Our HSE Vision is an extension of our core values of Excellence, Trust, Respect and Responsibility, and reflects our commitment to conducting our activities in a manner that ensures the health and safety of our people and those involved directly or indirectly in our operations.
This is Vermilion’s highest priority. Nothing is more important than the safety of staff, partners, suppliers, communities and all those who work with us.
Protecting the environment immediately follows safety in our priorities. While this presents as a critical operational risk from an adverse environmental incident, it also offers important opportunities to improve technology and processes to both protect the environment and contribute to operational excellence and return to shareholders.
We operate by the mantra of “HSE: Everywhere. Everyday. Everyone.” because we believe that striving for a healthy workplace free of incidents is key to efficient and successful operations that will continue to generate strong returns to our employees, shareholders and the communities that we operate in. When it comes to HSE, protecting our people and the places they work, play and call home is what really matters most.
Our HSE Policy is also our promise.
It applies to all Vermilion activities, and provides an overall commitment to key principles for managing health, safety and the environment. The policy, which is the basis for Vermilion’s HSE objectives and targets, outlines the overall direction of our organization with respect to HSE and contains a commitment to continuous improvement:
Vermilion is committed to ensuring we conduct our activities in a manner that will protect the health and safety of our employees and contractors, and the public. Our HSE vision is to fully integrate Health, Safety and Environment into our business, where our culture is recognized as a model by industry and stakeholders, resulting in a workplace free of incidents.
Vermilion will maintain health, safety and environmental practices and procedures that comply with or exceed regulatory requirements and industry standards. Vermilion's HSE actions will reinforce our corporate Core Values of Excellence, Trust, Respect, and Responsibility.
Vermilion Energy will:
Hazard awareness, incident prevention and environmental awareness comprise an integral part of any job. It is a joint effort that requires continuous support of everyone who works at Vermilion. The protection of health, safety and the environment must be a key part of the planning and execution of every task. All those engaged in work for Vermilion shall be aware of this policy and its contents, and shall commit themselves to its implementation.
We require third-party contractors and sub-contractors – our vendors – to be HSE pre-qualified prior to commencing service work. This helps ensure that they have an HSE program in place that meets or exceeds our requirements. We also observe and interact with our vendors on an ongoing basis to ensure that they are adhering to Vermilion’s HSE practices, procedures and rules.
We hold mandatory monthly HSE meetings in every field district that all staff (field and administration) attend and senior management routinely participate in. On a quarterly basis, the HSE district meetings are replaced by HSE-focused town hall meetings that include our vendors (third party contractors). This practice, which has been in place since 2011, has resulted in a better understanding of Vermilion’s HSE requirements, and an improved understanding of where and how we can provide better support to our vendors.
We also strive to engrain safety awareness throughout all facets of the organization, not just in our field operations. We believe our HSE mantra emphasizes that keeping people safe isn’t just up to the HSE or operations departments, but involves every individual, whether they work as a technician in the field, an accountant in the office, or as a volunteer in the community during a Day of Caring.
To support this, we hold quarterly HSE Leadership meetings at the corporate level, with participants that include our senior management team and HSE advisors from all divisions and subsidiaries, representing 100% of our staff.
There are clear linkages between strong HSE performance and strong business performance. We consolidate our efforts and focus on five key pillars of HSE performance, because this enhances our ability to advance our HSE priorities and reduce our risk, which in turn helps us ensure worker and public safety, environmental protection, and the delivery of superior business results. Within each pillar, we have developed longer-term outcomes to articulate what we want to achieve now and in the future:
|KEY HSE PILLAR||2020 VISION OUTCOMES|
|Communications & Knowledge Management||
|Technical Safety Management||
|Operational Stewardship & Sustainability||
Our HSE Management System (HSE MS), Asset Integrity Management System (AIMS) and Process Safety Management System (PSMS) provide the formal structure that helps us foster a workplace culture at Vermilion where HSE is always a priority.
HSE MS provides the structure for the delivery of our HSE policy and commitments, including areas of corporate ownership and responsibility, with the objective to increase consistency across the organization in its development and implementation. By following the HSE MS’s action steps of Plan, Do, Check & Correct – which provide a process for continual improvement – we identify and manage health, safety and environment hazards and risks associated with our company’s global operations.
AIMS serves as the framework of processes and procedures that helps us execute safe and reliable asset operation. Through AIMS, we understand when work on an asset needs to be performed, how much it will cost, and where to start. Perhaps even more importantly, it helps us understand the impact and cost if no action is taken. Adherence to quality standards and practices, effective testing and inspection of equipment, quality of spare parts and repairs, and correct control of operating parameters are all within the scope of AIMS. A successful AIMS helps us improve operational safety, reduce spill volumes and frequency, increase overall reliability and life expectancy of assets through cost effective measures, assure proper management of high risk assets, implement best practices in managing our assets, and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
PSMS serves as the “backbone” of how we manage process safety. This is a blend of engineering and management skills focused on preventing high impact, low probability events and near misses, such as fires, explosions, well blowouts and damaging releases associated with the loss of containment of energy or dangerous substances. Our PSMS is comprised of 14 interactive elements that identify key responsibilities and requirements, and is based on a Plan-Do-Check-Correct cycle. This helps us identify hazards, manage risk, eliminate or mitigate potential environmental impacts, operate safely and reliably, develop and share best practices, drive operational discipline, and support continuous improvement.
Our Board of Directors maintains oversight of HSE performance through its HSE Committee, which has regular and direct communications with our Executive and senior management teams. HSE commitment and leadership is engrained in Vermilion’s leaders, through visible and active participation. They set the tone, provide the vision and resources required to achieve our HSE objectives, and actively participate to ensure the importance of HSE is well understood and a high standard of compliance is maintained.
The foundation of our measurement is our corporate Event Management Information System (EMIS), called iTrak, which collects information from each of our operations about potential hazards and the actions taken to resolve them. G4-LA6c This includes all health, safety, environmental, regulatory and public complaint incidents, near misses, unsafe acts and conditions, their root causes, actions taken, and preventive measures to avoid such incidents in the future.
Because of the potential risk to our people, the public and the environment, our President and CEO, COO, EVPs and other key senior leaders are immediately informed of all high potential near misses, recordable injury events and serious incidents entered into our EMIS. This reflects the critical importance of HSE at Vermilion. Lost time incidents and serious events are also reported to all staff throughout the company, with a focus on key learnings and prevention.
We have also established key performance indicators for HSE, which are reported internally on a real-time, monthly, quarterly and annual basis, with select metrics included in our sustainability reporting. Leading indicators (inputs) include elements such as HSE inspection/audit, finding closeout, compliance/regulatory inspections and emergency response exercises. Lagging indicators (outcomes) include elements such as lost time incidents, total recordable injuries, motor vehicle accidents, liquid spills and release volume, and emergency response plan effectiveness.
Our data collection, methodologies and tracking have consistently improved since our first public reporting from the years 2012 and 2013. This baseline has progressed into trend analysis and beyond. It now allows us to assess a detailed set of analysis associated with identified hazard exposure and root cause, with particular consideration given to our top fatal risks, allowing us to identify additional areas for improvement.
Vermilion uses a variety of HSE performance measurements that provide timely information on the progress and current status of the strategies, processes and activities we use to manage risk and safety. We focus our efforts on the development of meaningful leading indicators that tell us how effective we are at identifying and reducing hazards in the workplace. Our leading indicators include activities such as contractor observations, site inspections, management and staff participation in safety meetings and site visits. They also measure the development activities influencing safety performance and continuous improvement.
We recognize that to adequately assess HSE performance, we need to take a balanced approach by also measuring outcomes, such as recordable injuries. However, we realize that such lagging indicators are reactive in nature, can be a poor gauge of prevention, and sometimes may lead to falsely interpreting low injury rates as an absence of risks in the workplace. Because of the drawback associated with this type of metric, we prefer to concentrate our energy towards more proactive performance measures.
Our HSE KPIs are included in the calculation of our Corporate Performance Scorecards for both 1-year and 3-year performance. As such, they directly impact employee and senior management team compensation. (For more information, see our Leadership section.)
We also use the analysis of results from our staff HSE Perception Surveys, and audit and compliance reviews, to understand areas for further development. This feeds reviews and improvements to our HSE MS and our sustainability work.