Making safety personal
Setting personal goals for safety in the workplace could mean all the difference. In our US onshore operations we are changing the safety culture to reduce spills and leaks.
Our smart ear plugs are being made mandatory in noisy operating environments. They don’t only protect workers but help us save costs by using time more efficiently.
Eirik Bjerkebæk, Manager Health and Working Environment, Safety and Security
Under Norwegian regulations, personal protection equipment is the final piece of risk control when all other measures have been put in place – it’s never sufficient on its own. But we are currently implementing smart ear plugs that could prompt a change in this perspective. Rather than just blocking noise, we have developed ear plugs with a noise cancelling system that reduces noise significantly while filtering out vocal sound to allow communication. More importantly, they measure noise accurately inside the ear and calculate cumulative exposure over time, with an alarm that goes off when the limit is reached.
Our tests have been so successful that the earplugs are now mandatory in all our operations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf in environments with a noise level of over 95 db, and implementation across the rest of Equinor will continue. This advance in digital technology and personal protective equipment allows us to plan operations in a more predictable way and use time more efficiently – which means we reduce costs. We are now developing the system one step further by introducing an audiogram to measure noise levels before and after each shift. We can then look at the dynamic risk picture and target specific areas that we need to focus on.
Equinor has built up considerable expertise on how we monitor and model the behaviour of protected species, which we use to help quantify and then minimise impacts our developments may have.
Martin Goff, Empire Wind, NY
The North is not as bleak as you may think. There’s a lot going on and local communities want to see our projects bring more jobs and business for the region
Ørjan Birkeland, Project Manager, Northern Area Project
Local communities in Northern Norway are as concerned as anyone about climate change and environmental impact – but they don’t want us to stay away from the Barents Sea on principle. Our projects here may be Arctic by definition, but they are no different from other projects on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. They are not more expensive, not close to ice and the weather conditions are less challenging than the North Sea. We have a long history of co-existence with other industries such as fishery and tourism, and managing our environmental impact carefully. Our projects have a positive impact on jobs, education and business in the area. We will continue to work closely with communities in the North to ensure local value creation in the region.
As we start operations on Aasta Hansen and launch installation work at Johan Castberg, the work on supplier development performed over years by the Northern Area Project have been vital to ensure we bring local suppliers into the core of our contracts. We help them to connect to our larger suppliers. In 2017, we held several supplier days around the Northern region, inviting both large and small suppliers to attend. This enabled them all to get a better feel for the projects and the type of suppliers we need and when. Most importantly, we provided an arena for all suppliers to connect and create co-operations. In dialogue with the larger suppliers, we are highlighting the importance of including smaller suppliers to deliver on projects – that is a contractual requirement which helps to achieve the desired rippled effect within the local value chain.
From the very beginning, Equinor Brazil has invested lots of time in building a common compliance culture for employees, contractors and suppliers. We make it clear from the start that we have zero tolerance for corruption
Leticia Andrade, compliance officer in Brazil
In Brazil and other parts of the world where Equinor operates, we rely heavily on contractors – and many of these are used to working in corrupt environments. That is why Equinor Brazil’s anti-corruption training programme is so important. Every second year, all our employees and contractors go through a one-day anti-bribery and compliance workshop or a half-day refresher course.
Transparent, safe and secure operations are crucial to our licence to operate and reputation. The robustness of Equinor’s compliance programme gave the company the confidence to expand in the country at a delicate time, when business and government were being implicated in the Lava Jato scandal.
In situations where employees are uncertain on how to proceed on issues like corruption or inappropriate gifts we have a 24-hour hotline. This ethics hotline could be especially helpful in those cases where it is challenging to go through normal channels.
The General Manager of OSM Maritime group in Brazil, who Equinor work closely with, recently said: “It’s encouraging to see that OSM Brasil and Equinor Brasil work in the same way on the anti- corruption aspects. We understand that the best way to achieve success is always to ensure ethical practices and transparency of our business”.