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Sonangol’s ‘no-spills’ policy

Article - May 8, 2015

Sonangol has never suffered a major oil spill accident

Sonangol is proud of never having suffered a major oil spill accident. The company’s policy is to integrate QHSE (Quality, Health, Safety, Environment) thinking into every aspect of its operations. For Sonangol, QHSE programs are not seen as burdensome and costly obligations, but instead as opportunities to involve all staff in taking ownership of aspects of their work that protect them and their colleagues and the environment around them. Daniela Matos, Director of Sonangol’s QHSE Department, goes even further, adding, “QHSE should translate instinctively into productivity, quality and benefits to the environment”.

For Ms. Matos, the aim of Sonangol’s QHSE program is that “all company personnel will have greater knowledge and a better perception of how to best perform their roles”. The approach is clearly one of QHSE thinking adding value, not only through the prevention of accidents but also through the development of safer and better operating procedures. Meticulous analysis and understanding of work methods are followed by intensive training to inculcate safety awareness. They also provide metrics to continuously judge performance, individually and collectively, twith the aim of achieving best practice by a process of continuous monitoring and improvement.

Ms. Matos amplifies Sonangol’s holistic QHSE philosophy. She says, “Quality, safety and environment have the same origin. The same causes which lead to problems in quality also lead to problems in safety and environment. As such, creating a culture of QHSE in the organization is important because doing so also allows you to solve problems at their origin.” It is a mature corporate management approach recognizing the risk of human error and emphasizing prevention. Sonangol is determined to maintain its proud no-spills record way into the future.