Sweet Crude

November 16, 2017

RusselSmith Nigeria: Driving a Culture of Safety and Innovation

RusselSmith Nigeria: Driving a Culture of Safety and Innovation

‎By Prince Okafor

Time and again, it has been said that one of the best ways to achieve an accident-free workplace, where everyone goes to work and returns home to family in one piece, is to have a professional safety manager conduct the Occupational Health and Safety affairs of the organization and report directly to Top Management.

RusselSmith, an Indigenous Oilfield Services firm, has however managed to adopt a slightly different approach to safety, while racking up an impressive assortment of Health and Safety awards and recognition. The company attributes its exceptional safety performance to its ‘Everybody is responsible for Safety’ policy, as this has fostered a high sense of commitment towards safety at all levels within the organization.

RusselSmith has invested heavily in communication and training in a most unique and interesting way to cut across diverse cadre of the company, spurred by the belief that a chain is only as strong as the weakest link.

This devotion to building a winning team has turned out to be, perhaps, the company’s best investment. In over 12 years of operations in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry, RusselSmith has recorded over 3.5million man hours with no loss time incidents (LTI), no restricted work case and no fatality.

In all its years of operations, RusselSmith has gradually and consistently entrenched safety as a way of life in its processes and interactions with stakeholders, at all locations where it operates.

In recognition of this outstanding performance in keeping to safety standards in the Oil and Gas Industry, RusselSmith recently won ‘Company of the Year’ award at the just concluded Nigerian Safety Award for Excellence Hall of Fame held in Lagos, Nigeria.

Commenting on this, Kayode Adeleke, Senior Executive Vice President of RusselSmith, noted that “we are more humbled than anything else receiving the 9JaSAFE Award. We don’t just promote the culture of safety for the sake of it. For us, it is a way of life because it saves lives. When it comes to safety, you don’t get a second chance, so we are ethically disciplined about promoting that culture of safety. We have a programme called Safety Quest 24/7. It means that you have to practice safety all day, every day; it doesn’t matter whether you’re at home or at work.”

Another milestone achieved by the company is with the award of the ‘Most Innovative and Safety Conscious Company’ in West Africa at the recently concluded West Africa Innovation Awards, 2017. Other awardees included Cadbury Nigeria, Vanguard Assurance (Ghana), Zenith Pensions Custodian, Big and Bold Nigeria, Elixir (Sierra Leone), Axis Pensions (Ghana), Halogen Security and a host of others.

Through the years, the company which started off with the introduction of Rope Access solutions, has now diversified into three main business divisions; Aerial Inspection & Survey Services, Topside Asset Integrity Management Services and Subsea Asset Integrity Management Services. This expansion was made possible with the resilient drive to keep being innovative and safety conscious. The beauty of the RusselSmith’s way is that the organization has established smart protocols to minimize the dangers to personnel and prevent catastrophes.

The company has three HSE programs; Safety Quest 24/7, Green Eye Vision, and Health 3600 reloaded. These programs give a holistic approach to safety, as everyone in actively involved in the process of safety and innovation.

Such a sterling safety track record, rare and not at all indicative of the way the average energy organization operatives, thrives on education. Every week, on Tuesday it is mandatory that all staff members attend a safety management meeting. This is a requirement that has become a key part of everyone’s performance appraisal, and goes a long way to determine a staff member’s status in the organization.

The environment is a critical part of HSE programme. This is channeled through the Green Eye Vision Programme initiated to protect the environment. Under this programme is monitoring of paper usage at the company’s office, considering the impact of paper usage on trees. Printing of paper documents has been reduced to the barest minimum; an automated system was introduced to ensure that documents are circulated via electronic channels as alerts and emails. Approvals are also done on the web-based portal, cutting out the herculean task of printing large documents.

Another environmental initiative in place is the RusselSmith Recycle Initiative for recycling plastic materials. RusselSmith entered into a partnership with an award-winning waste management company, RecycleNG, to help promote the recycling initiative. Consumption of fossil fuels is equally monitored by the Company as another environmental initiative to reduce emission of harmful gases into the environment, while promoting the use of alternative energy such as solar power.

RusselSmith is working towards greater energy self-sufficiency, by adopting solar energy for its facilities and reducing dependence on the national grid.

In addition to all the safety accolades received, RusselSmith was awarded by a major client, Chevron Nigeria, for operating without any recordable incident throughout 2016.

All of these efforts have led to numerous improvements to RusselSmith’s service and quality control processes, and has helped in creating more value-added oilfield/pipeline service solutions for the Company’s solid and ever expanding customer base.

We hope to see more of what the future holds for this innovative and safety-focused indigenous company, as it continues breaking barriers and pushing the bar  of excellence higher.