Arjan van Dijk: Life-Saving safety rules in oil and gas industry

Van Dijk is Vice President of Safety for Shell. It’s his job to keep over 100,000 employees and many more contractors safe.

These podcasts are part of a special series on safety in the oil and gas industry, made possible in part by Shell.

Arjan van Dijk: The ultimate aim is that you don’t want people to get hurt. And in our industry, the expectation of society is, that we will not hurt people, that we will not hurt the environment.

Arjan van Dijk is talking about the oil and gas industry.

Arjan van Dijk: When we deliver our materials, we do it in a clean, and safe, and reliable way so that people can fill up their cars.

Van Dijk is Vice President of Safety for Shell. It’s his job to keep over 100 thousand employees and many more contractors safe. He developed a safety program built around 12 rules, which he called the Life-Saving Rules. Example – no talking on mobile phones while driving. That’s key for a company whose employees drive the equivalent of 120 times around the world every day – in over 100 countries.

Arjan van Djik: It might mean that, you have to make a call, you stop at a parking place. Engine off, mobile phone on. That’s okay. Or if you are on an emergency situation, there are special rules for that – you can leave your mobile phone on, the call comes in, you stop at the next parking place, then you take the call and have a conversation. So we’ve found pragmatic ways to around it to protect people.

Since the Life-Saving Rules were introduced in 2009, van Dijk said they’ve helped save lives.

Arjan van Dijk: I’ve been on the job now for three years. And when I look back, we are at a historically good performance. Historically, we have never done better, which is still not good enough, because you don’t want anybody to get hurt.

Arjan van Dijk explained more about Shell’s Life-Saving Rules.

Arjan van Dijk: Shell Life-Saving Rules are a set of 12 simple rules that we introduced in March of 2009. And an example of the rules is, “wear your seat belt. Or no alcohol or drugs while you drive. Or, don’t smoke outside of designated smoking areas.” Or more difficult ones like “don’t walk under a load.” Or even more difficult ones, “protect yourself from a fall when you work at height.”

Our thanks today to Shell – encouraging dialogue on the energy challenge.

Jorge Salazar