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Occupational Health

The rate of absenteeism due to common illness in our Spanish workforce, was 3.28% in 2011, a slight increase compared to 2010 when it was 3.10%.

Some of Repsol's employees run the risk of contracting specific illness through their daily work, due to exposure to noise, physical strain or the presence of chemical risks. The occupational illness rate (cases of occupational illness per 200,000 person-hours worked) caused by illness or accidents at work was 0.11 in Spain, 0.027 in Argentina, 0.1 in Venezuela and in all the other countries, zero. The most common cause of occupational illness was hypoacusia (partial loss of hearing) induced by noise, tendonitis and pneumonitis.

To avoid these illnesses, we carry out a general risk assessment as a prerequisite for planning and implementing preventative action. This includes general identification of risks, specific assessment of risks and corrective measures with their corresponding periodic controls.


We take preventative action to try to eliminate, control and reduce the risks identified. Planning also includes the appropriate emergency measures and collective and individual health surveillance activities, as well as worker information and training.

Some specific examples include:

  • Spain: We have preventative measures in vaccination programs and early detection programs for cancer and cardiovascular risk.
  • Argentina: We have preventative measures to avoid seasonal illnesses (such as influenza A (H1N1), dengue fever), sporadic illnesses (such as cholera) and illnesses endemic in particular regions (such as Chagas disease). We give training and vaccinations in the case of influenza A (H1N1).
  • Bolivia: We give courses and talks on endemic contagious diseases, such as dengue fever and influenza A, and on parasite removal, to avoid the risk of gastrointestinal diseases, acute diarrheal disease (with information campaigns in the communities neighboring the Margarita field) and acute respiratory infections (with preventative information and vitamin C distributed). We also have immunization campaigns for yellow fever, typhoid fever, hepatitis B, tetanus/diphtheria and influenza A (H1N1).
  • Colombia: We have specific vaccination programs and information campaigns on illness prevention.
  • Ecuador: We undertake special research according to the risk involved in the work, including:
    • Surveillance of the chemical risk presented by benzene, toluene and xylene to workers exposed to chemical risk
    • Orthopaedic assessment of workers exposed to mechanical or ergonomic risk
    • Hearing screening of individuals exposed to physical risk.
    • Screening for Chagas disease in those who work in areas where the disease is present.
  • Venezuela: We provide education and information programs on carrying out dangerous tasks, specific training for new employees and for those whose job has changed or been modified, epidemiological surveillance, drawing up contingency and emergency service plans and drawing up a program for using free time.

We also have plans for attending to workers, their families and members of the communities in which we operate. Some examples include:

  • Argentina: Charitable aid programs for workers and their families. In addition, the occupational health service organizes training courses in the different regions for both permanent members of staff and contractors, covering first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, attending to and moving the injured, training on snakes and spiders, preventing cardiovascular diseases, diet and healthy living and preventing infectious diseases (such as influenza A (H1N1), dengue fever, cholera).
  • Bolivia: Healthcare programs that include occupational medical examinations, medical attention for permanent staff, contractors and the communities neighboring Mamor, Margarita and Piraimiri, as well as medical care through private medical insurance.
  • Colombia: A health plan for common diseases for workers and their families. We provide primary health care for the community for health-related incidents in the Capachos field.
  • Spain: An annual campaign for the prevention of colon and prostate cancers, information and assessment of cardiovascular risk, employee training in first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, stress management, manual load handling, and others.
  • Peru: Campaigns on obesity, high cholesterol and healthy lifestyle habits, as well as programs with family involvement.
  • Venezuela: Inclusion of all workers and their families in a medical insurance plan that covers emergency medical situations, as well as preventative and curative medicine, even covering medical conditions excluded by the majority of insurance policies.

Further health initiatives carried out in 2011 include:

  • We developed a general framework for action, as well as a model for the effective deployment of the occupational health function throughout the group. This management model includes responsibilities, administrative and supervisory elements, and the coordinating bodies needed to ensure that policy and strategic guidelines are adhered to and goals are achieved.
  • The Regulation on Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment was approved, responding to the latest trends in health impact assessment, which enables us to take action with local communities and to consider health matters in the early stages of projects.
  • We made various support visits to the operations in Algeria and Cuba to assess the emergency plans and evacuation systems in place (including the availability of suitable external suppliers).
  • We took various humanitarian aid actions as a consequence of the conflict in Libya.

Repsol Bolivia was certified as a healthy company

Repsol Bolivia's "Saber Vivir" program has made progress in promoting the adoption of healthy habits and a better quality of life for employees and their families in Bolivia.

Promoting health lifestyles, safe conduct at work and beyond and finding a balance between working and family life are the main aims of the "Saber Vivir" program, in place at Repsol Bolivia since 2010. This has merited the company with the healthy company certification in 2011, under the auspices of Bolivian Standard NB:512001:2008.

This achievement was only possible with the participation of the employees and reflected such performance as 100% attendance of the annual medical checkup by personnel, and provision of ongoing information to employees about healthy habits through courses on ergonomics and time management, among others.

Last year the company began to incorporate the Bolivian Standard, the Sistema de Gestin de Empresa Saludable (Siges) - healthy company management system - endorsed by the Bolivian institute for standardization and quality - Instituto Boliviano de Normalizacin y Calidad (Ibnorca). This standard originated in Bolivia and Repsol is the second company in the world to receive the certification.

Our specific actions covered three areas: Attendance, prevention and health promotion. This translated into positive indicators such as the extensive coverage of the annual medical checkup, which allowed us to monitor different conditions such as high cholesterol, diabetes risk, obesity and high blood pressure.

In the field of prevention, we carried out an education program on healthy lifestyles and a personalized approach to looking after one's own mental and physical health. Training was also given on time management, ergonomics and prevention of substance abuse.

More information on occupational health management and the Repsol occupational health regulation can be found at