As the repercussions of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill continue to be felt across the Gulf of Mexico, Middle East and international Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) experts have called for a major shift in organisational cultures in the energy sector to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.
Darryl Hill, Vice President for Safety & Health North America at ABB said that in the wake of environmental disasters such as Deepwater Horizon – the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry – lessons learned and subsequent recommendations are still not being integrated into long-term HSE management systems.
“A paradigm shift is needed in organisational thinking to sustain HSE performance in the energy sector,” said Hill. “Improving safety culture and preventing catastrophic events requires discipline and fortitude. Too often organisations improve their HSE performance, and then become complacent, subsequently resulting in a tragic incident.”
Hill will address more than 350 delegates at the 8th Annual HSE Forum in Energy, taking place from 8-10 October at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Doha, Qatar.
The dedicated industry conference and exhibition will put a spotlight on the latest developments and technological solutions essential to ensuring the effective health and safety management and sustainable environmental practices in the energy sector.
Hill said that while the HSE profession and organisations in the oil & gas industry generally do well in identifying causal factors in catastrophic events, they must do better to sustain improved safety culture, while ensuring continuous improvement throughout the sector.
“The main challenge in organisations in the oil & gas sector is that management is confronted with competing interests such as safety, productivity, schedule and quality,” Hill added. “Many times safety is not valued, thus it loses its focus, even when organisations are aware of why past catastrophes have occurred.”
Olu Adeolu, Head of Safety at the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) in Qatar, and another speaker at the HSE Forum in Energy added that the oil & gas industry is learning from past mistakes, albeit at a gradual and inconsistent pace.
“HSE standards continue to vary significantly from one company to the other, and also from one oil & gas producing country to the other,” said Adeolu. “There tends to be a flurry of activity after a major incident but once media attention moves on, impetus for change seems to reduce accordingly.”
“In today’s economic climate, HSE professionals have to be doggedly persistent in stating their case for investment in HSE in financial and business terms that organisations understand. They also need to be more systematic in identifying and demonstrating where real HSE and business risks lie rather than focussing on simple or headline-catching initiatives.”
Held under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy & Industry and Chairman of Qatar Petroleum, the 8th Annual HSE Forum in Energy will host more than 45 regional and international HSE experts to discuss HSE best practice and operational excellence.
The two-day conference will feature 30 presentations, two panel discussions and five hours of networking sessions, before culminating with four half-day post conference workshops on the final day. Topics of two of the workshops have so far been confirmed – Workshop A: Using Frontline Operational Data to Understand and Develop Risk Trends and Manage Cumulative Risk, and Workshop B: Contractor Safety Management : Deliver as a Unified Team.
The HSE Forum in Energy is also co-located with a two-day exhibition, featuring the latest technology offerings from leading suppliers of products and services in health and safety. Saad Ali Al Kubaisi, Manager of Corporate HSE at Qatar Petroleum, will deliver the key note address on the opening morning of the Forum.
Other headline speakers include Brett Doherty, SHE Group Manager at RasGas Company; Robert Munster, Vice President of HSSE at Shell Qatar; Nasser Al Mubarak, Corporate HSE Support Manager at Qatar Petroleum; and Pamela Norman, Senior Advisor for Safety, Health & Environment at ExxonMobil.
The 8th Annual HSE Forum in Energy is supported by Qatar Petroleum, and organised by Fleming Gulf. Gold Sponsors include Dolphin Energy and Industrial Scientific, while ChemSafe, Petrotechnics, Ras Laffan Industrial City, and SHEields are on board as Silver Sponsors.
For more information about HSE Forum in Energy, or to be involved as an exhibitor, sponsor, or delegate, go to www.hse-me.com or call: +91 779 509 4721.
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