More than 40 participants from 26 companies across the oil and gas industry, ranging from Operators, Contractors (large, medium and small), business partners and Health Care Providers, attended the first WA/NT Fitness To Work Medical Assessment Guideline Stakeholder Engagement Workshop held in Perth on the 18th November 2021.
The recommended Fitness To Work Medical Assessment process within the Guideline aims to promote a consistent, efficient and cost-effective approach to medicals within our industry which will, in turn, lead to improved health management across the workforce. In particular, the goal is to reduce the occurrence of severe Fitness To Work health-related events in our industry.
The workshop was opened by Sander Stegenga, Vice President at Shell Australia and Co-Champion of the WA/NT Health Working Group, who emphasised the main aim of the Guideline is to promote a consistent, efficient and cost-effective approach to FTW Medicals within our industry which will, in turn, lead to improved health management across the workforce. In particular, the goal is to reduce the occurrence of severe and fatal Fitness To Work health-related events in our industry. He explained that implementation of the Safer Together FTW Medical Assessment Guideline was already well underway in Queensland and was the basis for the approach that would be adopted in WA/NT, with just a small number of additional requirements to address the specific requirements of working in an offshore environment. Sander stressed that while implementation of the Guideline was not mandatory, the intent of having a common medical is supported by all the major Operators in Western Australia and the Northern Territory and was a showcase of what Safer Together was striving for: Simplify and Standardise across industry to improve safety.
The Guideline is the culmination of a dedicated work program, over several years, which included Subject Matter Experts and a series of consultation workshops with more than 100 representatives from Industry, Regulatory Authorities and Health Practitioners to frame and agree on a robust, industry-wide FTW medical process.
Dr Max Hills (Chief Medical Officer – Chevron) expertly facilitated the Engagement Workshop which included the following presentations:
- Dr Nhlanhla Mpofu (Occupational Physician - Shell QGC and member of the QLD Health Working Group) on the journey to implement the FTW Medical in Queensland;
- Jessica Press (Medical Case Coordinator - Chevron) explained the specifics of the Remote and Offshore environment in WA/NT;
- Max then summarised the process that had been followed by the FTW sub-group to gain alignment between the WA/NT Operators, the proposed WA/NT Offshore-specific medical components, and the FTW sign off sheet for WA/NT; and finally
- Damian Lee (Lead Occupational Health Advisor - Beach Energy) gave an insight into the implementation of the FTW Medical Assessment Guideline within Beach Energy. You can read a Deployment Case Study from Beach Energy here.
Following the presentations, participants had the opportunity to workshop together the practicalities of implementing the FTW Medical Assessment Guideline, discuss what they believed were the main advantages and downsides of implementing the common FTW Medical, and ask questions of Max and the members of the WA/NT Health Working Group who were present.
The current FTW Medical Assessment Guideline, together with tools and materials to support deployment (videos, brochure, business case, FAQs) are available on our website here.
All of the documents that were reviewed at the WA/NT Engagement Workshop, the presentation materials and a summary of the Workshop discussions can be accessed here.
Representatives from the Health Working Group are also available to assist with answering any questions – click here to submit your query.