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PetroSA: Putting HSE management on every employee’s agenda.

New Group HSE management system and procedures, driving cultural change

oil & gas

Client challenge









The Petroleum Oil and Gas Corporation of South Africa (SOC) Limited (PetroSA) is the national oil company of South Africa. Our client’s core activities include the exploration and production of oil and natural gas, production of synthetic fuels from offshore gas at one of the world’s largest Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) refineries, development of domestic fuels infrastructure and marketing and trading of oil and petrochemicals.

PetroSA was resolved to delivering a single, group-wide approach to HSE management across its entire scope of operations. This needed to align the organisation’s systems internally, and externally to international standards. Key to this project was driving stronger workforce engagement with health, safety and environmental issues.

PetroSA chose us to help develop a new group HSE management system, implement new systems and procedures and assist in driving cultural change within the organisation.

How we helped

Following initial scoping meetings with HSE Leaders at PetroSA HQ in Cape Town, we developed a new HSE management system (MS) manual for PetroSA’s review and approval. The document set out the proposed HSE management system framework and contained a new set of twelve HSE management system standards. The standards covered the scope of PetroSA’s activities across the petroleum supply chain – from exploration and production to the supply of domestic fuels – and aligned with the requirements of OHSAS 18001, ISO 14001, CCPS PSM and Responsible Care®. A critical success factor in this stage of the project was the early decision to overlay the HSE management requirements onto PetroSA's existing processes. This ensured that HSE was embedded and integrated into the ‘PetroSA way’ of doing business.

We then delivered a gap analysis of our client’s existing HSE management arrangements at a corporate and business unit level, comparing these with the requirements of the new standards. The work highlighted areas where development was needed, as well as opportunities to share existing good practice.

A prioritised implementation plan was prepared and agreed with PetroSA and the project moved into the implementation phase. Working closely with client team members, we provided helped to prepare and implement new corporate HSE standards, guidelines and procedures, and prepare roll-out plans and training.

Following launch of the new requirements, we helped PetroSA develop plans for local implementation. We also supported a programme of ‘cascade’ training, providing training material and ‘train the trainer’ packages to PetroSA employees.

Insight & Client feedback

Implementation of the new HSE-MS standards affected HSE management arrangements at all levels in PetroSA. The risk management and audit standards proved particularly demanding since they required an integrated risk-based approach to implementation.

Prior to launch of the new system, we delivered a programme of HSE leadership training designed to drive engagement with the new HSE-MS framework. This training was delivered and customised for different levels of the organisation from the executive committee to front-line supervisors. An HSE engagement pack helped raise the board’s awareness of HSE accountabilities.

Client feedback 

“At no time did you fail to offer a solution to what seemed from our side a major problem, and you have consistently delivered work of an exceptional standard.”

Acting SHEQ Manager


Business benefits

Our support helped PetroSA develop and implement a new HSE management system that complied with internationally recognised standards. There were four main benefits to the organisation.

  1. Enhanced visibility of HSE risks, from corporate risk registers to detailed assurance tasks.

  2. Greater HSE awareness, engagement and competence among staff.

  3. Ability to demonstrate that HSE risks were effectively being controlled and managed.

  4. A consistent approach to HSE across the organisation: All of our client’s business units now apply the same standards to manage their HSE risks, embedding the HSE-MS framework and standards across the organisation.

For the first time, employees have a framework within which to understand and control HSE risk, and to provide 'assurance' from the front-line workplace to the boardroom.

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