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2014 / 2015

Safe and

healthy 2015

and beyond!

A demanding economy. A workforce aging. Working longer. The importance of healthy and committed employees who work with pleasure is high. page 12

In this issue:





OFFEX 2014








and more...




WHAT IF... Someone is inclined to act unsafely. This could jeopardize his own safety and possibly that of others. A fire, an explosion - in short, a disaster, and possibly death! If I do something, I might prevent an incident. If I do something, no one will probably know that I’ve prevented an incident. Nobody will know if those unsafe actions could repeat themselves in the future. Nobody will know about the potential danger of the situation, and if the danger might re-occur in the future. NOBODY WILL KNOW!

WHAT IF... Someone is inclined to act unsafely. This could jeopardize his own safety and possibly that of others. But what happens if I DON’T intervene - and the incident does occur? Then, my own safety and that of others will be in danger. A fire, an explosion - in short, a disaster, and possibly death! Then, everybody will know about the incident. Then, everybody will know that I could and should have prevented it from happening. Then, everyone will know that this had to do with an unsafe action which could possibly re-occur in the future. Then, everyone will know about the potential danger of this situation and the fact that it might occur again in the future. EVERYONE WILL KNOW! Now it looks as though you can never do it right - but that is absolutely not the case. It all has to do with your intuition. If you feel danger coming, listen to what you feel. It is always difficult to confront another person about something which MIGHT happen, but doing nothing could have enormous consequences. Not only for yourself - also for the other person, for your family, for the company, for the environment, for our health and our safety.



A gas leak on a North Sea gas production platform. How can we evacuate the crew safely and efficiently? Who does what and when?

On 2 October 2014, the Den Helder Naval Base was the setting for a major incident exercise – the Offshore Exercise (OFFEX 2014), hosted by Total E&P Nederland. The exercise offered all those involved a better understanding of their role and responsibilities in an emergency. Marc Kloppenburg (Total E&P Nederland), Gert-Jan Windhorst (NOGEPA) and Joost Michelhoff (AdviSafe) report.

OFFEX 2014


“This exercise confirmed the excellent cooperation between the Dutch Oil and Gas Operators and the government,” Windhorst explains. “OFFEX 2014 is a joint exercise involving the Dutch Oil and Gas Operators, united as NOGEPA, and the Dutch government. However, other parties also played an active role during the exercise – the State Supervision of Mines (SSM), the Coast Guard, the Safety Region Noord-Holland Noord, the municipality of Den Helder, the Royal Navy, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment.”

Scenario The exercise revolved around the scenario of an incident occurring during a gas well intervention at one of the Total E&P Nederland production platforms in the North Sea. The incident results in an uncontrolled escape of gas from the well and necessitates the evacuation of all personnel on board the offshore installation. According to the scenario, over 80 people, including a number of injured crew, had to be brought ashore. Their arrival at Den Helder Naval Base was re-enacted in real time, complete with Emergency Services and Welfare Workers, all ready to assist and provide medical care for the injured. The scenario was based on a real incident that occurred in 2010 at another Operator’s location: “In order to allow an earth layer to produce natural gas, we use a so-called perforating gun to shoot holes through the casing at the earth layer,” Kloppenburg explains. “But we received the indication that the gun may not have gone off. Back at the surface, it all went wrong when the perforating gun did go off, shooting holes in the riser above the “Christmas tree” (assembly of valves to close-in the well safely), causing a large amount of gas to escape through the holes.” Kloppenburg reveals that while the perforating gun did go off in the real-life situation “luckily no gas escaped.”



The K6 Central Complex , where the incident was staged, is located next to a Workfox hotel island, Seafox 2. Joost Michelhoff takes up the story: “A lot of people spend their nights there and according to the scenario they all had to be evacuated as the complex was to be completely evacuated and shut down. However, the men didn’t actually have to leave the platform and be taken ashore in lifeboats. Both for practical and safety reasons we left that part out since it was not the main objective of the exercise. Upon arrival at Den Helder, the scenario was resumed: a standby vessel was moored at a designated spot in the naval base where all emergency services personnel stood waiting to assist.”

“We need to be sure that the industry is ready to handle a major incident”.

Objective of the exercise The objective of this exercise was for the industry and government to assess their ability to jointly handle calamities and incidents, and to practice the effective coordination of mutual tasks and responsibilities. “We need to be sure that both the industry and the various government bodies involved, are ready to handle a major evacuation of personnel after an offshore incident,” Kloppenburg says. “This was the first time we had the chance to test the network card we developed with these incidents in mind.” Michelhoff adds that the exercise was also intended to improve cooperation between the industry and government during calamities.

“Testing the network card is essential: only then can you verify whether everybody is doing what he’s supposed to do and knows when to do it.”



Network card “The network card covers all the agreements made between parties involved in the handling of the arrival of large numbers of evacuees,” Michelhoff says. “It was the real-time testing of this network card that made this exercise unique. The card was presented at the end of last year (HSElife magazine edition 11) but had yet to be put into practice. It details the agreements on who does what in the event of a major incident. Where do the responsibilities lie? Does everyone have the same information? It creates clarity on how to cooperate and communicate. True-to-life testing is the only way to find out if the agreements are clear enough.” The network card forms an important basis for the correct approach of the arrival of evacuees because it centres on effective communication between everyone involved, Kloppenburg agrees. “All parties involved in this exercise are part of the network card scheme.” Windhorst explains that the network card was produced jointly by the Operators, SSM, the Coast Guard, the municipality of Den Helder, the Safety Region and the Navy. “Testing the card is essential: only then can you verify whether everybody is doing what he’s supposed to do and knows when to do it. You can see who plays which role, who takes the decisions, who is responsible, who takes action, who needs to be warned. Everyone involved is a link in the chain and the chain must not be broken. A number of Operators have already included the network card in their Emergency Response Manual or Plan.”

“Each team has its own designated tasks but communicating effectively with one another is key.”



Michelhoff continues: “Obviously, everyone concerned needs to know how many evacuees are involved, how many are injured and where they have to be taken. They all have a specific role to play in this process. The municipality plays a supportive role by gathering, assisting and registering evacuees. The Navy has the facilities to assist people at the Den Helder Naval Base, so the evacuees can be shielded from the outside world and will not be bothered by reporters and the like. The Navy also has its Emergency Services on standby. The Offshore Installation Manager (OIM) plays an important role in raising the alarm at the platform and handling the situation there.” The Dutch government has also been assigned a number of tasks, Windhorst says. ”For instance, they coordinate air traffic. The Department of Waterways and Public Works coordinates maritime traffic and seals off the area.”

Emergency teams TA number of Total E&P Nederland emergency teams will be activated in the event of a major incident. Kloppenburg provides the details: “There’s the Site Emergency Team for rescuing people, and the Fire Fighting & Rescue Team Offshore, but also the Emergency Response Team at our headquarters in The Hague and the Next of Kin Team, responsible for informing the victims’ families. The Media Response Team handles the press, while the Crisis Management Team takes all the strategic decisions and approves press releases. During the exercise, all these teams were active. Here too, testing is crucial to ensure that all information exchange runs smoothly.” During a major incident, mutual communication is paramount, Windhorst insists. How well do these people – each with their own responsibility within the big picture – communicate with each other? And what information can be validated and shared with the media? Kloppenburg is Total E&P Nederland’s HSEQ Manager and is a member of the Crisis Management Team. He explains his role during the exercise: “I am responsible for all strategic decisions concerning safety, health and the environment. The team considers the long term effects. First I inform our Human Resources Manager and our Public Relations Manager, who inform and activate their respective teams: the Next of Kin Team and the Media Response Team. Each team has its own designated tasks but communicating effectively with one another is key. Together with the Operations Manager, I am the linking pin between the Emergency Response Team and the Crisis Management Team. We assess the situation – where people are and how many are wounded. In other words, we make sure we know the actual incident status. Then, the Crisis Management Team considers various possible scenarios. For instance, are we dealing with an oil spill or a situation where there are large numbers of severe casualties or fatalities? I also communicate with the State Supervision of Mines (SSM) – our authority – to keep them abreast of the situation. Every half hour we take time out to consider the actual status and the action we need to take.”


Michelhoff fills in the details on his role during the exercise: “I was the exercise leader, which essentially means that I controlled the timeline and the scenario. I did so from a ‘response cell’ together with a team of role players. Beforehand, we had put together a script containing messages to be divided among the role players. At fixed times, it was their task to convey these messages as realistically as possible. For instance, they played worried family members calling for information or a reporter anxious for information. Or a Greenpeace representative calling to find out if the situation at the platform was safe. Obviously, it was important to convey the correct messages. There was someone from the Coast Guard taking the Mayday messages being sent out from the platform. His job was to dispatch Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopters and rescue boats – all fictitious in this case, obviously. Additionally, a website had been built especially to simulate the response from the media and the general public. Tweets were sent to Total and there was a fake NU.nl page so that people really felt they were caught up in a calamity or a crisis situation.” The method of notification also needed to be monitored, Michelhoff says. This meant making sure that the notification procedures were followed and that all participants were getting involved in the exercise at the right moment. “We received a call from the Director of the Department of Waterways and Public Works – asking whether the exercise had started yet because he still hadn’t heard anything. Obviously, we then had to intervene to make sure all the messages were reaching the right people at the right time.”




Workshop well control “In order to watch and learn, representatives from other Dutch Oil and Gas Operators came to observe but took no part in the exercise,” says Windhorst. “The evacuation and landing of the victims took place during the morning. Observers stood at several locations watching as events unfolded.” Kloppenburg: “In the afternoon, Total E&P Nederland presented a Well Control workshop, where we explained to our audience what we would do in the event of a real uncontrolled gas flow at the platform. We told the authorities and industry representatives which steps we would take to bring the well back under control. Wild Well Control - a specialised US company – used an animation to show everyone how the gas well could be brought back under control. The audience had the opportunity to ask questions on why a certain action should or should not be taken. An SSM representative was also present to explain the actions for which an operator would require authorisation – SSM needs to authorise the operator’s programmes for bringing the well back under control.”



Michelhoff points to the 2010 oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico as the main trigger for holding OFFEX for the past few years. The SSM requires the industry to practise similar situations – in case such disaster were to befall the Netherlands.

Read about the lessons learned from OFFEX in the next issue of HSElife Magazine!

Photography Den Haag: Bo-Anne van Egmond, journalist Noord-Hollandse Courant



A demanding economy. A workforce aging. Working longer. The importance of healthy and committed employees who work with pleasure is high. Health, Safety and Environment are inextricably linked. When we talk about these issues we usually talk about safety. But there’s a clear interaction. The industry should naturally create conditions for employees to remain vital and to receive justice. But employees also have their own responsibility when it comes to health. If you do not take good care of yourself and give little attention to your health, you lose focus and dangerous situations may arise which could have a negative impact on your health and the environment. It’s a vicious circle.




How can the industry facilitate the wellbeing of employees so they can take care of themselves?

The Operators participating in HSElife UNIO already use various health programs.

Sustainable employability plays an essential role. That means paying attention to psychosocial workload, stress and workload, vitality, safety, training and mobility. Sustainable employability symbolizes a healthy, functioning and vital organization. HSElife UNIO contributes to sustainable employability of employees in the Oil and Gas Industry and indirectly to their health. Think of HSE items on the HSElife UNIO’s website on Benzene, Mercury and Natural Gas Condensate. These items contain harmonized information which helps you to work safely and healthily.



May 2012


HSE guidelines

January 2012



HSE guidelines

We have already addressed some of these health programs in previous editions of HSElife magazine.

HSE guidelines

December 2012





HSELIFEUNIO Aardgascondensaat A6 UK.indd 1

25/02/14 13:37



HSElife UNIO KWIK A6 UK.indd 1

HSELIFEUNIO Benzene A6 UK.indd 1

25/02/14 16:25


25/02/14 14:24

In its safety and health bulletin from October 8, State Supervision of Mines (SSM) indicates the crucial importance of harmonization of HSE rules. SSM recognizes that development of HSElife UNIO is a great step in the development of uniform HSE information for the Oil and Gas Industry.

Are you a fanatic athlete or do you want to know if you live healthy? There are several mobile health tools which help you to increase your health awareness. For example the mart watches with health sensors that allow you to monitor your heart rate. Or health apps which show the status of your health in a glance.





We have known for many years that rubbish generates more rubbish. If, for instance, in a dead-end street a graffiti ban is visibly ignored, passers-by are more likely to litter the street with paper.


Could muddled safety communications at NAM sites (posters, notes, check lists, logos, hand-written notices) beside the serious safety communications, similarly impact the compliance of other rules covering the sites? There was a hunch that messy safety communications might generate messy, and therefore unsafe behaviour. In addition, these safety communications showed a marked lack in uniformity. It was not immediately evident whether a communication is a ban, a point of attention, a request or a reminder. And it should be. All in all, more than enough reasons to investigate whether things could be done differently.


The pilot at NAM’s Blija site As a result, Manager Operations for NAM’s Asset Land Herman Baars agreed with the agency MindMeeting to conduct a pilot study. MindMeeting’s meeting designers were to conduct a pilot to test alternative options for communications focused on safety. With input gathered from NAM’s and contractor’s HSE specialists, united in CASOS, as well as from behavioural specialists of the department of cross-media communications in the public domain of the Utrecht University for Applied Sciences, the pilot study “Safety Communications” was launched at the NAM Blija site last October. A CASOS working group of HSE specialists from both NAM and contractors closely monitored the implementation. The engineers and managers working at the NAM Blija site had a very cooperative attitude towards this pilot.



Instruments developed together with local supervisors In the course of the pilot, the working group eliminated all existing safety communications, except for those that are legally required. Management at this turnaround used different means to provide information on safety issues. These instruments were suggested by the pilot’s experts, upon due consultation with local supervisors. An example is the tourniquet which was placed at the site access. Employees could only get through with a special pass. The consequence is an unmistakeable passage between the ‘normal’ world and a ‘danger zone’. Additionally, each day, three employees with a variety of technical backgrounds would do a round on the plant with the task of indicating potentially dangerous situations on a site map. And last but not least, the working group developed a system, based on simple cards that specify recurrent risks, allowing supervisors to engage in low-threshold conversations with employees about the risks they may face during their work. Hendrik Jan Rotman, the plant responsible officer at the Blija site: “I noticed that the workers address unsafe behaviour to each other and even when they are not doing the round on the plant report and solve potentially dangerous situations.”

Following a zero measurement during the pre-turnaround, test results were gathered during the turnaround. Measurements included the so-called Oddball test, allowing for a quantification of alertness (speed of reaction), evaluations by supervisors and the minuting of each startwork meeting. The results are currently under evaluation and they are expected to produce recommendations by mid December.

Curious? Would you like to learn more about this pilot and/or are you curious to hear about the outcomes? Then please contact Agnes Voorintholt agnes@mindmeeting.org


Are there

PPE ’s for personal data?

If not, be aware! The European Commission’s General Data Protection Regulation, which is intended to improve the protection of personal data, will soon take effect. This ‘Privacy Regulation’ will replace existing privacy legislation throughout the European Union. It will have a profound impact on companies and Contractors whose operations involve the use of personal data, including, of course, those in the Oil and Gas industry.


While the processing of personal data is probably not a major aspect of most companies’ and Contractor operations, personnel administration, for example, does involve a database that contains employees’ personal details. Such data is subject to privacy legislation, which means that it falls under this new regulation. In this article, therefore, we will discuss some of the main changes involved, from the employer’s perspective. The changes that affect employees will also be addressed.

All companies whose operations involve the use of personal data (which, of course, includes employers in the On and Offshore industry) will have to deal with many new obligations. First, policy regarding persona data processing (the generic term for any action involving personal data, such as its collection and retention) must be transparent for, and easily accessible to, the individuals whose data is being processed (the ‘stakeholders’). This policy must also be verifiable for the privacy authority in question (in the Netherlands, this is the Dutch Data Protection Authority (CBP), which will soon be renamed the Personal Data Authority). One of the elements of this ‘privacy policy’ will be an indication of which personal data is being processed, and why.

Another will be a specification of the measures taken by the company to bring it into compliance with the legislation. An important aspect of the privacy policy is the security of the data in question. The new legal demands imposed on such security have not changed materially, but – unlike the present situation – inadequate security may result in substantial fines. For each violation, the penalty can be as high as 2% of global annual turnover!

If a security breach should unexpectedly occur, in which unauthorized individuals gain access to personal data by hacking, for example, then the company must notify the privacy authority as soon as possible and must take appropriate measures, or risk incurring a similarly substantial fine. If the personnel administration is subcontracted to a third party (e.g. a payroll company) either partially or in full, the employer and the third party involved must set out their agreements on this matter in the form of a written contract.



In addition, companies with more than 250 employees will have to extensively document all forms of processing. They will also have to appoint a data protection officer (DPO). The DPO will act as the first point of contact in the area of privacy, both for the employees and for the privacy authority. Not only have the employers’ obligations increased, the stakeholders also have more rights. Thus, when they are asked to submit personal data, employees should be given understandable information on matters such as how and why the processing is to be carried out, about their rights, and about the company’s privacy policy. Stakeholders can inspect data relating to them at any time, free of charge. If necessary, they can have this data amended. Employers will soon be obliged to provide any and all requested information, or risk incurring a fine.

The substantial fines stipulated by the Privacy Regulation are not expected to come into effect before 2017. In anticipation of this, however, existing privacy legislation in the Netherlands will be tightened up in the course of 2015. In this connection, the Personal Data Authority’s powers will be expanded, allowing it to impose fines in excess of 800,000 euros for specific violations. So, in the short term, there will be major changes for companies whose operations involve the use of personal data. Operating a privacy policy and ensuring the security of personal data will become even more serious matters than they are at present. Any companies that take these matters too lightly will risk substantial fines. In light of the above, it makes good sense to take action now, in anticipation of the new legislation.

Victor Bouman www.wieringa.nl

Lex Bruinhof


FOCAL POINT TRAINING How does harmonization of HSE rules and regulations spread like wildfire? Focal points are ambassadors for the implementation of HSElife UNIO in the Contractor organizations. To prepare them for their role, HSElife UNIO organized a number of Focal point training courses late 2014. Early 2015 there will yet be a number of training courses.



Meanwhile, 63 Contractor organizations participate in HSElife UNIO. The Focal point is contact person for HSElife UNIO. So within the Contractor organization he or she is the point of contact for HSElife UNIO. The Focal point ensures implementation in the Contractor organization. In turn HSElife UNIO supports the Focal point and keeps him or her regularly informed of developments.

WHAT DOES IMPLEMENTATION OF HSELIFE UNIO MEAN? It means integrating HSElife UNIO in the culture of the Contractor organizations in order to create more safety awareness. In addition, a culture must arise in which employees have the freedom to come up with suggestions on what can be improved on the shopfloor. Speaking the same clear language regarding Health, Safety and Environment and harmonization of regulations by focusing primarily on agreements between Companies and Contractors.

That is the goal the member parties of HSElife UNIO pursue. The ultimate goal is to achieve Incident Free Operations.

CONTRACTOR FORUM The training courses are also a good opportunity to discuss the establishment of a Contractor Forum. Soon there will be around twelve people in this Forum. The aim is to discuss and elaborate on the wishes and ideas of the workplace. Two members of the Contractor Forum will also be a member of the Steering Committee of HSElife UNIO in order to present the plans the Forum creates.



FEEDBACK Feedback from participants on the training showed the major need for harmonization of HSE rules within the Oil and Gas Industry. In addition, participants recognized the importance of the Focal points.

SUPPORT General reactions to the training so far: • a good initiative • a clear and fresh setup • room for dialogue • a user-friendly interactive environment • surprised about the content and goal of HSElife UNIO

All Focal points will be regularly informed on developments within HSElife UNIO through HSElife magazine, newsletters, ABCDs and OnlyOffice Platform.



information Oil and Gas Operators often use the same materials but the product specs tend to vary significantly.


Lisenka van der Wilt-Wilms is CEO of P. Smit BV Construction Workshop in Den Helder. She tells us about the different safety approaches the Offshore Industry companies take. “Clients like to re-invent the wheel. It never ceases to amaze me that although safety goals are the same, execution and instruction tend to vary to a large extent.”

The company makes products varying from simple to complex. Their employees also work on location. “90% of our orders come from Offshore related companies such as Oil and Gas Operators, windmill parks, the Navy and scientific institutes.”



Different safety requirements “Most companies discuss with us specialized products and the development thereof, because everything we make is client specific,” Van der Wilt-Wilms explains. “Our principals discuss with us the safety requirements related to the products we design and manufacture for them. The client specific nature of the products is exactly why we detect the differences. Which doesn’t mean we don’t work safely. We encourage our employees to work safely by training them and through our internal guidelines. Our employees are well aware of the risk and know how to manage it. Every entrepreneur should always recognize that if an employee is involved in an incident, this will not only result in personal suffering but may also result in damage to the company’s image and turnover losses. I just don’t want to have to visit an employee’s family to explain what went wrong and why it happened.”

Unambiguous information Unambiguous information is crucial in order to prevent confusion – especially when her people work on location, Van der Wilt-Wilms says. “Fortunately, I do detect initiatives to at least align the information different parties use. This diminishes the risk of confusion, misunderstanding and therefore incidents. What strikes me is that different principals not always follow the same requirements. Certification required to be permitted to go Offshore for instance can vary among


different Operators. One Operator requires their personnel to take a special training in order to get permission to go Offshore – and another Operator has no such requirement. One would expect all Operators to follow the same requirements, but in fact they don’t. It seems as though each Operator follows their own set of rules. Having said that, I do see a more unambiguous approach developing. Another example: different requirements are being applied to the products we manufacture. For instance, when we are manufacturing pipe spools and a weld inspection is needed, one principals asks for 10% while the other wants 100%. Often, the principals themselves don’t know exactly which product requirements need to be met, I notice. Whether it’s about weld inspections or Offshore training. They assume we do know and leave the matter to us. But, obviously, we are not familiar with all specs of every company. That’s not our responsibility.”

Clever solution “It would be a good thing if the E&P companies harmonize their way of working and their instructions even more than they do at the moment. Involving the Contractors directly and sooner, even before the contract is given out, would be a clever solution. This would not only be more efficient and effective but on top of that, it would contribute significantly to safety performance.”



Reinforcing safety culture

The man on the shop floor needs things to be clear. And from now on, they are! “HSElife UNIO complements DANA Petroleum Netherlands safety culture very effectively,” says Production Operations Manager Bert Abbas. Dana Petroleum has started HSElife UNIO Offshore implementation.

“HSElife UNIO is meant to benefit the man on the shop floor,” Abbas says. “To us, it is important to stay in touch with the Offshore crew using tangible and understandable materials. The brochures, interactive on screen presentations and video’s at the HSElife UNIO site create more safety awareness for the men and are of added value to everyday work.”


HSElife UNIO implementation “Firstly, we informed the OIM’s and Supervisors of the fact that we were going to officially implement HSElife UNIO within our organization. Subsequently, we brought HSElife UNIO to their attention, so that beforehand they were able to discover the possibilities HSElife UNIO has to offer. Then we have HSElife UNIO a prominent position in our safety meetings.”

Safety meetings

“Each month, we highlight a theme as part of our normal activities. During the safety meeting with the crew, we then address and discuss HSElife UNIO materials relevant to the theme. At that moment the whole crew are present – not just Dana crew but also the Contractors and temporary personnel such as painters, scaffold builders and construction workers. By doing this, we reach all personnel on the shop floor. During the safety meeting, not only the Supervisor or OIM addresses a subject but others do so as well. For instance, our medic instructs us on what to do if someone has been struck by an electrical shock. In cases likes this we also use HSElife UNIO materials. At the same time, the safety meeting is also a good way to monitor HSElife UNIO implementation progress and to see where improvements can be made.”

Last Minute Risk Analysis (LMRA) “Within our organization we’re trying to enlarge LMRA exposure and to implement it further. We want the use of LMRA to become our crew’s second nature. Here, we also see a connection to HSElife UNIO since LMRA is part of HSElife UNIO material, such as brochures and on screen presentations. Apart from this, we collect as many best practices as we can find. For example, some of the Operators use overalls with the letters LMRA embroidered on the sleeves. My job is to find out if this really works and if people really use this.”

Safety culture In conclusion, Abbas emphasizes the strong safety culture within Dana Petroleum. “Our HSE systems are solid. Just as our Task Risk Analysis, Permit-to-Work system, insulating procedure, work instructions, procedures etcetera are. Many of these instructions have been composed by our offshore people themselves which results in maximum acceptance. We use HSElife UNIO materials to expand our knowledge even further. Moreover, the materials help us to tell the same story throughout the whole industry, because of their contribution to working safely. It is this uniformity that makes HSElife UNIO so powerful.”





“The great end of living is to harmonize man with the order of things,”


the American writer Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote.

This quote reflects the unique aspect of HSElife UNIO: through cooperation between the Oil and Gas Operators who are active in the Netherlands, harmonization of rules and regulations regarding Health Safety and Environment is being realized. This cooperation now results in a harmonized Interactive Induction Offshore and Onshore training. See www.hselifeunio.com (Refresher & Training).


During the Steering Committee meeting of 6 November, the Operators participating in HSElife UNIO have given their final agreement on this interactive Offshore and Onshore training. In this way they take another step for unambiguous information through progressive harmonization and through sharing HSE information. This also results in a new step towards safer operations.

Whom is the harmonized Offshore and/or Onshore interactive training meant for? Everyone who works at an Offshore or Onshore location is required to make the training and the corresponding test. It is about the basic rules, procedures and regulations regarding HSE that everyone should know and follow.

Why a harmonized Offshore and Onshore training? If you have completed the test successfully, you will receive a certificate and a HSElife UNIO sticker in your Personal Safety Logbook (PSL). The OIM or Site Supervisor signs off the sticker. This sticker is a security certificate for access to an Offshore or Onshore location from the Operators participating in HSElife UNIO. This means that you don’t need to make an ‘admission exam’ time and time again. Besides, there will always be the location-specific information. This is another step to make it possible for Contractors and Subcontractors to work in the same way and to get the same signal from their clients. Accidents are prevented because of clarity and unambiguity in the working method.



Participating Operators

HSElife UNIO is supported by

Participating Contractors

Questions or comments? Do you have questions or comments? Send them to info@thewatgroup.com


John van Schie of NAM and Jürgen Joosten of Centrica are blogging about the ‘Management of Safety Health & Environment’ (MoSHE) Master’s programme that they are taking at the Delft University of Technology. Read their blog.



Hi Jürgen, To get straight to the point: I failed to submit a draft thesis in July. Instead, I chose to give extra attention to my father during the process of his surgery. Presently, he is recovering fairly well. Due to his age his recovery takes more time, I found. Therefore, I haven’t been able to work a lot on my thesis in July and in August we took a vacation. We went camping which we enjoyed tremendously. We’re very fond of France but in order to find nice weather, we had to travel further south than we usually do. Eventually, we ended up in Spain. Here, we spent time in the Pyrenees, on the coast and in Barcelona. What a wonderful country Spain is! We’ve decided to go further south more often. The time off did me a lot of good. While camping in a different environment with nice weather and good food, I completely forgot about work and my thesis. It supplied me with renewed energy to really go for it in September. However, I did decide to take some rest more regularly. That’s why in the weekends, I only work on my thesis for one day. The other day I devote to my family, to visiting friends and leisure activity. I find that by doing this, my energy level stays up and I’m feeling good which I needed for my trip to China to conduct an audit. In preparation, I’ve received several documents already. Hard to decipher, these Chinese characters – however beautiful they look. Luckily, by using Google Translate I’m able to figure some of it out and a translation agency helps us with the most important documents. In your last email, you wrote that we should all search for the best possible solutions in our effort to prevent incidents from happening. With this in mind, you found it strange that different solutions were being applied by different companies. I agree that this is indeed strange. That is why I’m happy to be able to contribute to the HSElife UNIO harmonization path – however long this path still seems to be. Even within NAM, it’s not easy to get everyone to follow a commonly agreed line. We work with responsible and intelligent people and we have to help them in making the right choices by using good arguments and insights from the outside world. Harmonization is necessary in order to offer clarity to our Contractors, who often work for several different Operators. An interesting challenge – this is what makes our job so fascinating. By the way, our Contractor Safety Day have taken place. Together with NAM Contractors, we have discussed the specifics of our joint 2015 HSE Annual Plan. A nice challenge in which we have also include the harmonization factor. I have facilitated a brainstorm session and a discussion. I was very much looking forward to it and I’m curious as to what results we will achieve. It was an interesting day! The fact that neither of us has submitted our thesis also has a silver lining. Because for now we can continue writing our blogs. I’m curious to know what stage your thesis is in and how everything is at work. Regards, John


Hey John, I’m so sorry to hear about your father – obviously, all else will have to wait. I agree completely: family comes first, before work, however hard that may be. Not to mention having to spend time on your education. One can’t do everything at once. Not many people notice but as a safety officer you deal with new challenges every day. While driving to my office, I already have a list in my head of the things that need to be done that day. For instance: apart from the daily meetings and other obligations, reports need to be made and checked. When after a 30 minutes drive I arrive at the office, the first thing I do is compose a to-do list. But at the end of the day, if I have gotten round to even one of these items, I should congratulate myself. Something always comes up. Simple questions with big consequences. Sometimes these questions are being asked by field workers but I also get questions from our holding company. For instance – take the ‘Compresses Air Escape Breathing System’ implementation in the UK. During helicopter flights, this has now become a mandatory requirement. How do we deal with this in the Netherlands? Is it mandatory for us as well? Not yet, but it does give us problems because from Den Helder we also fly to our rigs on the UK continental plate. Therefore, all of a sudden this becomes mandatory for us as well. So… let’s do it then, you would say. But this means we need to train our people and stop sharing helicopters with other Operators. And so on and so forth. A small change with huge consequences. These kinds of things keep me occupied in my daily routine. Every time a new challenge presents itself. However, I do try to make sure my family get the attention they deserve. How nice of you to mention your contentment relating to your contribution to HSElife UNIO. I couldn’t agree more. I, too think that our generation is able to change the world. At all times we need to aspire to less incidents, to equal values and procedures AND to working safely. The other day, I heard someone telling a story about the British National Rowing Team. During the Olympic Games last year, this team won gold. Before they started rowing, their coach said: ‘If not you, then who? If not now, then when?’ These sentences perfectly reflect my feelings toward the harmonization of safety procedure, systems and culture. During our Contractor Days, we can take our industry to a new level by working together and sending the same message to the outside world. We have to do it ourselves and I think now the time is right. Let’s aspire to an industry with zero incidents. I could apply the same quote to our theses. I should really finally finish it! Regards, Jürgen



SSM theme event

Exposure to dangerous substances Within the Oil and Gas Industry, the man on the shop floor is not always aware of the health risk when exposed to dangerous substances.


The unfamiliarity with the exposure to dangerous substances, its effects as well as the growing concern with this issue within the Oil and Gas Industry formed the reason for this SSM theme event. Jan van Driel and Hans Weenink report.

Van Driel: “We invited works council, unions and branch organizations NOGEPA and IRO representatives to join us on November 4th in order to discuss this subject. It was our intention to exchange information and experiences on dangerous substances and the role of the substances RI&E. Through this event, we are able to get an impression of the way safety is being perceived within the industry and of the concerns employees harbor. After all, together with the industry we are searching for the answer to the question of how to create a greater awareness.”

Group discussion During the event, there was a mixture of guest speakers and group discussions. The presentation by Expertise Center of the Inspectorate SZW’s Nathan Kuper contributed greatly to this awareness, Weenink says. He spoke about the European REACH and VIB’s regulations. “From his speech, it became obvious that the VIB’s should be readily available and that workers should be well aware of the risk imposed on them because of the substances they work with.” During the presentation it was also mentioned what kind of information the downstream user needs and what exactly he is supposed to do with that information, Van Driel adds. “Furthermore, the exposure assessment was mentioned,” Van Driel says. “These are extended safety data sheets containing scenario’s having to do with the use of the (dangerous) substance or mixture and the safety measures to be taken. The scenario’s make clear which procedure you should follow when using the substance or mixture.” Many people in de audience indicated that they found the information they received very useful.


Points of concern Several points of concern surfaced during the group discussions. “One of the most important points of concern surfacing during the group discussions was the unfamiliarity with their own SH management systems – such as the VIB’s – related to legal or regulatory requirements on substances,” Van Driel says. “It was also indicated that there seems to be less focus on health compared to the focus on safety. Health issues seems to be further from our mind because the consequences don’t become visible immediately – that could take many years.”

This is the reason why at present, employees are often not aware of the effects of the exposure to dangerous substances, says Weenink. Van Driel: “Another point of concern was that the theoretical reality differs from the shop floor reality. During the theme event there were signals that the mining and drilling companies’ shop floor workers and the hired Contractor personnel are not always aware of the danger of the substances they work with. In this respect, the Permit-to-Work Holder and Issuer rely upon the know-how of the certified companies. However, some of the participants think this is also a risk factor. In these cases, it is important to thoroughly examine the risk and the measures to be taken during the working permit process. It was also mentioned that work supervision could be better, especially with the many foreign workers and independent contractors on the shop floor. Often times, there is no assigned supervisor present which means supervision responsibility shifts to the Contractor who therefore has to do more work in less time. We signal a vacuum here.”


Support However, the importance of health risk awareness related to working with dangerous substances was recognized by the works council representatives, Van Driel and Weenink say. “One of the works council representatives indicated that his works council is not sufficiently aware of the role the works council should play in reviewing a substances RI&E. Other works council representatives admitted they should pursue this more vigorously.”

Solutions “Improvement measures” was also an item on the agenda. “Due to the fact that we didn’t quite proceed according to planning, we weren’t able to discuss the measures for improvement,” Van Driel says. “I’ve sent an email to all participants asking them to submit their suggestions for improvement on the shop floor or suggestions for industry wide initiatives on that subject.” They can only get a clear picture of how keen the works councils are on the subject when they get a substantial number of respondents sending in suggestions for improvement. All reactions are welcome, please email to sodm@minez.nl.

The man on the shop floor Finally, Weenink says that HSElife UNIO also presented itself at the event. “HSElife UNIO, presented by Pier van Spronsen, plays an important role in creating more health risk awareness in the man on the shop floor. For example: on the HSElife UNIO website there is a lot of information to be found on dangerous substances and how to handle them. This helps the man on the shop floor to limit any health risk.”


for industry, by industry HSElife is a forum for those working in the oil and gas industry. HSElife focuses particularly on those working wherever HSE is really an issue or really should be an issue: on the shop floor. HSElife magazine is published by: The WAT Group B.V. P.O. Box 23 7380 AA Klarenbeek The Netherlands +31 6 462 95 25 6 (7, 8) www.thewatgroup.com On this issue worked Thera Idema, Marjou Janse, Marcel van Spronsen, Veselin Raznatovic, Pier van Spronsen, StÊphanie van Stockum, Janine IJssel de Schepper, Bob Janssen, Marc van Baasbank, Evelien Brascamp, Joost Michelhoff, Bert Abbas, Jan van Driel, Roel van de Lint, Agnes Voorintholt, Lisenka van der Wilt, Yvonne Hoddenbach, Theo Kruithof, Cees van Oosterom, Gert Jan Windhorst, Jelto Terpstra, Victor Bouman, Lex Bruinhof, Hans Weenink, Piet van Dam and the Members of the HSElife UNIO Steering group: Ronald Pijtak, Jan Jager, Ton van Swaal, Sander Floore, John van Schie, Alexander van der Zee, Gerard Burgers, Frits van der Wilt, Ronny Ali, Jurgen Joosten, Ben Waardenburg, Emanuele Gemelli, Anne Hendrikson, Rik van der Zee en Marc Kloppenburg. Please e-mail any comments about subjects discussed in this magazine to info@thewatgroup.com attn. Janine Ijssel de Schepper. Articles may not be taken from this publication within the meaning of Article 15 of the Netherlands Copyright Act.; Š The WAT Group B.V. 2014

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HSElife magazine no 14 UK  

Health, safety and environment magazine for Oil & Gas Industry

HSElife magazine no 14 UK  

Health, safety and environment magazine for Oil & Gas Industry