operational excellence management system

effective risk management helps us operate reliably, efficiently and, most important, safely

“Operational Excellence isn’t separate from our business; it’s how we run our business to achieve our vision of success.”

Wes Lohec
VP Health, Environment and Safety, Chevron Corporation

The Chevron Way values place the highest priority on the health and safety of our workforce and the protection of our assets and the environment. Our Operational Excellence Management System (OEMS) is a comprehensive, proven means for systematic management of process safety, personal safety and health, the environment, reliability, and efficiency.

lubricants hard hat

Through disciplined application of our OEMS, we identify and manage the risks we encounter in our global business operations.

read the OEMS overview

our OEMS consists
of three parts

1. Leadership Accountability

Leadership is the single largest factor for success in Operational Excellence (OE). Leaders establish the vision and set objectives that challenge the organization to achieve the best results. They direct the Management System Process, setting priorities and monitoring progress on plans that focus on the highest-impact items. Leaders visibly demonstrate their commitment through personal engagement with the workforce and by their concern for the health and safety of every individual. They demonstrate the same commitment to protecting the environment and work process risk mitigation. 

2. Management System Process

The Management System Process is a systematic approach used to drive progress toward top performance. It is linked to the business planning process and begins with defining a vision of success and setting objectives. Gaps between current performance and these objectives are discussed during the assessment phase. A plan is developed to close the gaps, the plan is implemented, and a review of plan implementation and performance is completed.

3. OE Elements and Expectations

Forty-seven Corporate Expectations for OE are detailed under 13 elements. The OE Expectations are met through processes and standards put in place by local management. Many of these expectations are supported by corporate and operating company OE processes and standards.

Provide a secure physical and cyber environment in which business operations may be successfully conducted.

1.1 A process is in place to actively engage the workforce in security awareness and being vigilant around the security environment.

1.2 Risk-based security management plans are developed, implemented and maintained to address potential security threats to the business.

1.3 A process is in place to integrate security management plans with related plans for emergency management, business continuity and information protection.

Design and construct facilities to prevent injury, illness and incidents and to operate reliably and efficiently and in an environmentally sound manner.

2.1 The Chevron Project Development and Execution Process, applicable tools and subprocesses—such as Project Execution Planning, Project Assurance, Operations Assurance, Systems Completion and Turnover Process, Decision Analysis, and technical codes and standards—are used to reliably and consistently incorporate OEMS requirements in the design and construction of all new and modified facilities.

2.2 Consider reliability, operability, maintainability and total life-cycle cost trade-offs in making incremental capital investment decisions. This trade-off analysis should use the criteria found in the Corporate Investment Analysis Manual.

2.3 A process is in place to comprehensively assess and evaluate safety, health and environmental, asset integrity, and reliability risks and potential business and community impacts and to develop associated mitigation plans for new and modified facilities. Assessments conducted in early project phases shall be re-evaluated during final detailed design to determine whether mitigation plans have been implemented.

2.4 Conduct prestartup reviews on all new, modified or previously idled facilities prior to startup and after shutdown to confirm they meet applicable regulatory and corporate requirements. Prestartup reviews may include a prestartup safety review and an operational readiness review.

Operate and maintain facilities to prevent injuries, illness and incidents.

3.1 An HES risk management process is in place to periodically identify, assess and mitigate the safety and health risks related to facility operations and modifications.

3.2 A comprehensive safety program is in place for each location. Core elements of the program shall include:

  • Written safe work practices. Safe work practices may include: permit to work, hot work, confined space entry, equipment isolation (lockout/tag out), opening equipment, excavation, working at heights, electrical work, simultaneous operations, bypassing critical protections, lifting and rigging, and other applicable practices identified through risk assessment of local operations.
  • A written job or task safety analysis process to identify, eliminate or mitigate potential hazards prior to conducting work.
  • Stop-work authority.
  • A repetitive stress injury prevention process.
  • A comprehensive road safety management process to minimize risk and promote motor vehicle safety.
  • A hazardous materials communication process to manage and communicate hazards.
  • A behavior-based safety process to provide for observation and commentary on worker behaviors, tracking and analysis of observations, and a process for identifying and implementing actions for improvement.

3.3 An occupational health program is in place for each location. Core elements shall include:

  • Occupational hygiene and medical surveillance processes appropriate for the location that include procedures for identification and control of workplace exposures, including infectious disease, and ongoing monitoring and surveillance of affected personnel.
  • A process to determine whether members of the workforce are safely able to perform the essential physical, psychological and cognitive requirements of their job without risk to self, others or the environment and are not impaired by drugs, alcohol, disabling medical conditions or fatigue.
  • A health education process to reinforce personal and facility hygiene to control workplace exposure to and transmission of infectious diseases.

3.4 A process is in place to develop and maintain operating and maintenance procedures and process safety information. The process shall help ensure that documents, procedures, records and other information are accurate, reflective of current operating practices and accessible to appropriate members of the workforce. Procedures for document control, including confidentiality and retention, shall also be included.

3.5 A process is in place to enable the members of workforce to develop the skills and knowledge to perform their jobs competently, in a manner to prevent incidents, and in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, company policies and requirements. The process shall include:

  • Identification of training needs for leaders, supervisors and other members of the workforce.
  • Initial, ongoing and regular refresher training.
  • Ensuring workers’ awareness of their roles and responsibilities in achieving conformity with the requirements of the OEMS and of the potential consequences of departing from specific procedures.
  • Documentation and assessment of training effectiveness.

Manage both permanent and temporary changes to prevent incidents.

4.1 A process is in place to manage changes to facilities, operations, products or the organization. The management of change process shall address:

  • Both permanent and temporary changes.
  • Authority for approving changes.
  • Evaluation of health and safety hazards, environmental impacts, and mitigation.
  • Communication of the change.
  • Training of all personnel impacted by the changes to facilities, operations, products or the organization.
  • Updates to and maintenance of critical OE documentation.


Operate and maintain wells and facilities to ensure asset integrity and prevent incidents.

5.1 A process (Reliability Opportunity Identification or other applicable process) is in place to identify and resolve the few facility and business unit-wide equipment, work process and human reliability opportunities that cause significant incidents or performance gaps. Failure analysis is used to determine causes of failures, and actions are taken to resolve these causes.

5.2 A process is in place to identify critical structures, equipment and work processes. Possible failure modes and effects are analyzed, and steps are taken to prevent the failure or mitigate the effects.

5.3 A process is in place to establish and use standardized equipment operation and surveillance duties for all critical structures, equipment and protection devices to ensure they operate properly.

5.4 A process is in place for condition monitoring (or time-based inspection and testing) to monitor and ensure mechanical integrity of all critical structures, equipment and protection devices.

5.5 A process is in place to prioritize, plan, schedule and complete necessary maintenance for all structures, equipment and protective devices. The process shall include:

  • Proactive maintenance of equipment and protection devices through the use of surveillance and condition monitoring results.
  • A structured project-planning approach for facility shut-ins, turnarounds and significant maintenance projects to reduce downtime and help ensure efficient use of resources.
  • Prioritization, planning and scheduling to manage work on all structures, equipment and protective devices.

5.6 A process is in place to identify and resolve other repetitive or recurring failures, to improve reliability, and to reduce maintenance costs.

5.7 A process is in place to manage the integrity and reliability of wells. The process shall include:

  • Identification of critical wells or well types. Possible failure modes and effects are analyzed and steps are taken to prevent failures or mitigate failure effects for critical wells or well types.
  • Standardized operation and surveillance duties for critical wells or well types.
  • Use of surveillance, performance data and analysis to assess current well performance against expected well potential to identify and evaluate opportunities for improvement.
  • Condition monitoring to ensure mechanical integrity of all critical wells or well types.
  • Proactive maintenance programs using available surveillance and condition monitoring results to correct abnormal conditions.
  • Prioritization, planning and scheduling of well work.


Maximize efficiency of operations and conserve natural resources.

5.8 A process is in place to optimize operational processes and improve profitability through the efficient use of people, time and assets.

5.9 A process is in place to track and improve energy efficiency while reducing emissions (including greenhouse gases) per unit of production.

5.10 A process is in place to maintain inventories and plans for conservation of natural resources and for reducing use of raw materials by each facility and each process.

Systematically improve third-party service performance through conformance to Operational Excellence.

6.1 A process is in place to determine whether third-party service suppliers, including their subcontractors, perform to safety, health, environment and reliability requirements consistent with those required of company employees when working on company property and when providing services for the company off company property in operational control.

6.2 A Contractor Health, Environment and Safety Management (CHESM) process is in place that clearly establishes accountabilities, to include:

  • Identification of company contract “owners” (or management sponsors) accountable for each contract.
  • Active engagement of contractors in implementing and improving the CHESM program.
  • A contractor qualification and selection process that addresses HES performance.
  • Prejob and work-in-progress activities to verify scope of work, reinforce expectations and monitor compliance to requirements.
  • A mitigation plan for contractors and subcontractors with poor HES processes or performance.
  • Identification, effective management and control of short service employees.
  • Periodic evaluation of contractor HES performance and assessment of the CHESM program.

Strive to continually improve environmental performance and reduce impacts from our operations.

7.1 A process is in place to inventory all emissions, releases and wastes and to identify natural resources affected by operations. (Natural resources include air, surface water, groundwater, soil and geologic resources, and biological diversity.) The inventory should include possible sources of unplanned releases and sources of potential contamination caused by past practices.

7.2 Processes are in place to identify, assess, mitigate and manage potentially significant risks and impacts to human health and the environment (including natural resources) associated with existing operations and capital projects, including emissions, releases and wastes.

7.3 A property transfer process is in place to identify and manage potential safety, health or environmental liabilities before transaction. The process shall include:

  • Assessment of risk for identified liabilities.
  • Management of risks based on current and likely future uses of the property and potential changes in applicable law.

7.4 A third-party waste stewardship process is in place to identify external waste management sites suitable for use.

Manage potential health, environmental, safety (HES) and integrity risks of our products throughout a product’s life cycle.

8.1 A process is in place to maintain and communicate information on potential hazards and exposures from products from conception and development through acquisition, manufacture, distribution, storage, use, recycling, potential release and disposal.

8.2 A process is in place to identify, assess and manage significant HES and integrity risks across the life cycle (manufacturing, storage, distribution, transportation, use, recycling, potential release and disposal) of each existing product, byproduct, intermediate or process stream. The process should include provisions for periodic re-evaluation as appropriate.

8.3 A process is in place to identify, assess and manage HES and product integrity impacts of manufacturing, distribution, storage, use, recycling, potential release and disposal when developing, formulating or altering products, byproducts and process intermediates. Assessment should be conducted early in each product’s or project’s development and for any changes in the product life cycle that may potentially alter the product.

8.4 A process is in place to identify, assess and manage risks posed through storage, handling, transportation and distribution of company products, materials and other commercial goods. Implement appropriate product quality control processes and product integrity risk-reduction measures.

8.5 Promote product stewardship practices with third parties, including suppliers, distributors, transporters, customers and other direct product recipients.

Investigate and identify root causes of incidents to reduce or eliminate systemic causes and to prevent future incidents.

9.1 A process is in place to report, record and investigate incidents and near misses and correct any deficiencies found. The process shall include:

  • Management roles and responsibilities in incident investigation.
  • Root cause analysis for significant events and near misses.
  • Annual evaluation of incident cause trends to determine where improvements in systems, processes, practices or procedures are warranted.
  • Sharing of relevant lessons learned.
  • Procedures for follow-up and closure of actions taken to resolve deficiencies.

Reach out to the community and the workforce to engage in open dialogue to build trust and long-term positive relationships.

10.1 A process is in place to systematically identify stakeholders and plan and execute engagement that promotes mutual understanding about projects, operations, facilities and products.

10.2 Foster ongoing two-way engagement with communities, nongovernmental organizations, government and regulatory authorities, and other appropriate stakeholders to address potential security, safety, health, environmental, supply chain, social and other concerns.

10.3 Foster ongoing two-way engagement with members of the workforce to enable active participation in the design, development, implementation and continual improvement of aspects of the OEMS that relate to their work.

Prevention is the first priority, but be prepared to respond immediately and effectively to all emergencies involving Chevron wholly owned or operated assets. For company products or interests such as common carriers, chartered vessels and facilities operated by others, be prepared to monitor the response and, if warranted, take appropriate actions.

11.1 Maintain a procedure consistent with corporate guidelines that results in prompt notification of management of significant health, environmental and safety incidents.

11.2 Maintain an emergency response plan that describes how emergencies will be managed and with what resources. Plans should address all credible and significant risks identified by site-specific risk and impact assessments.

11.3 Emergency response plans shall be:

  • Documented in appropriate detail.
  • Integrated with relevant business continuity and crisis management plans.
  • Reinforced through establishment of a training program and an annual exercise program to train the emergency response team and to test the plan.
  • Readily available to appropriate onsite personnel.
  • Communicated to employees, onsite third-party service providers, joint-venture partners, and appropriate government authorities and stakeholders.
  • Reviewed and, where necessary, revised—in particular, after the occurrence of accidents or emergency situations.

11.4 Develop and implement a business continuity plan that addresses continuity or timely recovery of critical business processes and operations. Even if there are no critical processes or operations, develop and implement an emergency employee communication plan to account for employees after a disruptive event.

Verify conformance with OE requirements in applicable company policy and government laws and regulations. Train the workers regarding their OE-related responsibilities.

12.1 A process is in place to:

  • Identify and record applicable legal requirements, other compliance requirements and OE-related policies.
  • Make sure that the workforce understands and complies with identified requirements.
  • Develop, prioritize and implement programs of control.

12.2 In addition to the corporate-level OE audit program, put in place comprehensive internal OE audit programs within units to verify compliance with applicable OE-related legal requirements, company policies and standards that assess compliance with the spirit and letter of applicable laws and regulations and with policies regardless of the degree of enforcement.

12.3 A process is in place that encourages the workforce to freely report existing or potential violations of law or company policy, without fear of retribution or any adverse company action because of his or her report. Processes must include an appropriate and timely investigation to address the report. Allowance must be made for anonymous reporting.

12.4 A process is in place to identify and report significant noncompliance issues and root causes to management in a timely manner and track corrective actions to closure.

Work ethically and constructively to influence proposed laws and regulations and debate on emerging issues.

13.1 A process is in place to identify, track and comment on proposed legislation, regulations and emerging policy issues.

Since 2004, Chevron has engaged an independent organization, Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance (LRQA), to verify that our Operational Excellence Management System meets international environmental and safety management system standards and specifications.

In 2015, LRQA attested to the alignment of Chevron's Operational Excellence Management System (OEMS) with the requirements of ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007 and that OEMS is implemented throughout the corporation.