Oilfield service companies, like oil and gas producers, use Health, Safety and Environment Management Systems (HSE MS) to implement their HSE policies and continuously improve their HSE performance. With the tragic event in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, the implementation of an HSE MS in offshore oil and gas operations moved from a recommended practice to a regulatory requirement. Never has the need for HSE management systems and the alignment between operators and service companies’ HSE MS been more critical.
Additionally, companies grow by acquisition and organically. In the case of acquisitions there are typically different HSE policies, management systems and cultures. True continuous improvement can only take place when the two cultures, and the tools used to drive those cultures, are harmonized. Any system must be both robust yet flexible enough to adjust to changing regulatory and business requirements.
This paper reviews the experience of a major oilfield service provider in harmonizing several HSE management systems, from both prior independently operating divisions and a major acquisition. This harmonization includes consolidation and alignment of standards and best practices across multiple product lines, manufacturing, research and development, as well as operations and maintenance. Timing allowed the organization to also ensure the alignment with new and existing regulatory requirements, industry standards, and client expectations globally.
The new regulations require the ability to demonstrate employee competence in assigned tasks. To ensure alignment with the enterprise competence management program when assessing competence for HSE-related tasks, HSE training professionals worked side by side with HSE subject matter expert professionals during the harmonization process.
Use of process improvement teams consisting of HSE professionals from varied geographic operational units and business segments ensured a comprehensive review of client and government requirements, as well as incorporation of cultural and business needs. Finalization of the HSE MS operational controls included review by business leaders expected to implement the harmonized HSE management system. Providing them the opportunity to have input into the process is crucial to their ownership and support of the final product.