PSRG/RICHARDSON HEALTH, SAFETY, SECURITY AND ENVIRONMENT (HSSE) FORUM – 2017
The 9th Edition of the Annual PSRG – RICHARDSON HSSE Forum themed “Enhancing HSSE Performance: Exploring Social Investment Initiatives” was held on the 19th & 20th of September, 2017 at Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island Lagos.
The Forum kicked off with an Opening prayer, led by the Master of Ceremony Mr. Temiloluwa Awonbiogbon. This was immediately followed up with the Safety Moment, in which he enlightened the audience on a few safety precautions including the emergency exits, muster point, etc.
The Welcome remarks were taken by Mr. Akin Osuntoki, Managing Director/C.E.O, Richardson Oil and Gas Limited, who informed the participants that the forum is part of the Company’s initiative towards the identification of gaps and build bridges in HSSE Management across various industry strata, emphasize the importance of HSSE practice in business operations and also educate industrialist that the benefits of good HSSE practice far outweighs the economic cost.
The Forums Objectives were;
- To create a networking platform were Participants and Industry Experts can come together and discuss about Emergency and Disaster Management.
- To encourage active scanning of Industry Environment and set-up of Interpretative Frameworks.
- To create an avenue for feedback from Regulatory Entities.
- To sensitize Participants and Industry Experts about the importance of Emergency Preparedness.
- To create an Informed Platform for Launching New Products/Services.
- To establish a Global Entity; ready to explore and exploit opportunities in the Africa and Middle East Regions.
DAY 1: Tuesday, 19th September 2017
Session 1: Enhancing HSSE Performance: Exploring Innovative Social Investment Initiatives
Mr. Bayo Ojulari, Managing Director of SNEPCO, delivered the Opening Remarks and applauded Richardson Oil and Gas Limited and Process Safety and Reliability Group – USA (PSRG) for the sustained success of organizing the annual forum. While laying emphasis on the importance of a healthy HSSE practice in the workforce in Nigeria, he briefly defined safety as a behavior and practice that sustains a process, the people, equipment’s that underline the successes in our industry. HSSE in totality should not be viewed by employers as an inconvenient expense, but rather as a measure that allows for organizational sustainability in the long term.
The Executive General Manager, Deep Water District Total E&P Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Chinyere Uche (Representing The Deputy Managing Director, Deep Water District, Total E&P Nigeria Limited – Mr. Ahmadu-Kida Musa) delivered the Goodwill Message and lauded the initiative upon which the Forum was initially founded. She further buttressed this by affirming that the forum provided a unique platform to learn, unlearn and relearn.
Mr. Emmanuel Ekpeyong, Social Investment Manager of Shell Petroleum Development Company, kicked-off the session with the first presentation of the conference titled: Enhancing HSSE Performance: Exploring Innovative Social Investment Initiatives.
He briefly explained the two types of Social Investments; Voluntary and Mandatory Social Investments. He proceeded by enlightening the audience on some of the Social Investments implemented by Shell Nigeria including but not limited to; Scholarship programs for Undergraduates (for which students observed to have acquired excellent grades are recruited and mentored by Shell employees), Leadership Empowerment/Enterprise Development, Community Health Development Schemes, Grants for Small to Medium Enterprises.
Prof. Olayinka Omigbodun, Professor and Head of Psychiatry, University College Hospital (UCH) took the Second presentation of the Conference, titled: Economy in Recession: Managing the Mental Health of the Workforce.
She began by defining Mental Health according to WHO as a state of wellbeing, in which the individual realizes his/her capabilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, is able to make a contribution to his/her community. She proceeded by discussing two practical case studies pertaining to Mental Health issues, addressing the significant impact of Family Feuds, Unhealthy Working Conditions and Financial Recession. She further highlighted a few factors that have brought Nigeria to its current economic state such as;
- Post-Independence political instability
- Mismanagement of the Oil and Gas Industry
- Global fall in Crude prices
- Decayed Social Infrastructure
- Overdependence on foreign goods
- Defective Legislation
- Inadequate attention to the Health Sector
- Security Insurgency
As an addendum, she voiced her concerns as regards the use of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as a criteria with which the wealth of a Nation is being evaluated, as this sometimes results in a pseudo-assessment of the actual state of the Nation. In a bid to ensure improved assessment, she recommended carrying out this analysis based on Manufactured Capital, Human Capital and Natural Capital.
In conclusion, she advised that to improve the Mental Health of the Workforce, there needs to be synergy between the public and private sectors.
At the end of this session, participants made their contributions and asked the ensuing questions;
Questions and Answers Session
- Q: How can we ensure that the policies being executed by the government are for the benefit of the populace?
A: This can be addressed by implementing set regulations and structures upon which policies are made to tackle National issues such as Education, Healthcare, etc. Resources are required for the academia to further research and provide a justifiable basis for which the policies are to be made.
- Q: Did the person of interest in the case study recover from Mental Health breakdown?
A: The patient recovered. Depression is an ailment that is very easy to treat via two techniques; Psychological and Drug treatments.
- Q: Through what means can the Shell scholarship schemes be accessed?
A: Shell scholarship schemes can be accessed by referring to the company website and also through social media platforms.
- Q: What can be done to address the Mental Health challenges of retired army officials, in preparation for life outside the military?
A: Concerns of early retirement are not only peculiar to the military but apply to every sector. As such, the government would need to take responsibility regarding this matter and develop plans which would be inculcated into educating the populace on proper preparation for retirement.
- Q: On a global scale, are there criteria for categorizing nations as psychiatrically ill?
A: All nations worldwide have challenges of mental health. The degree/magnitude of these challenges vary as a result of crisis faced with, such as war, economic recession, etc. In spite of this, the efforts of the government in trying to resolve mental health issues should be channeled into mental health awareness and improving the standard of living, rather than on treatment measures only.
- Q: Just as we have equipment’s to measure blood pressure rate, are there tools available to gauge one’s mental state?
A: Mental Health as an ailment, differs from blood pressure and therefore cannot be measured. It however can be easily identified via symptoms including poor hygiene, insomnia, social isolation, etc.
- Q: What is the progress being made as regards employing the use of biotechnology to help combat oil spills?
A: A lot of resources are currently being deployed into research pertaining to the use of biotechnology.
- Q: Won’t withdrawing scholarships from beneficiaries due to a drop below the minimum requirement in academic performance lead to adverse effects on the Mental Health of the affected students?
A: Candidates aren’t taken off completely after falling below the minimum grade requirement, as there is the opportunity to be reinstated back on the scheme in the following academic year once the candidate can meet up with the minimum requirement again.
A few comments were made following the Questions and Answers section;
- Richardson Oil and Gas Limited should make an attempt to organize a web forum, and have quarterly workshops on HSSE. The objective is for the quarterly workshops to act as supplements to the annual forum.
- A lot of issues being discussed are aimed at the public sector, hence there should be greater involvement of the public sector in the HSSE Forum.
- There is a need for adequate resources to be deployed into the development and education of the middle class in the industrial sector.
DAY 1: Tuesday, 19th September 2017
Session 2: Health/Industrial Hygiene - Environment
Dr. Okon Akiba, National Chairman of Occupational and Environmental Health Physicians of Nigeria commenced the afternoon session by giving a brief overview of Health/Industrial Hygiene - Environment. He proceeded by highlighting each of the topics to be discussed in the session.
Mr. Dele Olaoye, Managing Director/CEO Q-SHE Limited, delivered the first presentation of the afternoon session titled: Enhancing Health and Safety Culture through Effective Communication. He defined HSSE Culture as the level of awareness and practice of HSSE, positive attitude and behavioral characteristics in the workplace. He discussed further on the need for proper and effective communication, as well as discussing some of its deterrents.
The level of priority placed on HSSE varies amongst employers and employees. There are four categories of reactions towards HSSE Culture;
- Pathological – Individuals who have a casual approach towards HSSE and do nothing about it.
- Reactive – Individuals who only take any form of action relating to HSSE when an incident has occurred.
- Proactive – Individuals who place more emphasis on prevention of incidents, hence are constantly working on improving safety practices.
- Regenerational – Similar to Proactive individuals, and yet continually seek out methods to further ensure safer environments.
Mr. Ehi Iden, Chief Executive Officer of Occupational Health and Safety Managers, delivered the second presentation of the afternoon session titled: Emerging Health Risks and Future Challenges: The Way Forward. With further advancements in technology, numerous health risks arise as well, such as electronic wastes, industrial accidents, etc.
Asides the impact of technological advancement, the recent economic recession has created serious negative effects on the mental state of the workforce. At the moment, there is greater demand being placed for productivity and efficiency, with fewer resources available.
Mr. Georgios Radoglou, HSE Manager of Flour Mills Nigeria, gave the next presentation titled: Enforcing Occupational Safety Regulations: Towards Enhanced Productivity. He commenced by giving a brief insight into the work scope of Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN), stating that they not only mill flour, but are also into the production of other culinary products such as pasta, noodles, snacks, etc. He progressed by discussing the improved results recorded by FMN pertaining to HSSE as new policies were implemented to ensure much safer working conditions and compliance with safety regulations. A detailed test is required for all employees of FMN as regards safety practices to ensure the rate of incidents are kept at a minimal level. He emphasized further the essence of having a detailed risk assessment program, as it’s upon the findings that employer’s would be able to sensitize the workforce on all vital safety regulations.
Mr. V. O. Imevbore, Managing Director of Environmental Resources Managers Limited, gave the concluding presentation for the afternoon session titled: Protecting and Preserving Our Environment: Confronting Realities. He stressed that a vital aspect to protecting and preserving our environment is to acknowledge the changes to our world. He addressed the dire state of sanitation in our environment, as untreated effluents from the production of culinary products, industrial wastes, etc. are being disposed off improperly into the Lagoon. This is the major cause of surface water pollution in our environment. He raised the following environmental concerns;
- Surface water pollution
- Climate change
- Reduction in water resources
- Sand mining
- Flooding, as a result of encroachment into wetlands
- Air and noise pollution, gas flaring
- Dependency upon natural resources for mostly consumption rather than development
He shared the same opinion with Prof. Olayinka that measuring a nation’s wealth solely on GDP, doesn’t give a proper assessment of the state of that nation. He proposed that total human development should be used to adequately assess a nation’s development using the following criteria;
- Gross national income of the populace, etc.
At the end of this session, participants made their contributions and asked the ensuing questions;
Questions and Answers Session
- Q: How does FMN handle certification of third party contractors, in ensuring they comply with the HSSE standards of the company?
A: FMN demands that all third party contractors submit of qualification to perform specialized jobs. In the situation whereby no certifications are available, FMN can then proceed to provide trainings for the personnel.
- Q: What are the measures currently put in place to address environmental problems?
A: Regulations have been put in place regarding environmental issues. However, the challenge is ensuring that these policies are enforced.
- Q: Is there a platform that allows for initiatives towards combating environmental issues?
A: The Nigerian Environmental Society (NES) acts in this regard. They have bimonthly meetings and are currently working on some environmental projects for the Lagos Lagoon.
- Q: Are there any adverse effects of the economic recession on the implementation of HSSE policies and regulations in FMN?
A: FMN has a very strict policy on HSSE compliance. As such, despite the recession, there has been no compromise on the part of FMN towards HSSE.
- Q: Are there regulations in place to vet the compliance of manufacturing industries towards HSSE policies?
A: Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment have been authorized to carry out inspections at factories, to ensure proper compliance with HSSE requirements.
At the end of the questions and answers session, the raffle draw commenced as the final activity for the opening day of the PSRG-Richardson Oil and Gas Limited HSSE Forum, 2017.
DAY 2: Wednesday, 20th September 2017
Session 1: Safety
The program commenced with the opening prayer after which the Safety session ensued. The Safety session was chaired by Mr. Evaristus Uzamere, Chairman of safety Engineering and Fire Consultants Nigeria Limited. In his opening remarks, he applauded the untiring efforts of the PSRG- RICHARDSON alliance in organizing the Forum. He also emphasized the importance and prioritization of Safety in business operations both in the Oil and Gas Industry as well as all sectors of the economy. He stressed that one of the greatest threats to HSSE, had to do with challenges faced as regards Leadership, and why it is very important now more than ever for everyone to be active stakeholders in HSSE culture.
Dr. Adaora Ogbu, Head, Occupational Safety and Health Department of Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment, rendered the first presentation of the safety session titled: HSSE Enforcement: Law and Practice. She briefly discussed the laws guiding occupational safety and practice in Nigeria, such as the Factories Act implemented and enforced by the Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment. She made mention of some of the roles of inspectors, but dwelt more on the roles of the Federal Government in constitutional provisions for occupational health and safety;
- Enforce applicable legislations
- Conduct inspections
- Dissemination of information
- Resolve HSSE disputes
- Promote trainings, education and research.
In the concluding part of her presentation, she noted that there is a lacuna when it comes to information dissemination from management to employees on healthy safety practices, and did advocate for the need of optimal awareness for employees on HSSE practices.
Mr. Michael Olapade, Founder of Hymic Nigeria Limited, gave the second presentation of the day on: Curbing the Menace of Road Transport Accidents in Nigeria: A practical Guide. He began by making a clarification between accidents and crashes as is viewed by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC). With accident being defined as a sudden occurrence, road transport incidents should rather be termed as crashes and not accidents. This is taking into cognizance that a significant portion of road accidents are as a result of negligence or carelessness on the part of motorists.
While the FRSC have devised a few means of addressing road transport incidents including a new elaborate program to properly tutor first time motorists before issuing out a driver’s license, he explained that the bulk of the responsibility inevitably lies with individuals and thus urged everyone to ensure they educate themselves on proper driving ethics and vehicle maintenance. He concluded by making three video presentations on the implications of unsafe practices by commuters (pedestrians and motorists), such as the use of mobile phones on the highway, negligence towards road traffic signs, etc.
The third and final paper for the morning session was presented by Mr. Promise Aberenika, Safety Engineering Manager, Total E & P Nigeria Limited and it was titled “Preventing Process Incidents: The Role of Employers and Employees”.
He gave the definition of Process Safety as the mitigation or prevention of accidents that emanate from processes or process systems. Process Safety Management entails the entire management system, which includes mitigating or preventing fire and hazardous releases or explosions. He illustrated the consequences of negligence towards process incidents, and thus, emphasized the major role of both management staff and employees.
Furthermore, statistics show that more than 90% of process incidents are as a result of human errors. Hence, proper awareness is vital towards the workforce, to ensure process incidents are significantly minimized. He concluded by proposing a practical procedure to addressing human-induced process incidents;
- Identify incidents which occur as a result of human error.
- Analyze the error.
- The employer should take responsibility in carrying out an analysis of the working condition.
- Evaluate techniques to address the errors.
Once the risk assessment program has been completed, findings can be evaluated on the organization’s risk matrix. If the risk assessment falls in a region not acceptable, then reduction measures have to be implemented.
At the end of this session, participants made their contributions and asked questions.
Questions and Answers Session
- Q: Any disparity in the enforcement of policies towards SME’s and large scale organizations?
A: “Common Sense” approach is applied to smaller and medium enterprises. What is done instead is to educate these enterprises on cost-effective techniques of implementing appropriate safety practices.
- Q: Are there policies put in place to protect employees from facing disciplinary actions from employers for voicing out concerns over unsafe practices?
A: There is an established law to ensure the identity of employees who voice out safety concerns to inspectors are protected. Asides this, employers are not permitted to take any disciplinary actions against such employees.
- Q: What is the status quo on having a merger between the Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC)?
A: The campaign for a merger has encountered difficulties majorly as a result of interests that aren’t particularly aligned. This is because while the FRSC work directly for the Federal Government, the VIO work for the State Government, and as such are a contributing factor to the Internally Generated Revenue of the state.
- Q: Any policy put in place to address concerns over designs of public transportation vehicles?
A: The governing body, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), have been made aware of the designs appropriate for commercial vehicles. What is required at the moment is enforce compliance to these specifications.
- Q: What are the steps taken by the FRSC to curb importation of non-authentic tyres into the country?
A: The onus is on individuals to ensure they vet properly the automobile parts and accessories that are being purchased for their vehicles.
- Q: How are safety policies and regulations in the process industry faring in comparison to the commendable standards of the Aviation Industry?
A: Safety standards are the same for all management systems. They differ only in terms of technical content. The reason for the laudable standards of the aviation industry is a factor of the perceived risk being higher than the reality of the risk posed by the sector. Hence the high perceived risk has led to an inclination in terms of thoroughness being deployed in this sector. But process risks are being improved upon as well.
- Q: In terms of verifying vehicle particulars, what differs the FRSC from the Police?
A: The roles of the three bodies are complementary. But in as much as they might request for similar documents, the documents are assessed for varying purposes.
- Q: Are the FRSC authorized to mount road blocks, especially on the highway?
A: The FRSC are authorized to flag down vehicles for inspection as they deem fit. Hence, they operate patrolling systems.
- Q: Is there an assessment plan to evaluate roads that need to be fixed?
A: The FRSC carry out monthly auditing of roads. Reports are sent to the State Ministry of Works and the Federal Ministry of Works.
- Q: Are FRSC officers trained on providing medical aid to accident victims?
A: FRSC officers are well trained in this regard and are also certified to provide render this service.
- Q: Are there initiatives towards creating awareness and educating road users on driving ethics?
A: The FRSC are authorized to train all motorists on safe driving policies, use of road signs, vehicle maintenance, etc.
The session chair gave his closing remarks at the end of the Questions and Answers segment. He applauded the organizers of the forum, the speakers and the participants in the discussants session. He briefly the highlighted the laudable records of the aviation industry, but yet called for more efforts toward ground safety as well and not just flight safety.
DAY 2: Wednesday, 20th September 2017
Session 2: Security
This session was chaired by Mr. Ranti Omole, Chairman of the Radial Circle Group. As a precursor to the final session, he gave a general recap of all that had happened in the forum, as well as a fundamental introduction into the Security Session.
The afternoon session kicked off with a presentation by Mr. Dare Adeyeri, Chief Executive Officer of New Usual Limited, on “Mitigating the Risk of Advanced Malware and Next Generation Exploits in ICT Infrastructure”.
He defined malware as malicious ware, indicating a bad situation. The factors necessary for a successful malware attack are;
- Susceptible system
- Capability of the attacker.
He went ahead to briefly explain a predominant attack, the Backdoor attack which occurs very frequently. This malware attack bypasses the normal security protocol of the system, hence can cause lasting damages. Further developments made in technology come with associated risks, and as such the need arises for creating defensive mechanisms. This can be achieved in three stages;
- Designing and implementing of prevention mechanisms.
- Analysis and frequent auditing of the defense mechanisms, for timely detection of vulnerability.
- Immediate remediation, when an attack occurs.
Mr. Rotimi Olubade, National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers of Nigeria (NATCOMS), gave the concluding presentation of the afternoon session titled “Security Management: Devising a Protective Approach to Security Threats”. He briefly defined security as the absence of danger or fear.
He delved into security programs and discussed some of the factors necessary for establishing a security program including procedures, systems required to be put in place, and workforce needed for implementation. Some of the objectives of having a functioning security program include;
- To deter criminals from wreaking havoc.
- Detect scheming motives of unwanted personnel.
- Delay objectives of such culprits.
- Ensure denial of access control.
At the end of the afternoon session, participants made their contributions with a single question asked.