press release

Chevron Press Release - National Ocean Industries Association "Safety In Seas" Award Honors Chevron

NEW ORLEANS, April 1, 1996 -- Chevron U.S.A. Production Company, Gulf of Mexico Business Unit, New Orleans, and American Oilfield Divers, Inc., Lafayette, La., were named winners of the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) "Safety in Seas" award. Chevron U.S.A. Production Co. is a major producer of oil and gas in the United States. American Oilfield Divers (AOD) is an international corporation. Both companies jointly submitted a nomination for their contractor safety program.

Launched in 1978, the "Safety in Seas" award recognizes a significant contribution to the safety of human life in the development of ocean energy resources during the 1995 calendar year. The sponsor of the award is Compass Publications, (Arlington, Va.) publisher of Sea Technology Magazine. Charles Bussmann, president, Compass Publications, announced the winner today at NOIA's 24th Annual Meeting in Washington.

In announcing the winners, Bussmann said, "Both Chevron and American Oilfield Divers have shown total commitment to safety and have seen their efforts rewarded in the last year. With Chevron experiencing a 16 percent reduction of total recordable accidents and American Oilfield Divers seeing a 15 percent reduction of total recordable injuries, this is an excellent example of the kind of high regard for the preservation of human life and total commitment to achieving results the offshore industries inspires in its employees."

To Chevron, working safe is simply good business. The impact on employees and their families and the financial loss of an accident make it clear that working safe is key to the company's success. Another key to Chevron's excellent safety record is its established philosophy of doing business with fewer but high quality service companies that clearly demonstrate a commitment to incident prevention. After evaluating the impact accidents had on its operating expenses, Chevron found that approximately six percent of its costs to produce each barrel of oil were related to accidents. Recognizing the need to address the issue, Chevron management developed a process that would reduce costs and heighten safety awareness. Hence, the evolution of the Contractor Safety Process.

The Contractor Safety Process compares the safety performance of each of Chevron's approved contractors to a five-year average of their peer group. It also reviews loss prevention resources such as management policy, employee training and other resources available for incident prevention. Upon implementation of Chevron's new program, the company set goals to hire only contractors with a low or medium risk group classification.

"Based on our review of contractors safety performance, 37 percent were determined to be in a high risk category. Contractors wanting to continue to work for Chevron began reviewing their safety programs," said Ray Galvin, president, Chevron U.S.A. Production Co. "But none took it more seriously than American Oilfield Divers," he continued. "American Oilfield Divers has been an early champion of our renewed safety awareness and has taken the concept a step further than on the job."

American Oilfield Divers initiated the employee-owned Safety Operation Process with complete support from upper management. It is managed on a day-to-day basis for effectiveness through audit calls and cause and cure analysis. Employees are taught to expect the unexpected and a daily safety drill ensures readiness. Post accident investigations require the operations manager to go offshore to determine the cause of an injury and how to prevent a reoccurrence. AOD's process also involves employees' families and encourages and provides safety classes, such as First Aid, CPR, and Defensive Driving for family members. It is intended to create a mindset whereby safety becomes a value that does not change with location.

Monthly meetings are held with supervisors and captains to study improvements. The safety process is now monitored daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly by Safety and Operations. The statistical data is gathered and circulated to all employees.

"The joint nomination of the Contractor Safety Process/Safe Operations Process is a significant achievement because both American Oilfield Divers and Chevron know it is here to stay," said George Yax, chairman, president and chief executive officer of American Oilfield Divers, Inc. "Employees enthusiastically buy-in because each takes pride in ownership knowing they have a direct impact on the results," he added.

"The diving industry safety requirements were recognized as being unique to the industry due to the working environment. Chevron worked closely with AOD to clarify safety requirements and identify expectations of the diving contractors," said Galvin. "AOD clearly took the leadership role with regard to safety initiative and continues to promote safety as a top priority.

"For Chevron," Galvin said, "safety is a core value. It is a critical element to every job and the prevention of accidents is the number one consideration to anyone wanting to work for Chevron in the Gulf of Mexico."

The selection committee is comprised of representation from the U.S. Coast Guard - marine safety, security and environmental protection; Minerals Management Service - offshore operations and safety; and the National Research Council's Marine Board. The selection committee chose from a roster of 12 nominations from programs involving 15 companies.

Updated: April 1996