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Our approach to safety

Powering Progress is underpinned by our core values of honesty, integrity and respect for people, and our focus on safety.

Safety, along with our core values, underpins our Powering Progress strategy. We aim to do no harm to people and to have no leaks across our operations. We call this our Goal Zero ambition.

We seek to improve safety by focusing on the three areas where the safety risks associated with our activities are highest: personal, process and transport. We strive to reduce risks and to minimise the potential impact of any incident, with a particular emphasis on the risks with the most serious consequences if something goes wrong.

Our multi-year process of refreshing our approach to safety for all employees and contractors started in 2020. This approach is rooted in a consistent focus on human performance. We ask people at Shell to apply a learner mindset, by which we mean the belief that we can always improve, enhance individual capabilities, learn from mistakes and successes, and speak up freely without repercussions.

In practice, our refreshed approach to safety is about enhancing how we prepare for and conduct high-risk activities by, for example:

  • executing frontline work: build an environment of trust and learning, strengthen team leaders’ coaching and engagement skills, and embed pre-start work preparations such as those developed by the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP);
  • applying acknowledged industry safety tools: in 2022, we moved from the Shell Life-Saving Rules to industry-wide Life-Saving Rules so that Shell staff and contractors are working on the same basis to manage risks; and
  • using technology and digital tools to reduce exposure, identify conditions that may lead to serious incidents and fatalities, and enhance learning.

It is also about capturing more insights by, for example:

  • using metrics focused on serious injuries and fatalities (SIF) and the lessons that we can derive from high-potential incidents and events that could have led to SIF incidents;
  • seeking to capture underlying causes and systemic patterns through incident investigations; and
  • aiming to embed lessons learned from the above points in training and instructions for work preparation and execution.

In 2023, we integrated this safety approach into the plans of our facilities, projects and functions. Many of our non-operated ventures and companies that are operated by Shell, but not integrated into our systems, have also chosen to implement elements of our refreshed approach.

Read more about our approach to safety at

International Association of Oil & Gas Producers
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