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Safety and Health

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Safety is central to Hess' culture, and our commitment to personal and process safety begins at the top of our organization and is reinforced at every level. 

We include key safety metrics in our annual incentive plan formula for executives and employees. We also reinforce the importance of workforce safety practices through annual Chief Executive Officer’s and President’s Awards for Safety Excellence, which recognize Hess teams and individuals that exemplify outstanding and sustainable safety performance.

Our safety programs and practices are designed to deliver continuous improvement, with the goal of having everyone across our operations return home safe every day. Each individual employee and contractor is personally responsible for supporting our ultimate goal of zero incidents.

Hess’ process safety programs aim to prevent unplanned or uncontrolled loss of primary containment of any material, including materials that are nontoxic and nonflammable (e.g., steam, nitrogen, compressed air), that could result in an incident such as an injury, fire, explosion, toxic release or environmental impact. Our efforts focus on understanding and identifying key points within process safety systems that could impact integrity and the safe and proper operation of equipment, as follows: 

  • Design integrity - reducing risks in the design and construction of facilities 
  • Technical integrity - inspecting, testing and maintaining hardware and software barriers 
  • Operational integrity - working within operational design parameters
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Onsite Root Cause Analysis

In late 2016 a 5-pound rod transfer line dropped 85 feet to the floor of a workover rig in the Bakken. No one was injured, but the potential severity of the event prompted Hess and the contractor to investigate it thoroughly to determine the root cause or causes of the problem. A key element of the investigation was when the team went to the rig site and spent four hours reenacting the events that led up to the incident. As a result, the investigation team determined that the standard work instruction (SWI) did not contain several key safety steps. The SWI was subsequently updated – with the assistance of the crew involved in the initial near-miss event – and rolled out to all 17 workover rigs in the fleet. While the onsite reenactment required the rig to be temporarily shut down and production to be impacted, it was critical to identifying and developing action plans to mitigate the cause of the near miss. 

A Simple Safety Solution 

Traditionally, crews installing oil-well pumping units have conducted some aspects of the installation while working beneath a suspended, 7,000-pound steel “walking beam.” Though Hess has not experienced a recordable injury related to this process, the situation was identified last year as having significant potential risks. In response the Hess Completions team developed a low-cost, low-tech solution – resting the walking beam on a pair of sturdy stands, like giant sawhorses, while the installation tasks are completed. This significant safety improvement is now being used at our Bakken asset and will be employed when needed at our Permian asset, in addition to being shared with other companies in our industry.