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Incident
investigation

As a preventive strategy, we work to investigate incidents and identify their root causes. This, together with improvement action, makes it possible to prevent similar accidents occurring again in the future.

In late 2010 we approved a corporate regulation establishing a common methodology for safety and environment incident investigation throughout the company. We have a computer tool that supports this, the Graphic Investigation Tool (HGI), which is integrated with GAMA, the corporate tool used for incident management. This is used to communicate, record, analyze, follow-up and consolidate information on accident rates. This tool is accessed via the intranet, thus enabling efficient management and analysis of incidents.

To facilitate the implementation and deployment of this methodology, in 2011 we conducted different training sessions on incident investigation in Spain, Peru, Portugal and Canada. In total 128 employees received 3,452 hours' training.

These courses included case studies based on incidents that occurred in the company and aspects such as gathering evidence, conducting interviews, treating human error and managing the investigation committee. This training is also aimed at raising employee awareness that further investigation to identify root causes gives us enormous potential as a company to improve safety levels.

Since 2008 we set out objectives concerning incident investigation and the implementation of improvement actions.

Safety in the Cartagena and Petronor projects (Spain)

Making major improvements in safety in new projects is one of the most important challenges for the company, as demonstrated by the project to expand the Cartagena refinery and to reduce fuel oil production in the Petronor Refinery, both in Spain.

Around 22,200 people from over 700 contractor companies have been involved in the construction stages of these two projects. In the over 37 million total hours worked we have achieved a lost time injury frequency rate of 1.05. We must highlight that the rate for the construction sector in Spain is around 50, according to the 2010 Yearbook published by the Spanish Ministry of Employment and Immigration.

After six years of intense work the C-10 Extension and Improvement of the Cartagena Refinery project (Spain) was completed in November 2011, meeting the initial deadline, cost and safety targets, which was a huge success for managing industrial projects of this size and complexity. This project has been selected from among all the global Fluor Corporacin projects nominated to the Energy & Chemicals - Downstream as winner of the 2011 E&C TOP (Totally Outstanding Project) HSE Project Award. This award recognizes the best project of the year, not only for the good accident rate results but also for the implementation of best practices, for the active participation of senior management in safety activities, and for the emphasis on and promotion of "Zero incidents".

In 2011, we also continued construction work on our ADI-1000 Reduction of Fuel Oil in the Petronor Refinery project (Bizkaia, Spain), which stood out for the commitment to safety shown by management and all project team members and integrated as an essential part of their daily work.

We took a number of steps to ensure safety in these projects, including:

  • Incorporation of international best practices regarding work management
  • Compliance with regulations and standards, thanks to the high level of coordination between our own trained specialists (previously trained) and experts from outside companies
  • Use of tools such as work permits and Safe Work Assignments (SWA) to identify and analyze risks to help avoid them
  • Preventative observations carried out by specialized technicians to verify compliance with the safety regulations and any incidents of lack of conformity, which are corrected almost immediately
  • Planning of construction work, particularly monitoring the execution of high-risk activities for which specific training was given (a total of around 235,000 hours of training on both projects) and an information and communication campaign was carried out with safety newsletters and site meetings
  • A variety of activities aimed at risk analysis, beginning during the design phase with the preparation of a HAZOP (Hazard and operability) study and the implementation of different protective measures; and continuing with other activities that aid risk management, such as the preparation of specific safety guides, pre-operational protocols and contingency plans, all subject to ongoing review.

We completed these two projects in 2011 during the commissioning and start-up stages, which required a strict approach to safety aspects due to the nature of these activities. The result of this effort was a success in which over 1,500 people (company and external staff) completed start-up after over 1,500,000 hours with no serious accident. The keys to this process were adequate staffing, optimum training and rigorous and ongoing standards.

Safety in the Cartagena-Puertollano distillation oil pipeline project

After completion of the construction, pre-commissioning and commissioning stages in October 2011 we began the start - up of the Cartagena-Puertollano oil pipeline. The project included successful comprehensive management of occupational risk prevention, health and safety that resulted in a lost time injury frequency rate of 0.64 (one lost time injury in over 1.5 million hours worked), exceeding the target set at 2.00.

In this project, safety was a challenge given the nature of this type of work, which involves:

  • A site length of over 357 km
  • Very different terrain and a great influence of the state of the land
  • The requirement for outdoor work over a very large area with a great influence of the weather, resulting in the need to anticipate changing biological and other types of risks
  • Possible interference to third parties resulting from activities running parallel to other pipelines, as well as road, railway and river crossings.

These characteristics usually result in high accident rates for this type of work. Our good performance in this project was achieved through the Safety Management Program, based on integrated prevention and safety, on motivating employees and a systematic revision of the program to ensure continuous improvement.

This program enhances preventive rules and techniques for safe construction by applying tools such as satellite control of vehicles assigned to the site, awareness campaigns adapted to changing risks, detailed treatment of the real state standards during construction, fostering the contribution of all the different participants' managers, prior detection of the existing oil pipeline routing developing emergency plans with authorities and use of satellite telephones for areas without coverage. One of the key factors for the success of the project is the collaboration and commitment of all the workers who, through safety observations, could publish/make publicly their opinions and proposals.

After start-up, we held a lessons learned workshop which identified specific improvement points that will be disseminated for application to similar projects.