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At bp, safety comes first and is foundational to everything we do
Onsite engineers in discussion

Everything we do relies upon the safety of our workforce and the communities around us. Safety at bp is underpinned by our operating management system (OMS). Our OMS is how we work: the systematic framework designed to sustainably deliver safe, reliable and compliant operations.

Personal safety

We deeply regret that in 2022 four people lost their lives while at work for bp. In February 2022 a contractor driving for Aral in Germany, lost his life in a vehicle collision on a highway. In April 2022 a specialist tank contractor lost his life in an explosion while repairing a tank at an Aral retail site in northern Germany. In September 2022 two bp employees lost their lives in a fire at our Toledo refinery in the US.

We have offered our condolences and support to the families and employees affected by these fatalities. We are taking action to learn from these incidents and drive improvements in safety.

We want to do better on safety performance and to help us do this we are making our OMS simpler, clearer and even more rigorous. These updates to our OMS will emphasize an even closer focus on human performance, our Safety Leadership Principles and the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers’ (IOGP) Life Saving Rules.

In 2022 we recorded an increase of 14% in our recordable injury frequency (RIF) and an increase of 34% in our days away from work case frequency (DAFWCF), compared with 2021. We attribute this to an increase in the number of hand or ankle injuries suffered by retail employees in our customers & products (C&P) business. We have implemented a safety intervention plan in C&P, based on the number and nature of both personal and process safety incidents.

In our production & operations business, RIF and DAFWCF decreased compared with 2021. We attribute this to our sustained effort to improve safety, including our work on safety leadership, safety culture and human performance. 

We expect to see further performance improvements as we roll out and embed the Life Saving Rules across bp.

Process safety

Our combined process safety events (PSEs) have generally decreased over the last 10 years, apart from in 2019. This downward trend continued in 2022, with 12 fewer (19%) reported than in 2021, due to a 28% reduction in tier 2 PSEs. Although portfolio changes may effect the overall baseline of our operations, our goal continues to be the elimination of tier 1 PSEs.

We identified areas for improvement in process safety for refining and production, including mechanical integrity and the need to follow procedures. On this basis we have taken action to further strengthen our OMS process safety barriers. These barriers comprise physical or non-physical means to prevent, control or mitigate accidents, and consequently improve our safety performance.

Spills and spill prevention

We have made progress in preventing and reducing spills over many years, driven by risk management, investigations, work on process safety (including a focus on mechanical integrity) and control of work improvements. In 2022 there were 108 oil spills compared with 121 in both 2021 and 2020.


Our operating sites collaborate to share good practice and our central team ensures serious or complex incidents are thoroughly investigated and systemic gaps closed as soon as possible.


Driving safety

Driving safely is one of the greatest personal safety risks we face at bp. In 2022, we recorded one driving-related contractor fatality and one vehicle accident that resulted in life-changing injuries to the driver. In total, 10 severe vehicle accidents occurred, the same as in 2021. The number of kilometres driven fell by 0.2% compared with 2021.


We took action to improve safety for those driving on behalf of bp in several ways – for example, issuing a group-wide alert that emphasized how important it is to be aware of vulnerable road users. A second alert was issued to help improve contractors’ oversight processes for land transportation. We require all newly purchased or leased light vehicles used on behalf of bp to have a 5-star New Car Assessment Program safety rating (where available).


Our safety culture

Our Safety Leadership Principles, which we refreshed in 2021, are designed to guide behaviour and ways of working across bp to drive a robust, consistent safety culture. Our Safety Leadership Principles are:


  • We genuinely care about each other.
  • We will not compromise our focus on safety.
  • We encourage and recognize the need to speak up.
  • We understand how work actually happens.
  • We learn why mistakes occur and respond supportively.


Our principles are guided by human performance. They help us enable a culture of care by understanding how people interact with their working environment, by recognizing that they can make mistakes and by doing all we can to keep them safe.


We review how people interact with equipment and systems, examining potential causes of stress and fatigue as well as the quality of our systems and procedures. Showing care about how work is being done and acting on concerns raised can help drive a learning culture, which can help us make the workplace safer. Through our work on diversity, equity and inclusion and through our code, we also support people to speak up about their safety concerns.

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