Mini Review

Health, Safety and Environmental Management in Sustainable Development of The Offshore Oil and Gas Industry

Ossama Aboul Dahab

Oceanography Department, Faculty of Science, University of Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt

*Corresponding author: Ossama Aboul Dahab, Oceanography Department, Faculty of Science, University of Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt. E-mail:

Citation: Aboul Dahab O (2019) Health, Safety and Environmental Management in Sustainable Development of The Offshore Oil and Gas Industry. J Aquat Res Mar Sci 2019: 215-217.

Received Date: 20 November, 2019; Accepted Date: 16 December, 2019; Published Date: 20 December, 2019


This work summarizes the importance of development and implementation of health, safety and environmental management system (HSEMS) for offshore oil drilling and production companies. It focuses on hazards and effects management process (HEMP) as a tool for preparing of simple, measurable, achievable, realistic and time based HSEMS. HEMP steps are i. Identify hazards, ii. assess the risk, iii. control the threats, iv. recover the consequences if needed, and v. document and communicate the results. It delineates the components of an effective HSEMS and explains how to simply use and implement the system by the company employees especially with regard to the hazards and effects register and the HSEMS activities catalogues. The present work also highlights the potential use of HSEMS in achieving sustainable development in offshore oil and gas drilling and production industry.

Keywords: Hazards and Effects Management Process (HEMP), Health, Safety and Environmental Management System (HSEMS), Offshore oil industry, Sustainable development.


Health, safety and environment is crucial for any oil and gas business because this industry, in most cases, produce its revenue from hazardous plants, hence, any incident or accident at those plants can lead to injuries, production loss and in some cases to fatalities and asset damage. Furthermore, pollution and environmental concerns are huge in oil and gas industry due to the type of products, gases, and material handled, produced or generated as waste. In view of the hazardous nature of oil and gas industry, health, safety and environmental issues and their effective management becomes a key to any oil and gas business and can be considered as a tool for achieving sustainable development in this highly important industry. Health, Safety and Environmental Management System (HSEMS) provides a framework for managing health, safety and environmental issues. It helps in achieving continuous occupational health, safety and environmental protection and improvement.

The present work highlights the importance of having and implementing Health, Safety, and Environment Management System (HSEMS) for offshore oil and gas companies. It delineates the main components of an effective HSEMS and how to use and implement them in an effective way. It also focuses on Hazards Effects Management Process (HEMP) as a tool for preparing simple, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based HSEMS.


This work is prepared using descriptive approach in addition to the writer knowledge and experience and the information gained during conducting health, safety and environmental management training courses and providing   environmental protection consultancy services to several offshore oil and gas companies working in the Arabian Gulf area during the period from 2002 to 2010.

Results and Discussion

Health, Safety and Environmental Management System (HSEMS) is the company structure, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes and resources for implementing health, safety and environmental management [1]. The effective HSEMS requires strict commitment for its implementation at all company levels from the senior management to the operators, in addition to continuous introduction of improvement corrective actions. It may include i. company health, safety and environmental (HSE) policy and strategic objectives, ii. organization, resources and competence, iii. risk evaluation and management, iv. planning, standards and procedures, v. implementation and monitoring, vi. audit, vii. management review [2,3,4]. HSEMS is important to i. fulfill the concerned authorities requirements, ii. protect employees, contractors and the public, iii. protect the environment, iv. protect the facilities and equipment, v. maintain company image, vi. Safeguard local community, vii. achieve better safe and financial results, viii. enhance efficiencies of facilities and equipment, machineries and employees, ix. Manage risks [5].

The HSEMS typical components are usually manual and case [6]. The manual includes i. company HSEMS elements, ii. HSEMS activity catalogue, iii. references, documents, codes and standards, iv. shortfalls and remedial action plan, and v. HSE hazards, effects and aspects, while the HSE case implies on i. introduction and management summary for facility or operation, ii. company HSEMS iii. safety case activity catalogue, iv, description of operation and assets, v. hazards and effects register, vi. shortfalls, and vii. statement of fitness. The main goal of any company HSEMS is to control threats and escalation factors in such a way that the likelihood of the hazard being released and the potential consequences thereof are reduced to be as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP).  The hazards and effects management process (HEMP) represents the heart of the HSEMS and is carried out within a structured framework which include i. identification of hazards and their potential threats, ii. evaluation of risks, iii. recording of hazards and effects, iv. comparison with objectives and performance criteria, and v. establishment and implementation of risk reduction measures.  HEMP results are required for the preparation of the company HSEMS hazards and effects register and also for activities catalogues for both the HSEMS manual and case [7, 8].

The company employee before carrying out his designated activity he has to read the relevant hazard register sheet, associated to his designated activity, which usually shows the results of the Bowtie risk evaluation method and i. understand (threats, consequences and risk assessment, exposure and escalation factors), ii. determine (appropriate control measures, recovery and preparedness measures, deficiencies and remedial actions, iii. check (availability of control and recovery measures and resources, and his competency to control and recover the effects of hazards at his work place), and then iv. carry out his activity.

HSE critical activity technical meaning is the one which is related to HEMP steps and components. The HSEMS activity catalogue is a quality record for all HSE critical activities of the company. It consists of several specification sheets or activity records (one sheet for each HSE critical activity). The HSEMS manual critical activities catalogue is based on company level processes information (company managers), whereas for the HSE case we rely on facility/operation level information (supervisors, operators and technicians). The HSEMS activities catalogues will help the company employees to i. identify and assess hazards (HEMP), ii. arrange to control risks to ALARP level, iii. arrange to deal with emergencies, iv. better conduct audit and training, v. identify areas for HSE improvements, vi. define the requirements and responsibilities of HSE management to all levels of the company. The company employee has to read the HSEMS activities catalogues specification sheet related to his job description and i. understand (the hazard management objectives, the methods to be used to achieve objectives, HSE critical inputs and outputs of the activity, form of recording activity, methods of verifying activity, and deficiencies), ii. determine (the tasks, accountable party, and competency requirements), iii. check his performance against the mentioned performance indicators). The HSEMS components and structure may vary from one company to another but it always depends on the results of the hazards and effects management process (HEMP). Critical HSE activities are those related and associated to HEMP steps [8].

 The company HSEMS can help in achieving sustainable development through the company commitment for i. using the best available environmental technology and practices, progressively reduce emissions, discharges and wastes, improve the efficient use of energy and conserve natural resources and ii. Identifying operational hazards and environmental aspects to manage HSE risks to level that ensures safety of people, protection of the environment and integrity of operation, and iii. hold all levels of management, supervision, and employees, in line function accountable for health, safety, and environmental performance [7,9,10].


HSEMS is a specific, measurable, realistic, and time-based system, in addition, it is a dynamic system which is constantly subject to regular and irregular revisions for continuous health, safety and environmental performance improvement. HSEMS can be used as a tool for environmental protection to help in achieving sustainable development in offshore oil and gas drilling and production industry through the continuous development and strict implementation of environmental protection measures. Hazards and effects management process (identify threats, assess risks, control hazards release, recover the consequences, document and communicate Hemp results) can be considered the backbone of the HSEMS.  The preparation of the company HSEMS is the responsibility of the company senior management, while the system implementation is the responsibility of every employee and contractor working in the company. The commitment for applying the company HSE policy by all the employees from senior management to operators and the contractors is the key for an effective HSEMS.




  1. Aboul Dahab O, Shaaban N. (2017) Environmental protection and management in coastal and maritime industries. Oceanogr Fish Open Access J 5: 555663
  1. ISO 45001 (2018) Occupational health and safety management systems – requirements with guidance for use.
  1. ISO 14001 (2015) Environmental management systems – requirements with guidance for use.
  1. E&P Forum (1994) Guidelines for the development and application of health, safety and environmental management systems. London, UK.
  1. Charles Wentz A (1999) Safety, health and environmental protection, McGraw-Hill ed. US. Pp. 40-66.
  1. Aboul Dahab O (2019) Health, safety and environmental management in oil and gas industry, the 22nd Petroleum and development conference, Alexandria, Egypt. Pp: 26-29.
  1. Kochetkova OP Glyzina TS, Vazim AА, Tugutova SS (2016) Ecological policy in oil-gas complexes, HSE MS implementation in oil and gas company, Earth Environ Sci 43: 012043.
  1. OHSAS 18001 (2007) MS of occupational health and safety. Requirements.
  1. E&P (2007) Environmental management in oil and gas exploration and production. An overview of issues and management approaches, UNEP/Earth print report. Pp: 68 pages.
  1. Reis JC (1996) Environmental control in petroleum engineering, In Elsevier Inc book, Netherlands, pp 400.