PNG LNG improves safety outcomes

THE PNG LNG project completely nailed safety goals in the June quarter despite hitting peak construction – with no significant incidents or accidents reported.

PNG LNG improves safety outcomes

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Other PNG LNG environmental and social reports have featured varying unfortunate occurrences, ranging from work-related fatalities, site disruptions, tuberculosis incidents and even a chicken pox outbreak.

The clean safety record for the latest quarter came despite security fears relating to the mid-year election, and is also a tribute to the project's continual focus on improving safety awareness.

"This improving safety trend is attributed to ongoing improvements in core safety processes, including six consecutive months of improvement in the quality of observation and interactions performed across the project," Exxon's PNG subsidiary Esso Highlands said in the recent report.

"As construction activities progress, the project's focus has moved from managing non-traditional construction challenges, such as working in uncontrolled environments, dealing with remote locations, and managing the safety needs of a cross-cultural workforce; to managing safety hazards normally associated with the construction industry.

"For example, during this quarter the project initiated regular safety best practices meetings as part of the Leading Indicators for Higher Hazard Activities program, established during the first quarter 2012."

The project has also trained more than 400 PNG safety champions through a separate program.

"Phase two of the safety champions initiative will expand training to non-nationals currently engaged on the project as safety leaders," Esso said.

More than 17,600 people were in the project workforce during the June quarter, with about half of them PNG nationals.

The onshore pipeline work is one of the most challenging aspects of the project, with more than 170km of the 292km of pipeline welding completed by the end of June.

Construction also began on the Gobe Production Facility up during the June quarter, while work on the Komo Airfield, LNG Plant and Hides Gas Conditioning Plant sites also picked up the pace.

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