HSE focus: Dolphin Energy
The GM of the UAE-based company talks about its HSE policy
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Ibrahim Ahmed Al Ansari, General Manager of Dolphin Energy - UAE talks about his company's HSE policy.
1. Describe the primary health and safety training policy at Dolphin Energy.
Dolphin has an elaborate training program for HSE matters that is managed by the Training and Development (T&D) department. New employees undergo medical and fitness to work testing and upon completion, all new employees go through a detailed orientation program which includes several mandatory HSE courses and site inductions.
Upon confirmation of completion of these mandatory courses by T&D, personnel are issued site passes. Personnel who will be working in the onshore plant or offshore are given further detailed HSE training including first aid and the use of escape masks and breathing air apparatus. Refresher training in all these HSE courses is given on a regular basis as are health / fitness to work evaluations
2. What are the primary concerns to gas workers on the onshore facilities?
Dolphin operates a sophisticated gas processing facility that handles sour gas. Exposure to H2S is a hazard for workers that is managed through an elaborate system of fire and toxic gas detectors which alarm and in some cases cause a process shutdown.
In addition, all personnel in the process area wear PPE that includes a personal H2S and an escape mask and are trained in their use. Any work that is carried out in the plant is controlled by a rigorous Permit to Work system with several levels of approval and checks. In addition, risk assessments are conducted for all work in the plant using the Dolphin protocol. All mitigation measures identified in the risk assessment are signed off prior to work commencing.
Dolphin has a Field Safety team that monitors work in the field to ensure compliance to permit and risk assessment requirements.
3. What special steps are taken when using outside contractors for inspections on your facilities (Sealines etc)
Dolphin has developed specific conditions for selecting contractors which include HSE detailed requirements. Contractors must pre-qualify by demonstrating their expertise and ability to meet DEL requirements in order to bid on work.
Bids received are technically evaluated in detail to ensure compliance with all requirements including HSE.
This technical evaluation phase may include visits to Contractor facilities and clarification meetings with Contractor staff. DEL opens the commercial bids only from those Contractors that are deemed to be technically qualified.
4. What are the primary concerns when maintaining overland remote pipelines? What extra safety steps can be taken to reduce risk to workers?
Dolphin has adopted a combination of Total engineering specifications for design, construction and operations of its onshore pipeline network. Good engineering supported by robust HSE risk engineering provides the foundation for understanding potential hazards and operability issues associated with pipeline protection.
All risks are then mitigated to a level as low as reasonably practicable. This is followed by comprehensively monitoring all aspects of construction, testing and commissioning of the pipeline facilities, in tandem with carefully monitored operational, inspection and maintenance controls. In general, all onshore pipelines are buried to limit accidental mechanical impact and protected from corrosion by barrier coatings.
Further, the entire pipeline network is marked by Safety Signs and fenced off in high risk areas. Designated areas have been prepared for vehicle road crossings and daily patrol of all pipeline routes is conducted to ensure there are no un-planned work activities adjacent to live pipelines undertaken by third parties or members of the public.
All of the above is supplemented with regular Community Awareness campaigns to alert the public of the hazards of gas transmissions systems
5. Describe your process for managing risk in Dolphin’s facilities.
Dolphin has an elaborate Risk Assessment and Management program which is outlined in a corporate procedure which forms part of the Company's QHSE Management System.
Dolphin has completed Quantitative Risk Assessments of planned operations during the project phase and these have been used to populate an overall risk register (RR) for all of Dolphin operations both in UAE and Qatar
This RR identifies high risk aspects of the company activities which requires a signoff from senior personnel depending on the risk level determined. The QRA's are being updated to reflect the specifics of Dolphin operations and then the RR will also be updated accordingly.
Dolphin also conducts risk assessments of planned work on a day to day basis using their Task Risk Assessment process and procedure which is integral to the overall Permit to Work system.
All special activities such as the cleaning of the slug catcher are subjected to a detailed risk assessment by a team of specialists covering all aspects off the job.
Understanding the risks that we are faced with and managing these risks to a level that is As Low As Reasonable Practicable (ALARP) is an integral part of Dolphin's approach and philosophy.
6. Have you (personally) seen an increase in H&S focus in the Middle East (long term trends as well as specific spikes)?
The companies operating facilities in the UAE and Qatar where Dolphin operates have very mature safety programs and a commitment to the management of HSE issues. Overall the trend in HSE performance has seen a steady improvement and the challenge to all is to sustain this improvement over time.
7. What sensible steps should be taken during the summer months to prevent serious health issues for staff working outside?
Dolphin has developed a comprehensive heat stress management program and implements it each year in the hot and humid weather. The program begins with awareness sessions to ensure everyone understands the nature of heat stress and how to avoid it and manage it.
For the onshore plant, Dolphin measures temperature and humidity on a continuous basis and converts these into a heat stress index. Flags are flown at various locations to show the heat stress level (from green or low to red or high) which dictates the amount of rest and water intake required for workers working outside.
Heat stress shelters are located in the plant in which coolers with chilled water are located. Any heat stress case is reported to the site clinic and responded to immediately.
8. What are the golden rules to having a successful HSE program?
Senior management commitment is fundamental to developing a successful HSE program. This commitment includes active participation in periodic management field inspections and supporting HSE initiatives and programs to promote a safe and healthy work environment and to minimize the impact of operations on the environment