It’s not uncommon in many large companies for safety induction programs to become more lengthy from one year to the next. In response to audit findings and incident investigations, there is often a tendency for companies to adopt a mindset of thinking “more is better”, resulting in more and more content being added to safety training courses, especially safety inductions. But a lengthy and voluminous induction does not necessarily improve safety outcomes.
Add to this mix the reality that many contractor companies work for multiple large customers within the oil and gas sector, and often other industry sectors too. The contractor workforce are required to complete a new round of inductions each time they move from one customer to the next, and often report duplication of content across each company, or sometimes contradictory or mixed messages. So, it’s not hard to see why the contractor workforce in particular can sometimes feel that inductions are overly bureaucratic and increasingly disconnected from the fundamental purpose of what they were designed to do.
INPEX is the operator of one of the world’s largest and most complex LNG developments. Ichthys LNG in northern Australia is the company’s biggest single operation with the capacity to produce 8.9 million tonnes of LNG per annum, 1.65 million tonnes of LPG per annum and up to 100,000 barrels of condensate per day at peak. With a workforce of 1,200 employees plus a wide range of contractors, INPEX lives by Anzen Dai Ichi - 'Safety Number One'. It’s how INPEX thinks, acts and promotes safety at the company.
Founded in 2008, INPEX is a young company and has evolved rapidly in a relatively short period of time. A Final Investment Decision for Ichthys LNG was reached in 2012 and production commenced in mid-2018. During the past few years, induction processes at INPEX had become more complex as the company expanded. INPEX observed its inductions appeared to focus on sharing content to close out audit actions.
The introduction of the common Industry Safety Induction (ISI) in Western Australia and the Northern Territory (WA/NT) provided a timely opportunity for INPEX to not only align with a new industry requirement, but also to review its pre-existing induction framework. INPEX wanted to consolidate and streamline its inductions so that they weren’t duplicating content, and the introduction of the ISI was the trigger for this to occur.
Since early 2020 all new starts in the WA/NT Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Industry are required to satisfactorily complete the ISI prior to working on the development or operation of Onshore or Offshore Facilities. New starts have been required to attend the ISI in Queensland since 2016. Industry leaders in WA/NT identified an opportunity to modify the course for a WA/NT audience, including application to Major Hazard Facilities, and to thereby achieve a consistent approach to induction across the Industry.
Experienced Workers can complete an Experienced Worker Declaration Form as evidence that they are not required to complete the ISI prior to starting work.
Over a period of 12 months INPEX reviewed all levels of company induction as a whole framework, taking into account the content that was in the newly introduced ISI. The ISI allowed INPEX to remove generic content and focus on what was specific to INPEX.
In mid-2020 INPEX made the ISI a requirement for new employees and their contractor workforce, and also integrated the Experienced Worker process into its induction framework. This applied across the INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG Onshore Processing Facility, the Ichthys Explorer Central Processing Facility (CPF), and the Ichthys Venturer Floating Production, Storage and Offloading Facility (FPSO).
The scope of application included onboarding the workforce involved in a major shutdown of LNG Train 2 at the Ichthys LNG Onshore Processing Facility, which was more than 1,000 people in total.
To date, the majority of people have been eligible for the Experienced Worker process and an Experienced Worker Declaration Form is required to be retained as the evidence of competency.
As part of INPEX’s assurance process, spot checks of contractor training and competency records are carried out to verify that appropriate evidence of competency for their personnel exists and is held on file.
The ISI has enabled INPEX to reduce the duration of its inductions for an Operational Worker by at least 25% (approximately 2 hours). In addition, for experienced workers the Experienced Worker process has been well received as a good refresher tool on safety in the workplace:
“The induction mentions Safety Share and Lessons Learnt and I agree this is a wonderful way to relate to issues in our industry.” (Operations Team Lead)
HSE And L&D In Harmony – Close co-operation between the HSE and Learning & Development functions is essential because deployment of the ISI is more likely to succeed if it is integrated into your organisation’s existing Learning Management System (LMS), rather than being a stand-alone process.
Communication Is Key – Early involvement of your organisation’s Contracting & Procurement team is essential to ensure they can plan and coordinate getting consistent, clear and timely messages about the ISI out to your supply chain through the appropriate contracting communication channels.
Clearly Explain the Experienced Worker Declaration Form – Take the time at the outset to inform and educate all levels of your supply chain about the purpose of this process and conduct a regular and robust review of compliance to ensure it is being used as it was intended.
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For more information about INPEX click here.
For more information about the Industry Safety Induction and Experienced Worker Process click here.