Safety culture

Sustained by strategic goals, leadership and engagement at many other levels, Safety is our number one priority.

In 2020, even in a very changing climate, we recorded a very good safety performance: combined LTIR for the year 2020 was 0.15, 51% lower than 2019 (0.31), thus showing the best LTIR annual figures since privatization.


Our activities continued in line with our “ZERO harm – NO losses” vision, our safety management system based on OMV Petrom HSSE Policy, HSSE Directive and OMV Corporate regulations such as HSSE Risk Management, Contractor HSSE Management, Management of Hazardous Substances, Personnel Transportation, Reporting, Investigation and Classification of Incidents.


The “5 Safety Principles” of OMV Petrom were continuously promoted in 2020, as the foundation of our culture, as simple values to adopt beyond being an employee.


The principles encouraged everyone to choose Safety: act safely, observe, intervene and report.


In 2020, the principles were approached in dedicated sessions to promote the clear messages that each individual needs to have a call to action to prevent. We all must continue to find a reason to respect the principles and find ways to contribute to Safety through everything we do.

We have used two main actions for the rollout of the 5 Safety Principles as a going back to basics need. Communication and Facilitation have been driven all activities throughout the year.

The Principles were promoted on various channels as:

► Embedded in Safety Leadership e-Learning;

► Promoted throughout the HSSE Roadshow sessions;

► Internal dedicated campaigns (e.g., blogs, stickers, flyers);

► New Employee Orientation sessions.

Besides various internal channels, as mentioned, the 5 Safety Principles were also communicated “outside the border.” Two briefings focusing on the need for leaders’ engagement were sustained by Safety Experts in Contractors Forums within Upstream business units Workover and Drilling, Projects Delivery and Assurance.


At the same line, through the facilitation activities of our safety experts, within the Upstream business and furthermore to external Upstream contractor online forums, the principles were briefed, discussed and understood as a key aspect for continuous reminder for safe work. The business units from our divisions have involved their leaders in further medium-term actions to reinforce the principles and keep them alive. Some of the actions for the near future are:

► Appointing a custodian for each principle, as each of our Executive Board members has sponsored them;

► Including the principles in the process of monthly recognition;

► Promoting through HSSE Walk Around;

► Promoting through daily operational meetings;

► Including the principles in Safety Induction besides Life Saving Rules (in Drilling);

► Promotion through PIMMS system for operators;

► Local letters for promoting each principle;

► Use of media toolkit – visual package and video with our Executive Board members.

In Downstream, in 2020, a dedicated campaign was rolled out in all Retail business for the principle “All accidents are preventable,” enrolling employees and contractors from all Business Units. The campaign will continue in Retail Romania in 2021.


The Safety Culture Program actions of 2020 in Downstream Oil also included the safety culture maturity assessment in Retail Business Unit Romania. The evaluation ended with workshops that resulted in action plans addressing weaknesses in the areas of management accountability for safety, intervention and recognition, as well as contractor management.


The measures to be applied will cover recurrent safety relevant meetings with filling stations’ partners, guiding checklists for managers visiting the stations, a recognition process and a process to set major topics and focus areas which filling stations’ employees could identify in safety moments. Also, Retail Romania has committed to continue with leadership workshops, trainings refresh, Safety Walks  and contractors’ meetings dedicated to safety topics as well as improving the relevant communication on safety.

In 2020, the focus was still on Safety Leadership. The activities of the Safety Committees led by managers in Upstream and Downstream and at OMV Petrom corporate level have been adapted and continued using digital tools. Even though not all the planned activities under Safety Culture substantially progressed due to COVID-19 implied prioritization, we managed to keep balance based on the good achievements from previous years, aiming to monitor and support the 2021 objective to progress on safety culture maturity scale, international hierarchy defined by DuPont, from the level of “supervision” to the “independent” one.

SDG 8 Target: 8.8 Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers.

For the former evaluations which took place in Retail Moldova, Serbia, Bulgaria and OMV Petrom Aviation in 2020, the activities were followed up. In OMV Petrom Aviation, a working group was established to further focus on behavior, rules and actions of handling operators on airport platforms to improve safety (for own employees, other operators and passengers).


Also, in 2020 the contractor Company “R&R”, which is providing services at Arpechim Terminal, was assessed for the Safety Culture maturity based on our internal methods. The outcome of the assessment has engaged our contract holders and their management to adopt improvement measures which will also be spread to other locations (Depot Arad and Depot Cluj). Immediate actions were proposed for Communication (settlement of a collecting box for employee’s suggestions, operational meetings to explain safety-relevant KPIs and to track their trends), for Responsibility (adopting immediate personal objectives on Safety) and on Contractors Management element by initiating quarterly meetings with other companies contracted by OMV Petrom, to debate and align HSSE requirements. Longer terms actions are aiming to improve the elements of Training and Competency, Hazard Awareness and Risk Assessment as well as Contractors Management.


Additional to the campaign held in 2019 – 2020, when employees and contractors were trained about Life Saving Rules, this training was transferred into a virtual micro-learning session accessed throughout the entire Company. In Downstream, the e-Learning was completed by 600 employees.


In Upstream Division, the rollout of the Safety Culture Program continued in 2020, affected by the COVID-19 prioritizations. In this pandemic context, the working groups’ activity continued, and other working groups were created to address safety-relevant risks.


In 2020, four assessments of safety culture maturity were conducted based on internal methods in the Business Units Workover and Drilling, Projects Delivery and Assurance, Asset Oltenia and Asset Muntenia Vest. As an outcome, the maturity level of safety culture is situated at a middle level but with very solid ground to grow to the Independent level as expected for the end of 2021. The assessed business units have defined action plans treating all the elements considered key for safety culture. Among the new adding value activities were mentioned: interactive site visits conducted by Level 1 and 2 managers, video toolbox talks at sites, Job Safety Analysis revisions to reflect actual activities (not generic), HSSE Notice Boards (properly updated) on all construction sites, HSSE Passports and additional trainings (correlated with statistics outcome) for all contractors, promoting the five Safety Principles inside and outside the organization, implement consequence management in alignment with the Motivational Management framework, review and update training matrix relevant for HSSE, various communication improvements (more feedback forums to collect and discuss Safety inside and outside the organization, specific campaigns for awareness), Reward and Recognition actions.


OMV Petrom’s leadership development has adapted in pandemic times. To balance the virtual way of working and the obvious need of maintaining leadership for safety and considering that middle managers are the link between the top management and the workforce, we developed an e-learning product.


The e-learning product has shifted our orientation of a classical workshop approach due to pandemic restrictions. We tried to bring interactivity and clear messages as well as marking aspects related to soft skills, striving for a strong and lived safety culture, a positive safety climate where safety is the driving value through the management organizational levels, as managers communicate and apply organizational priorities and values.


The e-learning product is built on six modules dedicated to managers, touching important themes: Self-Reflection on fundamental skills, Leadership impact on Safety (including the 5 Safety Principles), Safety Culture – integral model and maturity aspects, Observing Safety (baseline methods and communication tips), Safety Performance aspects beyond statistics, Safety Leadership style Quiz, a view on self-approach of leadership and call for action.


The program aims at personal leadership development by reflecting on and integrating essential instruments for safety into the daily routines: Communication, Intervention, Stop Work, Engagement. The e-learning had been allocated as mandatory training in the Learning Management System of the Company, for the OMV Petrom Group countries, to the target group “middle managers” downlines, except for supervision level. The training has been accessed by a team of key functions in the OMV HSSE Team, and their interest was expressed to adopt this learning option for the OMV Classic organization, aiming to roll it out in 2021.


The reinforcement of Life Saving Rules was also adopted in Upstream via the virtual micro-learning session launched by OMV Petrom Bucharest Headquarter through the global learning system (My Success Factors). In Upstream’s operational area, where access to the learning system (MySF) is not available, the roll-out was done offline by distributing the training video to be used within their on-site safety moments and talks.


In OMV Petrom Headquarter, all employees completed their Life Saving Rules e-learning by the year-end.


The follow-up on the initiative “Setting the tone in Petrom City” started in 2019 had revealed important aspects when we conducted a third-party assessment of the safety culture maturity of our headquarters functions. The assessment took place at the end of 2019 and was finalized at the beginning of 2020. The report, as well as the Leadership workshop part of the assessment project, concluded that a dedicated Safety Committee should be set up for Petrom City. Other relevant actions such as management development skills and employee motivation-related activities should be embraced and completed. Though, when the first quarter of the year 2020 was closing with radical changes due to the pandemic, the Company priorities shifted focus towards the COVID-19 crisis. Therefore, the Safety Committee could not yet be set up, but the baseline was documented. Also, all planned programs for managers were shifted to the e-learning based option for Safety Leadership.

Life Saving Rules course - program building blocks

Compliance with relevant laws and internal regulations requirements continued to be reviewed in 2020 through audits and inspections, by measuring performance data through KPI-based reporting, closure of improvement actions, and management review results. Two safety legal compliance audits have been planned and performed for 2020, in Upstream, Asset Moesia. The one planned in Downstream business was postponed for 2021 due to the pandemic restrictions. These specific audits are realized based on legal compliance register aspects included in dedicated checklists, online interviews and ultimately site visits for compliance verification. The outcome of the audits is presented to the local management in a report including the identified nonconformities. The assessed unit is undertaking a signed-off action plan.


The ISO 45001:2018 Certification covers 49% of our employees in all the Business Divisions. This percentage refers only to the OMV Petrom direct employees. Other workers performing activities on OMV Petrom premises and who are not directly employed by OMV Petrom are not included in the calculation.

According to the national law, OMV Petrom S.A. has a compliant structure in place for the Occupational Health and Safety Committees, including members of the Executive Board, specific functions, and employees represented by Trade Unions. The Health and Safety Committees are legally required and organized to serve employees’ interests for health and safety compliance and improvements. These are held with quarterly recurrence at country level in Romania. Furthermore, following the Safety culture program started in the previous years, we engaged and we are holding quarterly Safety Committees at the Executive Board level for OMV Petrom Group and also at each Business Divisions level for safety matters. These Committees focus on safety overall performance, lessons learned from incidents, critical OHS, Process safety topics, and status of the main projects implemented. The meetings’ outcome is further documented and made available to the members, downlined to the level of interest by case, with the support of the HSSE business partners and operational management.

In the legally required committees, the workers representatives (all workers are represented within the established structure of Health and Safety Committees) are permanently engaged in establishing, operating, evaluating, and improving safety and health programs. This helps managers identify the most important issues while workers are more aware of their own safety. The topics permanently included to be treated in the Committees meetings are related to workplace risks, conditions, equipment and incidents.


At the divisional level, the established Health and Safety Committees continued their specific activity. The committees, formed by the employer or its legal representative, employees with health and safety roles, workers’ representatives with specific responsibilities in the field of health and safety and the Doctor of Labour Medicine, continued to meet for an open dialogue regularly. Prevention and protection of people are the focus of the meetings’ agenda, which are organized quarterly (in Upstream, at operational level and headquarter level, in the Downstream Divisions, and at the Corporate level).


In 2020, we continued to lead incident investigations with the internal resources of OMV Petrom. At the same time, we ensured the integration of technical experts in the HSSE incident investigation teams, aiming to better understand and identify failures in technically complex incidents, remaining focused on verifying the actions’ effectiveness.

Risk management in safety activities

In the recent past, the emphasis was on facilities that are regulated by or meet the criteria of the European Directive Seveso III (the Directive on the control of major accident hazards involving dangerous chemical substances), on high-risk pipelines, flow lines and high-risk wells. Operational Integrity Assessments and Barrier Reviews were performed for these facilities. These assessments audited the suitability of existing barriers that are critical to prevent and/or mitigate the impact of a Major Accident Event and assessed the effectiveness of the implementation of process safety management. A similar approach continued in 2020 in Upstream for assessing other critical facilities in OMV Group, which includes but is not limited to offshore operated assets, refineries, operated tanks farms, etc. However, the plan was curtailed due to pandemic travel restrictions. One operations integrity assessment was complete in Q1 and two major accident event audits were carried out remotely by desktop exercises for offshore Petrom Asset and Asset Oltenia’s largest producing gas well. The overall goal is to prevent major accidents and to limit the consequences of any accidents that may occur, in line with HSSE Policy “ZERO harm – NO losses.”


Education and training are important tools for informing workers and managers about workplace hazards, risks and their control measures, so they can work more safely and more productively. Therefore, in 2020, an updated version of the Standard on HSSE Risk Management was rolled out in business, involving key personnel (20 persons in Downstream and 11 persons in Upstream).


In the updated version of the Standard, the information structure includes: how to comply with Document Control System, HSSE Risk Assessment recommendation (from the previous version) converted to an Annex, Previous Annexes, i.e. Risk Assessment Studies, Application of Risk Studies optimized and incorporated directly into Annex – HSSE Risk Assessment, and CR&SA Risk Matrix (annex from previous version) updated and incorporated into Annex – Risk Evaluation, Corporate HSSE Recommendations, i.e. Health Risk Assessment, SWIFT (What If) assessment, HAZOP, Workplace risk assessment transformed into Annexes. All Annexes now are directly linked to Updated Risk Management Standard and declared “Illustrative.” Roles and responsibilities related to the whole HSSE Risk Management framework are clear, being supported with descriptions and specific activities for each role.


The key personnel included in the rollout of the updated version of the Standard is represented by coordination functions that further influence the communication and decision chains in their business: HSSE local managers or HSSE representatives for the respective business.


Investigation of incidents as an activity on safety compliance is considered a very important activity. The most important reason to investigate a workplace incident is to find out the root causes of incidents and to prevent similar incidents in the future. Besides fulfilling legal requirements, other reasons are to determine the cost of an incident and determine compliance with applicable regulations (e.g., occupational health and safety, criminal, etc.) or to process workers’ compensation claims.


In OMV Petrom, there are two processes that regulate incident investigation. They are defined in the OMV Group process map as “Set-up Incident investigation” and “Perform Incident investigation”. The processes are governed by the internal HSSE standard Reporting, Investigation, and Classification of Incidents. The aim of this regulation is to ensure that all incidents are identified and reported in an appropriate and timely manner, all work-related incidents are adequately investigated to determine direct causes, root causes and systemic causes, that security incidents (malicious acts) are investigated to identify the parties involved and the circumstances and that the preventive and corrective actions are identified and implemented to reduce the likelihood for incidents to reoccur to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP-Eliminate the hazard; Reduce the risk at source, Isolate from the hazard, Control the risk, Personal protective equipment, Discipline, which applies to all above-mentioned levels of the hierarchy).


The incident investigation methodology adopted by OMV Petrom is supported by 48 persons trained as Incident Investigation Leaders and 41 as team members. For each investigation, a Subject Matter Expert is appointed to assist and support the investigation team depending on the specificity of the incident.


In 2020, in OMV Petrom we investigated 21 level 3+ incidents and 14 high potential incidents (HiPos) and six serious Process Safety incidents (Tier 1 and 2). For each, a comprehensive incident investigation report was issued, and lessons learned were distributed in the Company to achieve the objective of not repeating the incident.


In 2020, in OMV Petrom we investigated 21 level 3+ incidents and 14 high potential incidents (HiPos) and six serious Process Safety incidents (Tier 1 and 2). For each, a comprehensive incident investigation report was issued, and lessons learned were distributed in the Company to achieve the objective of not repeating the incident.


An HSSE Alert or Technical Safety Alert (TSA) is issued, in the first few days after a severe incident or HiPo occurred or a critical hazard was detected in the form of a one-pager. The main objective is to inform all potentially affected stakeholders that equipment, a technique or a process that they use or might use failed – or has the potential to fail – causing significant damage and requires immediate attention and action to ensure that occurrence or reoccurrence of such incident will not happen in their own activities. The HSSE Alert or TSA should be distributed to a specific target group of potentially affected persons.


The Lesson Learned is issued after concluding the corresponding investigation and based on a formal root cause analysis. It may include more information and documentation than an Alert (including training material, videos, etc.) or information from external sources such as peer companies, industry associations, etc.


We have defined as Group-wide learning opportunity the High Learning Value Event (HLVE), which are events (including near-miss) that, after thorough investigation, are determined to be shared across the entire Group to learn from best practices and/or prevent recurrence of incidents by strengthening risk awareness and communicating appropriate prevention measures. The decision on HLVE and means of Group-wide distribution is taken by the Incident Investigation Panel. The Incident Investigation Panel is established at the OMV Group level at which OMV Petrom contributes to and participates. The Incident Investigation Panel is led by the incident investigation process owner. The panel’s role is to ensure the quality of incident investigation process owner. The panel’s role is to ensure the quality of incident investigation reports with respect to the applied method and the effectiveness of the defined actions. The number of HLVE is limited (typically three to six per year). For example, in 2021, we will focus on Dropped objects and working beneath or near electrical power lines.


On a smaller scale, we have Local Learning Event: events (including hazards, near miss and best practice) selected by local management for communication and/or training because they are deemed to contribute to the development HSSE awareness and safety culture. One-pagers are shared Group-wide on a common platform and/or in the HSSE reporting tool. Local management shall ensure a sufficient frequency of such one-pagers, but there will be no target number.


After the incident investigation is concluded and the incident sponsor appoints the persons who will be in charge with the corrective actions which came out from the investigation, then the corrective actions are recorded in Synergi (the HSSE reporting tool) and deadlines are set for each action. Upon completion of the action, it can be closed by the action owner. Regular verification of the completeness and effectiveness of the actions are performed.

Occupational Safety

Within the hierarchical organization of the OMV Petrom Group, clear lines for Safety Management are defined. Having a foundation through the engagement of our Executive Board members by their membership in a defined Global Safety Committee, the values of Safety are embedded in the Company’s culture and structures, from a compliance perspective and a behaviour perspective. The investments and actions adopted every year and being relevant for Safety prove our statement “Safety first.”

All employees, at their levels defined by the hierarchy, have roles, rights and obligations for health and safety. In 2020, an Occupational Safety Standard was rolled out to effectively support the transition period of three years from the previous OHSAS 18001 international standard to ISO 45001, ending in March 2021. In preparation for this moment, the Standard (adopted at OMV Group Level and mandatory applicable at all levels) sets up the Occupational Safety Management requirements and provides the tools and measures for practical implementation. The requirements of this new standard were explained to OMV Petrom employees during online meetings. Train the Trainers sessions were organized for 170 HSSE Experts in Upstream, Downstream and Global Solutions. The rollout process continues until the information is disseminated to the entire organization. Among the roles for Safety Management, an important activity is related to risk management, especially to the work-related hazards and a process to control and mitigate the implied risks. The management identifies and provides resources needed to establish, implement, maintain, and continually improve the occupational safety processes. Responsibilities and accountabilities for the relevant roles within the occupational safety management frame are assigned and communicated at all organization’s levels.

The Line Management consistently allocates the necessary resources for the established objectives and targets related to occupational safety performance improvement, including hazards identification and risk assessment.

The risk controls are selected according to their effectiveness by applying the hierarchy of controls (ERIC.PD) intended to provide a systematic approach to enhance occupational safety, eliminate hazards and reduce or control the occupational safety risks. Several controls are combined in order to succeed in reducing the occupational safety risks to a level that is as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP).

The workplace risk assessment is a collaborative activity and involves people from different disciplines and with different experiences, including the Occupational Health doctor. The most important phase is the continuous and proactive process of hazards identification that takes into account: routine and non-routine activities including infrastructure, equipment, materials, substances and the physical conditions of the workplace; hazards that arise as a result of design, construction, commissioning, production and maintenance; decommissioning; human factors; how the work is actually done. Also, there are considered: emergency situations; people – employees, contractors, visitors, persons in the vicinity of the workplace; actual or proposed changes in the organization, its operations, processes, activities and occupational safety management; changes in knowledge of and information about, hazards; past incidents, internal or external to the organization, including emergencies, and their causes; how work is organized including workload, work hours, supervision and safety culture in the organization.

During the last years, a large number of work-related incidents occurred while contractors’ employees were performing their jobs within our premises. The investigation reports of these incidents revealed a lack of or poor compliance with our HSSE requirements and a low level of HSSE performance.


Considering that one of our objectives is to have contractors committed and capable of managing the HSSE risks, a training package was created to be used by HSSE internal trainers to train contractors . We also developed an Application to check on-site via a QR code printed on cards if contractors and subcontractors working in our premises have the required valid safety trainings and valid legally required qualifications for the job they perform. This card (HSSE Passport) started to be integrated with the access card (Unified Badging System).

This way, no contractor will have access to the worksite without an HSSE basic training. Illegal labor will be avoided, and electronic traceability on the access rights and HSSE competency will be available.

Injuries caused by slips, trips, and falls in our industry are common, as the operational staff often work in challenging outdoor environments where such incidents can occur. Our statistics show that during the last five years, more than 100 entirely preventable incidents happened in OMV Petrom during stepping/walking . From these, 71% happened because of unsafe behaviors. Therefore, we launched an occupational safety training, “Watch Your Steps!” with two modules created for specific target groups: Module I, available in MySF, mandatory for white collars and Module II, dedicated to blue collars available online and offline. At the same time, a practical exercise has been prepared for the blue collars based on a checklist for recognizing slip-trip-fall hazards applicable on-site for all activities. Thanks to the knowledge acquired or refreshed after this course, all the participants know that they have to intervene when observing someone not using the handrail while stepping on stairs, walking and using cell phone, being in a hurry, taking shortcuts. More than 1,000 white collars already completed the e-learning. Some past incident investigations were inconclusive due to contradicting or missing information which prevented the investigation team from doing proper analysis to set-up measures to avoid reoccurrence. To improve these aspects, a monitoring system of the working areas was implemented, allowing us to identify and provide recognition for safe behaviors and correct unsafe practices. A cross departments team of 35 persons in Upstream and Global Solutions has responsibilities in implementing this project. In 2018-2020, 409 cameras were installed on 120 Workover, Heavy Workover and Drilling rigs and in 33 fixed locations, including one offshore platform. There is a process in place to correct the unsafe practices that are identified complying with the GDPR requirements. Instead of using general HSSE topics to raise awareness, now we are able to refer to topics of interest for the operational staff explaining the safe practices.

Our 2025 sustainability target on safety► Zero work-related fatalities.
► Stabilize Lost-Time Injury Rate at below 0.30.
► Keep leading position for Process Safety Event Rate (2017: 0.18).
Status 2020► Combined LTIR for 2020 was 0.15 by 51% lower than in 2019 (0.31); the best LTIR annual figure since privatization.No work-related fatality since May 19th, 2018.
► Process Safety Event Rate (2020: 0.11)
Action plan to achieve the targets► Keep target at the Group level: zero work-related fatalities.
► Monitor and challenge the Action Item Response Rate on incidents Level 3+ and HiPos.
► Identify initiatives/projects that improve process safety and create value in terms of Opex/Capex reduction or revenue increase.
► Meet the key contractors and audit activities with a high safety risk, with a focus on sub-contractors.
► Implement the new concept of Subcontractor HSSE Management, Risk Management.
► Continue to focus on raising awareness and increase leadership involvement to build a safety culture maturity we all can be proud of.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) supported