Safety first

The International Association of Oil & Gas Producers’ (OGP) report on safety performance in 2005 showed improvements across the majority of the industry’s measurement indicators.


The International Association of Oil & Gas Producers’ (OGP) report on safety performance in 2005 showed improvements across the majority of the industry’s measurement indicators.



The global upstream fatal accident rate in 2005 dropped by one third from the previous year. This occurred during a busy period that saw a four per cent rise in the reported number of hours spent finding and producing oil and gas around the world.



In 2005, during the course of 2.38 billion hours worked, there were 84 fatalities among OGP member companies and their contractors. That is down from 120 deaths the year before. When expressed as a fatality rate, the 2005 figure is the lowest on record.



The data also showed an overall fall in the frequency of lost time injuries. In 2005 this dropped by 11% to less than one injury per million hours worked. Again, it was the lowest rate recorded in what has become the largest database in the history of exploration and production reporting.



The 2005 findings are based on incidents reported by 39 companies operating in 75 countries.



New to this year’s report is the categorisation of the causes of lost work day cases and greater detail in the coverage of fatalities and other significant incidents. According to the report, the most common incident resulting in at least one day off work was being struck by an object, accounting for 29% of all incidents reported. Transport-related incidents were the most common cause of deaths, accounting for 37%.



“While the report indicates a couple of promising downward trends, what’s really important is how the oil and gas industry uses the data,” said OGP Executive Director Charles Bowen. “Collecting and publishing this information gives the industry a greater understanding about how and why accidents occur. The greater our understanding, the more effectively we can apply lessons learned and so reduce the numbers of deaths and injuries. By making global safety data widely available, we are also enabling operating companies and their contractors to establish safety performance benchmarks.”


Concentrating on two of the Association’s most recent safety initiatives, OGP Technical Manager Don Smith referred to last year’s efforts to reduce incidents associated with transport and lifting & hoisting operations. “Our safety data indicated that these activities presented persistent problems, so we specifically focused on them. We identified and issued recommended safe practices for transport and lifting & hoisting and held an international conference in Cairo to determine the best ways to improve transport safety across the industry. In the next few years we hope to see positive results from these initiatives filtering through in our annual reports on safety performance indicators,” he said.