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Process safety

We seek to ensure that all our facilities are well designed, well operated and well maintained to run safely. This means not releasing any hazardous material that could harm people or the environment. The global technical safety standards for all projects and facilities we operate meet local regulatory requirements and, in many cases, exceed them.

A three-year review programme of our engineering design standards to better manage safety risks was completed in 2013. The review sought to ensure that our standards are up to date and effective. It was followed by the implementation of a specific training programme for engineers to integrate the standards into the design of our new facilities. In 2013, we also completed a $6 billion programme, which started in 2006, to improve the safety of our oil and gas production facilities. Around $750 million was invested in the safety and reliability of our refineries, chemical plants and distribution facilities during 2013.

We routinely prepare and practise our emergency response to potential incidents such as an oil spill or a fire. This involves working closely with local emergency response crews and government agencies to jointly test our plans and procedures. The tests continually improve our readiness to respond. If an incident does occur, we have procedures in place designed to reduce the impact on people and the environment.

Shell learns from investigations into major industry incidents and embeds this knowledge into its technical safety standards. Our training programme for managers creates a working culture that increases risk awareness and prevents safety incidents. The training, along with on-the-job experience, helps people to recognise and respond to small signs of a potential problem. It encourages people to raise any safety concerns with managers and intervene to keep our people and facilities safe.