The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) define occupational health as ‘the promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being of workers in all occupations by preventing departures from health, controlling risks, and adapting work to people and people to their jobs’.
The International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP)-IPIECA Health Committee recommends a systematic approach to protecting workers’ health. It has developed an assessment process designed to help employers identify, measure and deal with heath risks. The committee has also produced a set of performance indicators so that organizations can compare their health performance with that of other oil and gas industry companies around the world.
Health risk assessment
The OGP-IPIECA Health Committee has published an introduction to the health risk assessment (HRA) process, which includes a CD-based template and examples of HRA in practice. HRAs should examine the entire life cycle of an operation or project to assess the risks to everyone involved – not only employees, but also contractors and workers from third party organizations.
Health performance reporting
Indicators for the health performance of the industry are a necessary part of effective health management and the promotion of improvements in health performance. Currently there is no globally applied set of performance indicators within the oil and gas industry. However, the OGP-IPIECA Health Committee has developed a set of indicators to help companies measure their health performance. IPIECA also works with employers to continuously improve the way they collect and assess health data.
IPIECA, working with the American Petroleum Insitute (API), has also developed an industry-endorsed framework for sustainability reporting, which serves as a reference guide to assist oil and gas companies interested in voluntary reporting on their environmental, health and safety, social and economic performance. See the 'Reporting' area of the IPIECA website for more details.
Fitness to work
The nature of global oil and gas operations means that people in certain jobs and risk groups may need to undergo assessments to evaluate their fitness to work in a specific role. The OGP-IPIECA Health Committee is developing a guide to help employers develop a fitness to work (FTW) process that will reduce injury and illness, and improve company performance.