Preventing fatalities and serious incidents is our top priority. Chevron is committed to continuously improving safety and in this spirit, we innovate to find better ways to protect our workforce.
employee spotlightvanessa fruge
process engineer, pascagoula refinery
During the planning phase for recent turnarounds, I was 28 weeks pregnant, so I went to our local medical clinic to evaluate my fitness for duty because working a turnaround is more physical than a typical day at work. Performing inspections on equipment can involve crawling into tight spaces, climbing ladders, increased noise exposure and other activities in the plant. Our industrial hygienist provided me with recommendations to discuss with my doctor and supervisor to help keep me healthy and safe while performing my job responsibilities during the turnaround.
On the job, whenever I brought up concerns to my team, my co-workers were available to help me. To complete tasks that I could not physically perform in my third trimester, such as confined space entry for column inspections, I took advantage of HoloLens, which is a headset that can be worn in the field to provide me with a remote view on my iPad. My supervisor also supported my need for new maternity FRC (flame-resistant clothing). The overall support I received at this time was critical in keeping me safe and healthy during my pregnancy while enabling me to perform typical turnaround tasks. Completing a turnaround is an important milestone for any process engineer hoping to grow their capabilities, and I didn’t want to miss out on that opportunity.
This experience is consistent with the way Chevron has supported me across my career. They have allowed me to be creative and open-minded with my work – and they have encouraged me to bring my recommendations to the table. Overall, I feel very fortunate to work for a company where I do not have to choose between a thriving career and the personal experience of being a parent.
preparing for high-risk activities
Consistent with our goal of preventing fatalities and serious incidents, we established Start-Work Checks (SWCs) in 2018 for workers involved in high-risk activities. The SWCs require these workers to assure that critical safeguards are in place and functioning as intended before they start a task. Chevron’s approach to preventing serious injuries and fatalities with SWCs has made our operations safer and positively influenced the safety of our industry. We believe the SWCs have contributed to our decreased fatality rate from 2018 to 2021.
monitoring heat stress and heat strain
On hot days, workers in outdoor and some indoor settings face an increased risk of incurring heat strain (the overall physiological response to heat stress), which can lead to significant illness and even death. To protect our workforce from heat strain, we are researching and piloting the feasibility of a wearable skin patch that could provide real-time, automated analysis of sweat loss, electrolyte loss, temperature between the skin and clothing, and motion. Using these measurements, it’s possible to identify conditions that can lead to heat stress and heat strain, alert workers when they need to take breaks, and provide recommendations for replenishment of fluids and electrolytes.
enforcing greater road safety
In 2021, Chevron started using road safety analytics to evaluate crash data history and identify high-risk road segments to understand the risks associated with various routes and schedules. These tools support our transportation safety efforts by providing drivers with alternative lower-risk routes.
As a founding member of the Permian Road Safety Coalition, we share and advance best practices among the companies operating in the region as well as educate communities on their critical role in road safety. This initiative in the Permian Basin is consistent with our enterprise-wide, risk-based approach to land transportation safety, with a focus on applying appropriate safeguards and controls to prevent serious injuries and fatalities.
promoting active partnership
Our approach to workforce safety requires training for all employees and contractors on Chevron’s processes, standards and guidelines. Building upon the success of our Contractor HES Management program, we developed the Contractor Operational Excellence Management (COEM) process to establish clear accountabilities, promote active partnership, and provide a consistent process to help prevent serious injuries, fatalities and loss-of-containment events.
In 2021, we piloted COEM in our Fuels & Lubricants business, and our other business units are developing deployment strategies to introduce COEM in 2022. COEM process requirements and standards will be integrated into practical work instructions, training, procedures, tools and other methods.