SBM Offshore Guyana advancing HSSE through multiple awareness programmes

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Over the last several years, safety has become a key topic in the local business sector, with the movement to improve and advance Health, Safety, Security and the Environment (HSSE) being propelled by the oil and gas industry. SBM Offshore—the builder and operator of the Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels operating offshore Guyana—is on a mission to ensure that safety remains at the forefront of their operations, and in doing so has been imparting knowledge and training to local businesses in this regard, given that there are strict HSSE prerequisites for working in the industry.

The company has embarked on this campaign since its entrance into Guyana over six years ago and is doing so through awareness programmes such as its Green Hat Programme and engagements with local businesses. Recently, the company held two engagements—Vendor Day and Life Day—where the importance of safety in the industry was emphasised, and the work the company is doing to ensure its prioritisation was highlighted.

A Blood Drive was one of the features of this year’s Life Day observances

HSSE Advisor at SBM Offshore Guyana, Mr. Rafael Magalhães shared that over 60 sessions of the company’s Green Hat Programme have been conducted so far. “We started this programme in Guyana since December. This is a Guyanese programme in partnership with SBM Offshore and ExxonMobil. Since January, every week, twice a week we have been having these sessions every Wednesday and Sunday,” he stated. According to Mr. Magalhães, collaboration is a crucial aspect to ensuring safe and responsible operations.

“Collaboration is working together to achieve a common goal,” he said, later adding, “Our daily actions and decisions are driven by consequences we think are positive, immediate and certain.” The HSSE Advisor noted that 80 to 90 percent of accidents are caused by unsafe acts, stressing that every accident and fatality is the result of significant unsafe acts and conditions. A critical component of countering accidents and incidents, he iterated, is a shift in behaviour. “What influences behaviour? We can talk about culture and the way we’re brought up. We have the activators, the behaviours themselves, and the consequences of that behaviour,” he said, adding, “The only thing we have to work with is the behaviour that we identify that causes the unsafe act.”

One of the thematic areas of HSSE at SBM Offshore is the ‘Observe and Intervene’ principle, which is geared towards the prevention of accidents. “The main reasons why we observe and intervene in an at-risk behaviour is to prevent loss at an early stage and promote safety culture evolution,” he noted, pointing out that this is in keeping with the ultimate objective of taking care of people. “We don’t want near misses. But when they happen, it is an alert. A near miss means that there was an unsafe condition, and maybe a very close unsafe act so there was an incident. And that’s what we try to prevent,” he posited. 

Minister of Labour, Hon. Joseph Hamilton has commended the company on its strides in ensuring safety—a major focal point of his Ministry. He described SBM Offshore Guyana’s efforts as ‘commendable’, adding, “It is good to see that as a company, you have not only recognised the importance of safety and health at work but you are taking the actions that are necessary to make this a reality for the benefit of all employees.”

Guyana’s Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton, speaking at Life Day 2023

He told SBM Offshore personnel that the Government values such efforts that are geared towards the safeguarding of human resources in the country.

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