Our Goal Zero ambition

Everyone working for Shell strives to achieve Goal Zero each day. We do this with a focus on the three areas of safety hazards which have the highest risks for our type of activities: personal, process, and transport safety. 

We set consistent, high safety standards across Shell and we expect all of our employees and contractors to meet them – whether they work in a refinery, on a drilling rig or in an office. 

In 2020, we started a multi-year effort to refresh our approach to safety for all employees and contractors. This included a review that considered the effectiveness of preventative tools, such as the Life-Saving Rules.

Since the early 2000s, these tools have helped strengthen our safety culture and performance, but we have not been able to sustainably eliminate all fatal incidents involving Shell employees or contractors.

The new approach we are implementing is rooted in a consistent focus across the organisation on the way people, culture, equipment, work systems and processes all interact, what we call human performance. The majority of our fatalities over the last five years were down to the interaction between these elements.

Discover engagement materials on our approach to safety for contractors

In 2021, we began to move from the Shell Life-Saving Rules, which were in place for more than a decade, to the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP) Life-Saving Rules. This is an important step in our refreshed approach to safety. By the end of 2021, more than 100,000 of our employees and contractors had completed the mandatory training on the new Life-Saving Rules. The new rules came into effect from January 2022. Find out more about our approach to sustainability and our performance data in our Annual Report and our Sustainability Report.

Our safety standards and requirements are explained clearly in our Health, Safety, Security, Environmental and Social Performance Control Framework. These standards apply to all aspects of our activities, from designing a facility through to decommissioning a site or platform. They apply to our employees, our contractors and any joint ventures where we have operational accountability.

Raising industry safety standards

We want to help improve safety performance throughout the energy industry and work in partnership with industry trade associations and professional bodies to share our safety experience, standards and knowledge with other operators and contractors. These include the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP), the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).

We also work with other third parties, such as the Energy Institute (EI) based in the UK, to promote industry-leading research into safety culture in organisations, safety leadership, and how best to learn from incidents.

We share and learn from the safety standards and experiences of others in our industry through programmes like our contractor safety leadership (CSL) programme. Since 2014, Shell executives have collaborated in pairs with executives of major contractor companies to identify strategies and practical steps to improve a shared safety culture and achieve our Goal Zero ambition of no harm and no leaks. 

Through the journey we have transformed how we deliver safely by embracing standardisation and addressing key focus areas such as worker welfare and mental health. In 2021 our engagements remained around the theme of leading together through COVID-19 and placing human performance at the core of our approaches to safety. Moreover, our transition to the industry Life-Saving Rules brings us closer to the standard shared by the majority of the within our main CSL partners – which was an original request from this group.

More in Sustainability

Personal safety

Everyone who works for us, or with us, has an important part to play in making Shell a safer place to work.

Process safety

Process safety involves making sure our facilities are well designed, safely operated and properly maintained to prevent leaks of hazardous materials.

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