Our Approach to Safety
Why This Matters
At Vermilion, we are committed to our vision of HSE: Everyone. Everywhere. Everyday. We are focused on ensuring everyone who comes to our locations returns home safely every day.
In addition to our overall HSE Framework that is made up of our Core Values, Vision and HSE Policy, supported by our HSE Management System, Asset Integrity Management System and Process Safety Management System, we have established practical tools and processes that are specific to the protection of the health and safety of our workers and our communities.
In particular our Operational Risk Management Standard provides a consistent, systematic approach to integrating risk assessment (identification, analysis and evaluation), risk treatment (tolerability, mitigation and management action plans), risk acceptance, and monitoring and review into all parts of our business.
This is supported by our Contractor Selection and Management Standard. This provides requirements for hiring and managing contractors and sub-contractors (contractors) to conduct work, deliver goods, or supplies services to Vermilion Energy Ltd. (Vermilion), including the minimum requirements to identify, evaluate and approve contractors, and describes the phases of the contracting lifecycle requirements using a risk-based approach, including pre-qualification, supervision and verification.
Our Corporate HSE Compliance Assurance Standard provides a set of audit and assessment requirements, including intended scope, frequency, objectives and stakeholders for each.
We understand and accept the high expectations placed on us by our stakeholders to ensure Vermilion recognizes, considers and mitigates potential safety impacts on the residents in the communities in which we operate. Ensuring public safety has been, and will continue to be, our number one priority. This is our license to operate.413-2
We have communication plans in place throughout our global locations, including outreach to our communities and nearby landowners. For example, our Corrib operation in Ireland includes online community emergency response information for both the Corrib Gas Onshore Pipeline and the Bellanaboy Bridge Gas Terminal.
We follow the globally accepted Incident Command System (ICS), which applies to all kinds of emergencies, large and small. It is applied consistently with local emergency responders and across each operating area, and provides a common organizational structure and communications strategy to aid the management of resources.
Simulations and exercises are organized throughout the year to train our people and test the effectiveness of our emergency response plan (ERP) under various scenarios.
We also evaluate the effectiveness of every exercise and ERP that is conducted.
Level 1 ERP
Level 2 ERP
Level 3 ERP
Level 4 ERP
Table top exercise – Includes discussion of various emergency scenarios, cross training of ICS roles and responsibilities.
In-Country Operations-only Simulation – Includes the mobilization of business unit staff, first level of scenario role playing.
Simulation includes Vermilion’s Corporate Command Team Activation. Corporate Command owns corrective action logs and improvement schedule. Role playing of all Vermilion personnel involved.
Simulation includes Vermilion’s Corporate Command Team Activation and external parties (other industry, emergency responders, government authorities, other external stakeholders).
In 2021 and 2022 we implemented the IOGP/Energy Safety Canada Life-Saving Rules, to focus attention on key actions that will prevent fatal injuries during higher risk activities. These rules are specific to the oil and gas industry, and provide our staff and contractors with consistent actions and approaches, no matter which worksite they are working on.
This is an evolution of our previous work on identifying and managing fatal risks, and incorporates strong management programs, including hazard identification and risk management, competency and risk-specific training.
For example, we hold regular road safety training and awareness events in our business units, and we monitor proactive indicators of road safety in our fleet vehicles, including overall speed and hard braking events, in addition to outcome indicators such as incidents.
Vermilion High 5
We developed this personal safety awareness program as part of our commitment to continuous improvement, including reducing workplace-related injuries. The tool provides a simple checklist of five questions to confirm if it is safe to proceed with a task, or if we need to stop and regroup.
If the answer to any of the preceding five questions is no, all work must be stopped, the task reassessed using a hazard-risk-mitigation methodology, and all required actions implemented to ensure a safe workplace. Only once the answer to every question is yes may work start or reassume. We believe this simple personal safety awareness initiative tool can prevent many HSE incidents.
Tools such as these have been rolled out globally to our staff and vendors. They don’t replace any design, technical and administrative layers of protection that we already have in place, but are an additional layer of defence to achieve safe performance. They can also live beyond the work site: we encourage our staff to use the tools in our offices and everyday lives, increasing awareness of possible hazards that can impact safety.
Measurement and Evaluation
Vermilion uses a variety of safety 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 on developing meaningful leading indicators that tell us how effective we are at identifying and reducing hazards in the workplace. These indicators also measure development activities, influencing safety performance and continuous improvement. 403-1
To adequately assess safety performance, we take a balanced approach by measuring outcomes such as recordable injuries. However, 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. We therefore prefer to concentrate on more proactive measures of performance.
Our leading and lagging KPIs are published monthly on our intranet to allow staff to follow their progress on hazard awareness and risk management. The KPIs also contribute to our corporate performance scorecard, thereby influencing short and long-term incentive compensation for all employees and executives.
As part of our overall safety management processes, we fully investigate all incidents and near misses, and implement corrective actions, guided by our Fair Culture policy. We also communicate lessons learned across our business units to continuously improve our performance.
External verifications include Equitable Origin’s EO100TM Standard for Responsible Energy Development, for our West Pembina sites in Alberta, the Business Working Responsibly Mark for our Ireland Business Unit, and the AFNOR “Committed” label in our France Business Unit (the latter two are based on ISO 26000).