Safety and environment

Safety is central to the responsible delivery of energy. We develop and operate our facilities with the aim of preventing any incidents that may harm our employees, contract staff or nearby communities, or cause damage to our assets or adversely impact the environment. We manage safety risks across our businesses through clear standards, controls and compliance systems combined with a safety-focused culture. We focus on the three areas of safety with the highest risks associated with our activities: personal, process and transport.

We continue to strengthen the safety culture and safety leadership among our employees and contract staff, with the focus on caring for people. Our safety goal is to achieve no harm and no leaks across all of our operations. We refer to this as our Goal Zero ambition.

Process safety is about keeping hazardous substances inside pipes, tanks and vessels so they do not cause any harm to people or the environment. Our global standards and operating procedures define the controls and physical barriers we require to prevent incidents. We regularly inspect, test and maintain these barriers to ensure they meet our standards. We also routinely prepare and practise our emergency response to potential incidents such as an oil spill or a fire.

We carefully consider the potential environmental impact of our activities and how local communities might be affected during the lifetime of our projects and operations. We seek to comply with environmental regulations, to continually improve our performance and to prepare to respond to future challenges and opportunities.

While we continually work to minimise the likelihood of incidents, some do occur. For example, in 2017, there were fires at the Shell-operated Enchilada platform in the US Gulf of Mexico and at our Bukom manufacturing site in Singapore. Sadly, a contractor died in a road accident in Canada and we had a fatality in Nigeria. Not reflected in our safety indicators is a devastating road-tanker incident that occurred in Pakistan in June 2017. More information on our 2017 safety and environmental performance can be found in Shell's Sustainability Report. 

We investigate all incidents to understand the underlying causes and seek to translate these into improvements in standards or ways of working that can be applied broadly across similar facilities in Shell.