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The safety and security of our employees, our contractors and the communities in which we operate is the number one priority for the Corrib Gas Partners. Our overall safety performance objective – Goal Zero – is to have no incidents that might put our people, neighbours or facilities at risk.
With safety in mind, every option for the design of the Corrib project was considered. Offshore processing was examined and deemed to be less safe, as it involved the transportation of workers to an offshore platform in difficult weather conditions.
The Corrib field will be developed as a subsea production facility with onshore processing. This is not only the safest option but also the most environmentally and technically viable, representing best international practice for a field of this type.
12 Life-Saving Rules
We have 12 clear and simple rules relating to activities with the highest potential safety risk, in order to ensure our people are protected.
These Life-Saving Rules are incorporated into contractors’ terms and conditions of employment and form a core part of our business relationship with these companies. Recognising the benefit of this approach, many contracting companies have incorporated the Life-Saving Rules into their own safety practices, allowing them to carry these rules forward to future projects.
Shell Safety Day
Safety Day is a major highlight in the Shell calendar when over 100,000 employees worldwide, and many more contractors, unite to focus on safety and make plans to take the next steps on the journey towards Goal Zero. It’s a day for sharing ideas and good practices, to work together on plans to deliver continuous improvement in safety performance, and to reflect on our personal commitment to safety.
Shell’s many gas plants and pipelines worldwide operate without negative impact on local communities. The Corrib pipeline design has been subjected to a thorough Quantified Risk Assessment, which has been evaluated by the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources as well as independent experts.
The normal operating pressure in the pipeline will be up to 120 bar. This will reduce in accordance with the pressure in the Corrib reservoir falling as the gas supply depletes.
In 2005, the then Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources (now DCENR) commissioned consultant company, Advantica, to carry out an independent safety review to address concerns regarding the safety of the onshore section of the Corrib pipeline.
The findings of this review were published in 2006 and concluded that “proper consideration was given to safety issues in the selection process for the preferred design option and the locations of the landfall, pipeline route and terminal.”
In their report, Advantica made a number of recommendations suggesting that if followed “there will be a substantial safety margin in the pipeline design and the pipeline design and proposed route should be accepted as meeting or exceeding international standards in terms of acceptability of risk and international best practice for high pressure pipelines.”
Recognising that the implementation of Advantica’s recommendations would further enhance the safety of the pipeline, the Corrib Gas Partners committed to implementing all conditions. Most significantly, a Landfall Valve Installation has been incorporated into the design to automatically shut off the pressure from offshore in the very unlikely event that the pressure in the onshore pipeline should rise towards 144 bar.
The Corrib Gas Partners have placed a premium on site safety at the Bellanaboy Bridge gas terminal - once the largest construction site in the country with more than 1,000 employees.
Construction sites, by their nature, can be hazardous so promoting and developing a culture of safe working is vital.
All workers are given a safety induction and there are regular “toolbox talks” at which the emphasis on safety is stressed. The Contractor of the Month Award was introduced by CMC - the construction management company – as part of a promotion to ensure the highest safety standards on the site.
Safety performance on site is measured in hours worked without a lost time incident (LTI). The significant milestone of one million man hours worked without a lost time incident was achieved in 2008, 2010 and again in 2011. In 2013 a significant double milestone in the safety record of the Corrib gas project was marked, as Shell staff and contractors celebrated 4,000,000 hours and two years worked without any time off due to incident or injury.
As part of its safety at work programme, the Corrib Gas Partners give workers the opportunity to complete a Defensive Driving Course. This includes theory and practical training and is designed to encourage drivers commuting to and from work to behave in a safe and courteous manner.
The safety and welfare of workers is always the number one priority and they are encouraged to apply the safety message to all their daily activities, whether at work or at home.
Shell E&P Ireland Limited is part of Shell’s EP Europe organisation, which has extensive experience in operating subsea developments and has safely operated major onshore and offshore gas fields in Europe since the 1960s.
The overall health, safety and environmental goal for the Corrib development project is that the development and its associated activities will not give rise to accidents, personnel injuries or ill health, or to material losses or damage to the environment.
To achieve this the terminal has been designed in accordance with all relevant standards and codes. Hazard identification activities and Hazard and Operability Studies from integral parts of the engineering effort for the project, and will be conducted to cover design, installation, construction, commissioning, start-up, normal operations, maintenance and decommissioning activities.
All personnel activities will be carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Safety and Welfare at Work Act, 1989 as amended.
Corrib’s Driver Safety Awareness Programme (DSAP) was established to create a strong culture of safety and responsible road usage among employees and contractors alike, for their own benefit and that of the community around them. The programme has been running since construction of the Corrib terminal began in 2006, with numerous different initiatives being used to reinforce the important message of road safety.
In 2010 alone, more than one million kilometres were covered in road travel relating to the Corrib gas project. Recognising this high volume of travel, along with challenging weather conditions and poor quality secondary roads in some parts of Erris, the DSAP ensures a road safety focus is maintained.
A key component of the programme is the emphasis on journey planning. Staff are instructed to always use public transport as an alternative to driving. If alternatives are not available, they are encouraged to start their trip during daylight hours. Taking rest breaks from driving every two hours is mandatory. Round trips from Dublin to Mayo in a single day are not allowed. Staff are asked to switch off their mobile phones at the start of a journey, to eliminate what is a significant safety hazard.
Defensive driver training is a specific initiative available to all staff working under this programme. It involves two half days of theory and practical driver training, with particular emphasis on preparing people to deal with the unexpected, and potentially dangerous, behaviour of other road users. To date, almost 1,300 staff working in Mayo and Dublin have completed this training.
A Road Safety Task Force, chaired by the Managing Director of SEPIL, was set up to review the progress of ongoing initiatives, evaluate the potential for new developments and agree the appropriate methods of communicating to staff and contractors. SEPIL also works closely with external bodies including the Road Safety Authority and Gill’s School of Motoring, ensuring that Corrib’s DSAP represents best practice in this area.
In 2010, a Road Safety DVD, specific to the Corrib project, was produced by SEPIL, in conjunction with Gill’s School of Motoring. This was distributed to all SEPIL staff and contractors working on the Corrib project.
In December 2013, the Road Safety Authority recognised SEPIL’s achievement in road safety awarding the company a Leading Light Award.