Every day, the target is the same:
Go home safe.

Personal safety inside and out

Nothing is more important than personal safety - our own safety and that of everyone around us.

Every day we handle potentially hazardous hydrocarbons. We also work at heights; in enclosed spaces; and next to water.

All of these are acceptable risks provided we recognise them and stay in full control.

And the real point here is that word ‘we’. Safety is everyone’s responsibility, and although we invest in world-class safety technologies, eyes and ears are also some of the most important safety equipment we have.

We combine this with a no-blame culture. Everyone feels free, and is positively encouraged, to speak up if they see something wrong. The only important thing is to fix it, learn from it and make sure everyone goes home safe.

Only things that are measured
Get improved.

Total Injury Rate

Tracking our progress, and using the data to understand how we can do better, is an integral part of our HSE policy. Every site, regardless of its age and type, is measured by the same metrics.

We measure the safety performance of each of our terminals by assessing its Total Injury Rate (TIR). This metric reflects lost-time incidents, cases requiring medical treatment, injuries that lead to a restriction of normal work duties, and fatalities.

There is no difference between the safety of our employees and that of our contractors – everyone’s well-being is paramount. In January 2013, we therefore took the decision to include all contractors in our TIRs, as well as VTTI staff. This raised the bar even further when it comes to the challenge of safety.

Safety lives in the future, not the past

We take every safety incident very seriously and are committed to learn from it. However, a metric such as the TIR is a ‘lagging’ indicator; it only shines a light on the past. Therefore, VTTI also focuses on ‘leading’ indicators which are aimed at prevention and improvement:

Safety Observation Rounds (SORs) ‘Near miss’ Reporting

Safety Observation Rounds (SORs)

At every terminal we carry out Safety Observation Rounds. The objective is to make sure that good safety behaviour is being practised, and this is observed by a team composed of management and operators. They are trained to identify where improvements can be made, and their findings are logged, assessed and acted on.

SOR in progress

‘Near miss’ Reporting

At VTTI we treat a near-miss in exactly the same way we do an actual incident: its root cause must be assessed to make sure we address it and prevent it from happening again. Near misses are all too easily forgotten, so we have an active programme to encourage employees to report them, however trivial they may seem.

VTTI has invested in a management system for use by all: Quality Online (QoL), which includes a reporting tool to share experiences and discuss solutions. Importantly, everyone who logs a near-miss will later receive an update on what the investigation found and the follow-up action designed to stop it from happening again.

Monday Adeoye

Operations Manager, Navgas, Nigeria

“We have a mantra here: If you don’t go home safe, you can’t provide for your family.”

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Monday Adeoye
Operations Manager, Navgas, Nigeria
The Problem

When I arrived here, the terminal was still a construction site and the safety performance figures did not make good reading. I was tasked with turning this around and to launch a total education programme to embed safety into everyone’s thinking.

The Response

We launched a programme of in-depth safety training, supported by weekly ‘Toolbox’ meetings, for every employee – no exceptions. This is given in three languages. Safety now governs every action, meeting, project and plan. And we never let up. Safety is not part of the culture - it is the culture, as our results are showing.

The Result

Since the terminal became operational in 2010 we have not had a single lost time incident. In September 2013 we passed a significant milestone: 500,000 man hours incident-free. Weare now focused on achieving 750,000 hours around June 2015, and then to a million and beyond.

HSE: Environment, Treading lightly