«PetroKazakhstan»: caring about safety, protection of labor and the environment
Risk of technogenic accidents and damage to the environment is an inevitable component of technological progress. Growth of such a risk is a problem affecting the interests of everyone, so a responsible attitude to environmental safety and labor protection is becoming the norm for all large industrial companies, including those in the oil and gas industry, where the stakes of such risks are particularly high.
PetroKazakhstan Group of companies, operating in the area of hydrocarbon exploration, production and processing, declared its goal to become one of the leaders in health, safety and environment (HSE) among the leading oil producing operators in the Republic of Kazakhstan. HSE management, built on a project-based and, above all, proactive approach, is among the top priorities of the company.
Integrated HSE management system at PetroKazakhstan is based on the requirements of international standards ISO 45001:2018 Occupational Health and Safety Management System and ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System. Top management and every employee of PetroKazakhstan Group of companies make every effort to improve the environmental performance of production and occupational safety indicators.
Information disclosure and data transparency are an integral part of improving safety culture in the company, and the reports of PetroKazakhstan business units and joint ventures have a mandatory section on best HSE practices, describing the main activities, areas of development, data on implementation of new technologies and work practices. Some of them, such as the practice of behavioral safety audits (observations), implemented in two business units of PetroKazakhstan within the framework of KORGAU and AMAN projects, were further applied in other business units of the company and joint ventures.
Over the years, the company has accumulated and analyzed experience in implementing a system of innovative environmental, health and safety measures. This experience can be successfully applied in other oil and gas companies of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
For example, PetroKazakhstan Kumkol Resources JSC (PKKR) holds an annual contest at Kumkol oil field under the slogan "Fire is easier to prevent than to extinguish!» where up to 15-16 teams (4 persons in each) from various workshops of the company and joint ventures take part. The aim of the competition is to consolidate the practical skills acquired by employees during theoretical classes under the program of fire-technical minimum.
It is worth noting that the practical exercises of the competition are as close as possible to the real fire conditions, and the equipment used (mazes, overpass, control panel, gate valve, etc.), are similar to the equipment of hazardous industrial facilities. This makes the competition as realistic as possible and contributes to practicing emergency response skills.
Enterprises of PetroKazakhstan Group of companies, in addition to unconditional compliance with the environmental legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan, being a socially responsible business, contribute to the implementation of various environmental projects. For example, employees of PetroKazakhstan Oil Products LLP (PKOP) took an active part in the greening of Shymkent city and Turkestan region. Together with Municipal Public Utilities Institution "Zhasyl Beldeu" and the Department of Natural Resources of Shymkent city 1,000 plants and trees were planted. The plant employees also took part in the World Ecological Action "Earth Hour". This is an international action during which World Wildlife Fund calls people to switch off the lights for one hour as a symbol of caring about the future of the planet. On March 27, 2021 the lighting of the loading rack and the adjacent area of the refinery was turned off for one hour.
Within the framework of the "World Cleanup Day" volunteer clean-up was held, during which the territory at riverheads of the Koshkar-ata River and the adjacent public recreation area were cleaned up. Taking care of educating the younger generation about environmental culture and respectful attitude to the nature of their native land, PKOP held an online contest dedicated to the "World Environment Day" among children of employees aged from 7 to 14 years old. 158 children took part in the contest, and the 33 most active participants were awarded valuable prizes and gifts.
Experience of Almaty branch of PetroKazakhstan Overseas Services Inc. is also noteworthy, where the "Safe Office" project has been implemented for two years, within which company employees film and produce short three- to five-minute videos on HSE topics. Ten videos have already been made on such relevant topics as: "COVID-19", "Vaccination", "Safe Driving", "Green Office", "Earthquake", "Fire" and others. The videos are posted on available information resources of the company and broadcast via internal telecommunications channels.
Since 2013, the company's business units have been implementing the "Employee Incentive Program for Reporting Potentially Dangerous Situations and Hazardous Conditions/Activities". Its main objective is to develop the right attitude to safety, raise awareness and acquire safe behavior skills among employees with regard to identifying risks and preventing accidents at work, and intensify proactive actions aimed at preventing losses due to possible accidents. As a result, the impact of hazardous and harmful production factors on the health of employees is reduced and the safety of technological processes is improved.
Over the years of the Program, more than 350 potentially dangerous situations and dangerous conditions / activities have been identified, and 222 PetroKazakhstan employees received cash bonuses / incentives and were awarded certificates and badges "Safety First!" for timely identification of high risks.
Over the past two years, PetroKazakhstan Group of companies has accumulated considerable experience against COVID-19. An important measure aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 has been vaccination and regular express-testing of personnel at production facilities. The company strictly follows the sanitary-epidemiological requirements, within which the algorithm of sanitary-epidemiological and preventive measures is developed and the daily work on prevention of spread of COVID-19 continues without interruption. Each employee is duly provided with protective equipment, the rules of social distancing are followed, preventive treatment of public and private places and vehicles is carried out, information work on disease prevention and explanation of the requirements of regulations of the Chief State Sanitary Inspector of Kazakhstan is regularly carried out.