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Call for Middle East oil and gas industry to focus on HSE issues

Health & Safety

The advent of the post “easy oil” era has led a panel of industry experts to call for the Middle East’s oil and gas industry to place Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) issues at the centre of planning, despite recent improvements in the number of lost working days throughout the region

The Middle East’s oil and gas industry witnessed a significant HSE improvement through a reduction in the number of lost working days due to an incident, which has fallen from 26.2 average days per lost work day case (LWDC) in 2012 to 13.6 average days per LWDC last year, according to the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers.

The expert panel, which included speakers from Total E&P, Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO) and Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), urged delegates at ADIPEC to share best practices among organisations on how to cope with the large number of nationalities working in teams, citing distinct cultural backgrounds and differing levels of risk appreciation as core concerns.

According to recruitment and human resource services firms Hays, 86.5 per cent of workers in the Middle East last year were imported from outside of the region, leading organisations to tackle issues such as a lack of experienced local manpower and enduring difficult recruitment procedures.

Thierry Debertrand, senior vice-president of HSE at Total E&P, said, “HSE should be a core value for every company. The principles of HSE are passed through the entire work pyramid, from those in management to the employees doing the job on the field.

“Many companies have a top-down view, but what is even more important is a bottom-up approach. It has been shown that HSE is completely linked to efficiency. Our industry often requires large-scale work across multi-cultural and geographical levels, and the acceptance of these policies across all levels is essential.”

Speakers on the panel included Abdalla Rashid Al-Naqbi, vice-president of HSE and quality at ADMA-OPCO; KOC HSE manager Ahmed Abbas and John Raine, global HSE director at Weatherford.

The shortage of talent within the Middle East’s oil and gas sector will be discussed further at the inaugural edition of HR Forum: Oil & Gas, which will take place from 23-25 November 2014 at the Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa in Dubai.

The event will see high-level HR and leadership development professionals provide insights into tackling the supposed talent crunch facing the industry.

The three-day event will feature speakers from Saudi Aramco, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, GASCO, Petroleum Institute, Mubadala Petroleum and ZADCO among others.

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