Energy and gas technology leader Shell recently received national citations from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) at the 9th Gawad Kaligtasan at Kalusugan (GKK) Awards, for the outstanding safety performance of its refinery in Tabangao and in the Shell-operated Malampaya Onshore Gas Plant (OGP) in Batangas.

The GKK Awards is DOLE’s highest and most prestigious award for occupational health and safety that is conferred every two years to recognise companies, organisations and individuals for their exceptional health and safety milestones and programmes.

DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz congratulated all awardees, encouraging industries to continuously help in improving labor conditions in the Philippines alongside the government’s efforts in strengthening its inspection programmes.

‘Safety First’ Culture

The Shell Tabangao Refinery bagged the Silver Award for its programmes on occupational health and safety, while Shell Philippines Exploration, B.V. (SPEX) won the Bronze Award for achieving 13 years of reliable operations at the Malampaya OGP with zero safety incidents since it started operations in 2001.

The Shell Tabangao Refinery and the Malampaya OGP emerged as two of the 20 outstanding performers in safety from a pool of 241 entries that DOLE rigorously screened based on reviews of required documents, on-site validations and presentations of programmes and accomplishments.

This year’s GKK Award is the third for the Shell Refinery, having earned the GKK Secretary’s Award in 2000 and 2002 for its exemplary compliance with national health and safety standards.

Some of the refinery’s key safety programmes include various trainings on safety competence, emergency response, OneStop Shelter training for new staff, and safe act audit, among others. "In the refinery, we ensure that staff, contractors, our leaders and communities around actively participate in our health and safety programs,” said Shell Refinery Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Manager Joan Kho. “Everyone’s involvement and investment in health and safety made this achievement possible. This is an enabler for Shell, its contractors, its employees and the community to achieve its objective to have a safe and healthy environment.”

Meanwhile, the Malampaya OGP received the GKK Award for the second time, having ranked 5th place in the GKK Secretary’s Award of Distinction in the Institutional Category in 2012.

“‘Safety first’ has always been our culture in Shell. These milestones are yet again a prime example of what individual accountability and teamwork can do to achieve Goal Zero—which serves as our ultimate goal and our license to operate,” stated Pablito Pantas, OGP Manager.

Pantas explained that Shell’s Goal Zero journey is all about maintaining no harm and no leaks anywhere and at all times, despite challenging operations and complex engineering activities. Hence, keeping a healthy, incident and injury-free workplace has always been the top priority for the company apart from its various other advocacies concerning the communities it operates in, such as environmental management, road safety, driver education, smarter infrastructure, and many others.