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Safety and Health

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Hess’ first priority is the safety of our workforce. Our safety programs and practices are designed to promote a culture in which employees and contractors keep each other safe on the job so that everyone across our operations returns home safe every day.



Our commitment to occupational and process safety begins at the top of our organization and is reinforced at every level. We include key enterprisewide safety metrics in our annual incentive plan formula for executives and employees. We aim for continuous improvement in safety performance, with the ultimate goal of zero safety incidents. Hess’ 14-element Environment, Health, Safety and Social Responsibility (EHS & SR) Management System Manual serves as a framework for managing and measuring our safety performance.

We encourage a culture of ownership over occupational safety by tasking workers with identifying and mitigating the safety issues most relevant to their operations. As an example, our Behavioral Safety Observation Program has helped to advance our global safety performance by identifying specific at-risk behaviors through trend analysis and then providing feedback to our workforce on mitigation strategies.

Hess’ process safety program aims to prevent unplanned or uncontrolled loss of primary containment of any material, including materials that are nontoxic and nonflammable (e.g., steam, nitrogen, compressed air), that could result in an incident such as an injury, fire, explosion, toxic release or environmental impact. Our efforts focus on understanding and identifying key points within process safety systems that could impact integrity and the safe and proper operation of equipment, as follows:

  • Design integrity – reducing risks in the design and construction of facilities 
  • Technical integrity – inspecting, testing and maintaining hardware and software barriers
  • Operational integrity – working within operational design parameters
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Identifying and Addressing Root Causes Through Lean Practices

In line with Hess’ commitment to Lean practices, we held an enterprisewide “Go to Gemba” event in January 2017 to engage our workforce directly through open-ended conversations about pre-job planning. Gemba means “the real place” in Japanese and, in practice, “Going to Gemba” means having EHS and Lean experts travel to our worksites to observe safety behaviors and interview personnel. Hess asset and central function leadership conducted Gemba site visits at several of our operational locations. In 2017, including those in Equatorial Guinea, Denmark, the Gulf of Mexico, Malaysia, North Dakota, Ohio and West Texas.

Based on our learnings from the field visits, we were able to identify root causes that have the potential to impact our safety performance and also develop countermeasures to address those root causes. One of the countermeasures, for example, was to develop a standard work instruction (SWI) to improve the pre-job planning process. The project team held a kaizen (Japanese for “improvement”) workshop to collaboratively develop the SWI, which was field tested and ultimately finalized later in the year. We are planning a follow-up exercise in 2018 to review the status of the SWI’s adoption by our operational locations.