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If anyone wants to know how the average worker feels about Shells’ HSE program read on


First off…very interesting site, I enjoy reading the commentary. I am not a professional with a degree. Just a contract supervisor (Not for Shell) in good times and a lowly worker that worked for a wage through a contractor that has Shell work when times were not so good.

I am posting because although the commentary is interesting there seems very little of it that deals with the lowest rung on the Shell ladder; that being the workers who actually do the hands on work. It may or may not be interesting to some, but if anyone wants to know about how the average worker feels about Shells’ HSE program then read on.

Several months ago I had the opportunity to work on Shell jobsite. I was orientated and introduced to the 12 rules. It seemed like common sense and I agreed with them all. As part of our work proceedure a daily morning safety meeting is held and the crew submits Job Observation Cards. In my alternate work for other Oil entities I assumed that these cards would be for near misses or to point out opportunities to improve on worker well being or performance. One day at the morning meeting our Shell rep reiterated that the 50kmph rule on Shell operated road systems would be strictly enforced and any violators (meaning every single crew member in the vehicle would be terminated). A few days later I submitted a card that said: “I warned my driver that he should slow down as we  could be terminated for going over the speed limit”. Within 2 hours that card was scanned and sent to the head office in this particular country and the word sent down was: Find out who was driving and terminate their employment. When asked by my foreman who it was I refused and offered my own dismissal instead.

Long story short I remained onsite and never revealed who the driver was. At some point my ethics and my own moral judgement and experience in dealing with hazardous situations would not let me be the “rat”.

As a crew (or team) we all agreed that the Job OB cards were to be considered “rat” cards and nobody ever took them, or Shell in general, seriously again. I was later told by my manager that Shell had a sit down meeting with them before the job started and stated that if an unsafe act or violation was corrected by a fellow worker that no further disciplinary action would be required. Well lo and behold we found out that Shells’ word doesn’t amount to much.

While I agree with the 12 rules, it is Shells heavy handed corporate management of their safety program that makes them the laughing-stock in the industry. The Shell reps I have seen have their hands tied and are constantly in fear of their position and untimately their jobs. As a contract supervisor I had heard of some ridiculous HSE strategies by the larger Oil Companies, but in my opinion Shell has one of a kind and it is not repected by the workers so how can it be a good one…. and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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