In the oil and gas sector across the globe much of the work done at the frontline is performed by contractors. In the case of BP Trinidad and Tobago (bpTT), over half of the workforce hours are provided by contractors and sub-contractors, many of whom are involved in high risk activities such as heavy transport and construction. This amounts to 200+ contractor companies across our operations involved in 65-75% of all our work.
BP Trinidad and Tobago has made a commitment to managing a safe operation that ensures that employees and contractors alike are well equipped to perform jobs safely with no accidents, no harm to people and no damage to the environment.
In 2011, bpTT conducted an in-depth review of contractor management practices, with the aim of documenting and learning from best practice throughout BP and across a number of sectors and industries that use contractors in potentially high-consequence activities. As a result, new strategies were developed to drive longer, deeper relationships particularly in our upstream activities through a programme that allows for the systematic selection of suitable contractors, formalised onboarding processes and robust performance management throughout the life of the contract. BPTT’s strategy for contractor safety hinges on high risk/high priority contracts, senior contractor management engagement and impact on the national community thereby contributing to local capability and improved HSSE standards.
One area of focus has been quarterly contractor HSSE meetings, which were initiated in 2008. This forum targets approximately 60 contractor companies who provide services to bpTT. It aims to improve communications between these contractor companies, promote conformance with standards and legislation and better understand the challenges faced by the contractor community.
At one of the quarterly meetings held in November 2013, bpTT Regional President, Norman Christie addressed the contractor forum, saying: “It is open discussions such as these between BP leaders and contractors that have walked the walk and have shared experiences that will successfully embed the practices necessary to accomplish every individual’s goal to stay safe. You (contractors) have the power to effect change and help build a safer, stronger BP through building a stronger safety culture.”
The Trinidad Regional Leadership Team members at bpTT support these meetings and are strong advocates for messaging safety priority with our contractors. They consistently demonstrate that safety has to be led from the top as is evident through joint leadership site visits, intervention planning and active involvement at performance review meetings with senior contractor management. Paul Evans, Chief Procurement Officer at bpTT was vocal in his support: “The bpTT Supplier Welfare Policy introduced in 2012 addresses the basic needs of contractors such as the right to vacation/time off, fair wage, suitable personal protective equipment etc and has since impacted change in the contractor companies who are now rolling out similar policies to their sub-contractors. The result has been improved compliance and adherence to welfare requirements since these are the same sub-contractors who work for service operators and other clients across the industry.”
At the Q1 meeting held in March 2014, after considering the question, ‘What do the bpTT’s contractor safety meetings mean to you?’, John Palermo Corporate HSSE Manager at Neal & Massy Wood Group (NMWG) Limited offered: “I have been attending the bpTT contractor safety meeting since inception and this forum has been a very rewarding journey. By being part of the network, sharing of knowledge and experiences whereby you can apply the learnings in a collaborative way to benefit all across the customer’s contracts. Participating in these meetings has enhanced NMWG’s collaborative relationship with bpTT, we are working together to achieve business targets and objectives.”
According to Vivek Sampath, HSE Business Partner at Baker Hughes: “These regular discussions align well with our internal communication to the workforce that commitment to HSE is our responsibility and a pre-requisite to work both at Baker Hughes and for doing sustainable business with bpTT.”
Joining in the lively discussion, Tauseef Salma, Country Director at Baker Hughes agreed with Sampath’s input and went further to say: “My personal commitment to making a safer and stronger One Team is through leadership visibility and support for HSE: by visiting the field bases and offshore rig sites this year, ensuring Baker Hughes Trinidad personnel are trained on Upstream Process Safety Awareness in 2014, rewarding courage by promoting an inter-dependent safety culture through leading indicators and promoting compliance with hazard recognition and control.”
Contractor safety sessions are coordinated by Nalini Rajpaulsingh, Contracts S&OR Advisor. She reasoned: “Effective contractor safety management requires ongoing collaboration and engagement so that contractors are aligned and very clear on HSSE expectations and are held accountable for areas of non-conformance. BPTT has made significant progress in the last two years in the area of Contractor Safety delivery. These milestones include: rigour and consistency of contractor prequalification processes, balanced scorecard of HSSE and commercial aspects of service delivery, standardisation of HSSE reporting metrics, greater transparency of risk profiles and improved safety leadership by senior contractor management. Forming the right partnerships with our contractors is important to a sustainable safety culture at bpTT. We will continue to work with our contractor community to ensure that our safety programmes benefit all who work for bpTT and beyond.”