Man working on tanker

Health, safety and security

A number of important issues highlighted by the materiality process relate to protecting people’s health, safety and security, and preventing major accidents.

Cairn is committed to operating safely and responsibly at all times, ensuring the wellbeing of our employees, our contractors and local communities where we operate. In 2015, we revised our Corporate Responsibility Management System (CRMS), which reflects our Business Principles, CR policies, the overarching framework of operating standards and the standard operating procedures that govern our operations.


Our Senior Leadership Team is responsible for embedding the CR approach and procedures across the Group. Applying them to our operating environment falls to the Management Team. We have set in place a safe system of work that employees and contractors must take responsibility for following. Regional directors are responsible, at an operational level, for ensuring that operations adhere to our health, safety and environment (HSE) standards and procedures; that all risks are managed to As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP) levels; and plans are in place to manage risks. We have a robust incident management process that ensures incidents are recorded and investigated as required, and lessons are learnt. Assurance of the implementation of these standards is overseen by the most senior company personnel and performance updates are reported to the Board.

The importance given to HSE performance is also recognised in Cairn’s Remuneration Policy. The Remuneration Committee has assigned a 15% weighting in the Group’s 2015 and 2016 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Performance against the Group’s KPIs is an important criterion for assessing the annual discretionary bonus and individual performance (see CR objectives and KPIs).

Health management

During our planning process for work in Senegal, we identified a specific need to address health issues in West Africa and this focus continued in 2015. The primary concern was, and remains, effective understanding and management of potential exposure to malaria and other infectious diseases. In 2015, in collaboration with the well activities delegate, we implemented effective online briefing and management arrangements to raise awareness of malaria among all personnel, and demonstrated practical measures to avoid it.

In 2015, we saw a decline in Ebola cases across West Africa and the risk to exposure in Senegal remains low; however, the online awareness briefing session implemented in 2014 remains an integral part of pre-travel to the region. Cairn continues to monitor the situation and manage our operations accordingly (see Supply chain, Contractor engagement).

Cairn also continues to assess threats to the health of personnel travelling on business to new locations and, where there is a risk from endemic diseases, provide appropriate advice and the support of healthcare providers. We have continued to build on the improvements made in 2014 and this has been integrated into the travel management process to ensure all travel is managed according to the risks presented.

Contractor engagement programme

A key element of Cairn’s approach to safety is applying the lessons learnt from previous operations. Such lessons are seen as an opportunity for improvement and we initiated a high-profile programme to enhance engagement of all our key contractors at an early stage in the planning process. This was one of the main indicators of performance identified for 2014 carried into 2015, with the successful introduction of a new Shorebase Operations Guidance Document, which provides front-line operational staff with the required tools to ensure safe and efficient operations. In addition, we have worked with our well activities delegate in Senegal to clarify contractor responsibilities and instituted monthly contractor health and safety meetings to improve integrated working.

Effective contractor management includes senior managers proactively working with our lead contractors to promote and reinforce good HSE and Corporate Responsibility (CR) behaviours. In 2015, we enhanced HSE supervision and are training two local Senegalese HSE Advisors to strengthen our HSE team. We also ran specialist lifting training for our contractors in Senegal, building on the training received in 2014, to improve skills for handling specific equipment used in our industry. The absence of any Lost Time Injuries (LTIs) in 2015 can be attributed in part to the success of this programme and the strong field leadership of the Senegal base and offshore teams. Indeed, our Senegal base celebrated over 900 days without an LTI in January 2016, a substantial achievement in a difficult and complex location.

Senegal case study

The primary contractors in our Senegal campaign provided a wide range of services, including drilling rig, aviation, vessel and supply base services and drilling support activities, such as chemicals, logging services, fuel, waste management and surveys. In addition to our standard planning and operational activities to highlight risks through our Project Delivery Process (PDP), senior personnel emphasised the importance of HSE and CR to Cairn and stressed that risks are understood and time is taken to operate safely in order to achieve all our objectives. All key contractors were engaged early at senior level by asset managers, project managers or higher. An example is a number of high-profile vendor HSE meetings that were held in Dakar and included all contractors engaged in significant activities within our operations, and senior managers from both Cairn and ConocoPhillips were in attendance to reinforce HSE expectations. Rig visits were conducted by the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Regional Director and Operations Manager, as well as the Board of Directors. Where incidents or ‘high-potential’ near misses were identified, members of the Management Team followed up with contractors as part of the investigation process and the application of lessons learnt. Progress on resolution of issues was reported to both the Management Team and the Senior Leadership Team.

Before our 2015 programme commenced, all major equipment and contractors were assessed for management compatibility and appropriate acceptance, and preparedness audits conducted with all major findings closed out prior to commencement.

Security highlights

We have continued to build on the improvements made in 2014 and this has been integrated into the travel management process to ensure all travel is captured. In 2015, there have been some significant changes in the global security landscape, with an increase in terrorist-related attacks that are not confined to high-risk countries. This emerging threat reiterates the requirement to ensure the safety and security of our employees and contractors (see Security).

2015 lagging indicators of performance

Overall, our performance has improved since 2014. Our Lost Time Incident Frequency (LTIF) rate and Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) for 2015 were zero per million hours worked, compared to 0.65 and 3.88 respectively in 2014.

LTIF (employees and contractors)

LTIF (employees and contractors)

See performance data Health, safety and security.


lost time injuries and recordable injuries in 2015.


fatalities of Cairn staff or contractors for over five years.

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