disciplined approach, we continue to reduce incidents and work toward our goal of Nobody Gets Hurt. However, when an accident or near miss does occur, we investigate the incident and all potential outcomes and evaluate barriers to preventing future occurrences. As part of our commitment to continuous improvement, we look at leading indicators that allow for a closer analysis of incidents with potentially severe consequences in order to enhance our risk prevention and mitigation. We then share incidents through our global networks to ensure lessons learned are implemented across our worldwide operations.
Regardless of job function, all ExxonMobil employees and third-party contractors have the responsibility and expectation to identify, assess and mitigate the risks associated with our operations. Over the past 10 years, we have reduced our workforce lost-time incident rate by more than 30 percent. We will continue to work toward our goal of Nobody Gets Hurt.
We deeply regret that two of our contractors were fatally injured in two separate incidents related to ExxonMobil operations in 2015. The incidents were related to work at one of our fueling stations and installation of electrical hardware at one of our major projects. We thoroughly investigated these incidents to determine contributing factors, then identified steps to prevent similar incidents and enhanced our work practices and facilities accordingly. We have processes in place to look at all incidents, even those that did not result in injuries, to understand the potential consequences. By applying this process, we seek to learn from any incident. We will relentlessly pursue this goal until we achieve our stated vision of Nobody Gets Hurt.
As part of our operations-wide dedication to safety, we strive for effective collaboration between all workers, including third-party suppliers and contractors. Every day, our contractors take part in safety training and safety meetings alongside our employees. A key element in our strategy for contractors is the enhancement of leadership practices and safety management systems. Since 2000, we have conducted ongoing safety leadership forums with the contractors working on our major projects, with the focus on establishing a partnership between ExxonMobil and our contractors that leads to an injury-free workplace.
For example, within our portfolio of Arctic projects, the Sakhalin-1 project held its 12th annual contractor safety forum on Sakhalin Island for about 200 people. Local authorities, contractors and Exxon Neftegas Limited managers emphasized the importance of making a difference with our core safety, security, health and environmental (SSH&E) values including Nobody Gets Hurt and Protect Tomorrow. Today. The forum covered topics including eliminating high consequence incidents, health awareness, environmental protection and community contributions.
Our affiliate, Esso Angola, achieved its best safety performance during significantly expanded activity in production, drilling and project execution, including the completion of Phase 2 of the Kizomba Satellites project. This notable safety performance was a result of the continuous hard work of affiliate personnel as well as strong engagement in safety programs, such as “boots on the ground,” a program designed to increase supervisor and employee engagement at the workplace by increasing this interaction, supervisors can better mentor newly hired staff around our desired safety culture, one in which our employees care for each other.
Kizomba C operations superintendent
“Achieving success has a lot to do with effective collaboration and a team approach with all involved, including our contractors, co-ventures and the government of Angola.”
In 2015, we continued to look for ways to prevent high potential incidents in our operations. For example, we are exploring technologies that detect a worker’s presence in the blind spots of heavy construction equipment to avoid accidents. We have taken our experience and shared it in construction industry forums to advance these technologies by encouraging use beyond the oil and gas industry.
Up Close: Safety milestones and awards
We are proud of our culture of safety, and we strive to be a global safety leader. One of the most significant measures for ExxonMobil as a company is our safety performance. In 2015, ExxonMobil and our affiliates around the world achieved the following safety milestones and awards:
- The Odoptu Stage 2 project on the northeastern coast of Sakhalin Island, Russia, safely completed 3.8 million hours of work at the Odoptu site in 2015, and a total of 7.7 million hours since project site work began in late 2012, without a recordable or lost-time injury. The strong safety performance is the result of engaged leadership and a team-wide commitment to embracing the core values in safety, security, health and environment.
- In June 2015, ExxonMobil’s Rotterdam refinery in the Netherlands received a VOMI Safety eXperience Award. VOMI is a trade organization in the Netherlands for companies in the process industry. The VOMI Safety eXperience Award is a new initiative aimed to increase the level of safety awareness perceived by people working “on the shop floor.” Through this award, VOMI gives a voice to an especially important group of people for whom this level of safety is critical.
- ExxonMobil’s venture office in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, passed a safety milestone in 2015, achieving more than 1 million hours of safe work. This achievement represents an accumulation of 18 years of team effort and safety focus.
- In 2015, the Malaysian Society for Occupational Safety and Health honored our Kuala Lumpur business support center (KLBSC) with the 2014 Occupational Safety and Health Gold Class I Award, the highest award given in the sector. The award recognizes our exceptional safety and health management and performance in various areas.
Site lead, KLBSC
“We could not have achieved this honor without strong support from the other functions in Malaysia such as facilities and SSH&E, as well as the management team. The prestigious award highlights the strong commitment toward safety by KLBSC employees and is a testament to ExxonMobil’s commitment to strong safety programs.”
Our commitment to process safety — the equipment, procedures and training that prevent the uncontrolled release of hydrocarbons and hazardous substances — is a core value that shapes risk management across our operations. We seek to ensure our facilities are well-designed and safely operated to prevent potential safety incidents. To that end, we use a comprehensive and disciplined approach to identify, eliminate or manage process safety risks associated with our operations, which employs layers of preventive and mitigative barriers, including equipment, processes and people.
Downstream and Chemical safety, security, health and environment manager
“When managing process safety, we focus on both facility risks and human performance risks. It takes relentless leadership throughout the organization with mechanisms to ensure accountability at all levels and verification that these risks are managed effectively 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.”
We subscribe to the American Petroleum Institute (API) Recommended Practice 754 and the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers No. 456, which are industry standards. These standards define process safety indicators and use a process safety incident triangle to represent events from Tier 1 through Tier 4. Tiers 1 and 2 include incidents resulting in a loss of primary containment (LOPC). According to the API, LOPC is defined as an unplanned or uncontrolled release of any material from primary containment, including nontoxic and nonflammable materials. Tiers 3 and 4 represent near-misses and leading performance measures such as on-time maintenance performance. In 2015, we had 74 Tier 1 process safety events, which is slightly higher than 2014. Tier 1 process safety events are tracked and analyzed in our overall efforts to prevent significant events. In 2015, events occurred in various phases of our operations and include equipment malfunction and person or equipment interface. Event analysis is used to enhance our prevention efforts and organizational learning.
Our focus on process safety remains high, with a continued emphasis on ensuring that preventive and mitigative barriers are in place. We recognize that a significant process safety event at any site affects everyone in the industry by eroding stakeholder trust. When such incidents do occur, we are committed to learning from them and taking steps to prevent a recurrence. We deeply regret the incident that occurred on February 18, 2015, at the Torrance refinery and are thankful there were no serious injuries or community health impacts. We are working with regulators to thoroughly investigate the incident, and we are applying the lessons learned by enhancing operating procedures, monitoring equipment and training at ExxonMobil refineries. We will share our findings with the refining industry to help prevent future occurrences.
Collaborating with our peers and industry associations on process safety is paramount to sharing lessons learned within our company and across our industry. ExxonMobil serves as a contributing member to a variety of groups and initiatives focused on improving safety in the industry. For example, we actively engage in the Advancing Process Safety initiative, a collaborative effort between the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers and the API, representing nearly all of the U.S. refining capacity. This initiative is focused on improving process safety performance across the industry by sharing experiences and knowledge about process safety events, hazard identification metrics and industry-proven practices.
Product safety and responsibility
We recognize the importance of managing and communicating product safety information to those who handle and use ExxonMobil products, including employees and contractors within our operations as well as with our customers, consumers, governments and regulators. To promote product stewardship, we carefully assess the safety, health and environmental aspects of our products, as well as compliance with product safety legislation for all intended markets.
ExxonMobil’s approach to product safety is defined by the product safety policy, found within ExxonMobil’s Standards of Business Conduct. Each ExxonMobil business unit has developed management systems that address the key elements in our product safety policy. These management systems are reviewed on a routine basis to ensure compliance with the policy. Additionally, components of the management systems are in line with product safety guidelines developed by IPIECA, the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues, and the International Council of Chemical Associations.
A key component of these systems is the communication of the potential hazards and risks from the use of our products. Our rigorous Product Stewardship Information Management System applies common global processes and computer systems to capture and communicate information on the safe handling, transport, use and disposal of our products, as well as emergency contact information. This system enables ExxonMobil businesses to comply with changing regional and national hazard communication regulations with the adoption of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling Chemicals developed by the United Nations. In the past year, more than 27,000 safety data sheets for ExxonMobil products and manufacturing streams have been authored and distributed as part of the implementation of this guidance by several national and regional regulatory authorities, including:
- New Caledonia
- United States
In 2015, the Association of International Chemical Manufacturers (AICM) awarded ExxonMobil China the Chairman’s Award in Responsible Care for exemplary achievement in safety, health and environmental performance. This is the second time that our operations in China have been recognized by AICM for its safe chemical product management and handling.
Over the past several years, the industry has seen a significant increase in the utilization of rail transport for crude oil, primarily due to new unconventional production sources. In the North American market, ExxonMobil manages one of the largest shipper rail fleets in our industry to move our crude oil, plastics, chemicals, lubricants and fuels products to customers. We believe safe transport by rail is a shared responsibility, covering rail maintenance, train operations, rail car integrity and emergency response. We have comprehensive risk management plans in place to help ensure rail transportation of all products is conducted in a safe manner. These plans address rail car design as well as loading and unloading procedures. Additionally, we regularly engage with our industry peers and emergency responders to promote the safe transport of oil products and develop improved programs for public responders across North America.
Ensuring the security of our people, physical assets and intellectual property is systematically embedded in our daily operations. We employ consistent worldwide practices to address security challenges in the diverse locations where we do business. Our new facilities go through a security analysis that takes into account potential risks, the application of countermeasures, relationships with communities and compliance with applicable laws.
ExxonMobil regularly assesses potential threats to our operations. Our security personnel commonly participate in security-related drills, training and industry forums to enhance our established risk management methodologies, threat-assessment capabilities and technical security applications. In higher-risk locations, we monitor local conditions and maintain detailed security preparedness plans, such as evacuation and intruder response plans. Security-related response plan review and training was a key area of interest for ExxonMobil in 2015. Employees traveling to and residing in severe- and high-threat countries received specialized training designed to provide information about potential threats and appropriate responses in challenging security environments. Security-related plans were also reviewed and refreshed to better ensure response to events were effective and efficient.
As the threat of cybersecurity continues to evolve, we must protect our business against the growing risk of cyberattacks, which can potentially affect our data, facilities and operations. In 2015, 100 percent of our employees and contractors completed Web-based cybersecurity training on how to identify and respond to potential cybersecurity risks, in addition to an ongoing awareness program to reinforce safe computing behaviors. On average, our cybersecurity screening programs block more than 64 million emails, 139 million Internet access attempts and 133,000 other potentially malicious actions each month.