Health, Safety, and the Environment (HSE)

A long-standing HSE commitment to the highest standards.

Three people in a conference room

SLB is committed to maintaining the highest health and safety standards for employees, customers, and contractors. Our commitment encompasses health and safety risks in the office and other facilities, such as laboratories and workshops, out in the field, when traveling on company business, and at home.

Our HSE Management System defines the principles by which we conduct our operations worldwide, and our management team applies rigorous policies and standards throughout the company. Nothing is more important to us than ensuring that our employees, contractors, and customers get home safely to their families at the end of each day. 

We have a long-standing commitment to sharing our HSE leadership and best practices through technical papers, active involvement with industry trade associations and specialist HSE organizations, and other means.

Emergency Response Brief

Emergency response

Each SLB location has comprehensive Emergency Response Plans (ERPs) and trained personnel to respond to anticipated local emergency scenarios such as emergency evacuation, fire, medical emergency response, security threat response, spill response, natural disasters, and other specific operational hazards such as hazardous substances, hydrogen sulfide releases, and well control incidents. Multiple location emergency response drills are conducted annually and recorded in the global online QHSE business system.

Our global Business Continuity, Emergency and Crisis Management Standard sets out a risk-based approach, incorporating the Harvard School of Public Health’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiatives and Meta-Leadership programs, and provided the basis for our global COVID-19 crisis management response.  It adopts a global hierarchy of crisis and emergency management and response teams to effectively respond to developing crisis events and to protect our people, assets, and ability to operate, as well as the environment, stakeholders’ interests, and SLB’s reputation.

Each SLB site is required to assess its potential emergency situations, put ERPs in place for each emergency scenario, provide sufficient response capabilities, including resources and emergency response teams, and conduct local drills for these ERPs. Standardized global flowcharts, guidance, and checklists are provided to assist the emergency and crisis management teams with their initial response actions. SLB employees and contractors working at customer or third-party locations are required to follow the applicable site emergency response protocols and participate in any drills and response activities in accordance with their training, competence, and agreed responsibilities in the site-specific plans. Lessons learned and feedback on what worked well during drills and actual emergency situations are then reported and reviewed both locally and globally for purposes of continual improvement. This program is based on our fundamental corporate commitment to the company’s HSE function as a core differentiating competency.

Each of the Crisis Management Teams (CMTs) and Emergency Management Teams (EMTs) comprise nine core members, primarily representing SLB business functions:

  • CMT leader
  • Crisis management coordinator
  • Communications coordinator
  • Stakeholder manager
  • Human Resources
  • Legal counsel
  • IT Services
  • Facilities
  • Finance

Designated emergency and crisis management centers are suitably equipped and maintained in geographically dispersed locations to support regional CMTs and country EMTs, as well as site-specific emergency response teams. Technical subject matter expertise is made continually available to the geographic CMTs and EMTs via business line global operations control centers. We also annually conduct a global-level review of our consolidated geographic, functional, and business line risks to analyze correlations and trends and report the same to our executive management.

SLB conducts regular crisis and emergency management drills—quarterly at the country level, biannually at the geographic area level, and annually at the corporate level—to practice coordinating people, organizations, resources, and information to best mitigate and control a wide range of scenarios, from our initial response through reestablishing operations.

Annually, we conduct a series of cybersecurity drills in addition to operational drill scenarios and a variety of response and management drills to combine reasonably foreseeable emergency and crisis scenarios with all relevant response actions in place.

Emergency response tools and guidance

To support our crisis, emergency, and business continuity management process, we have implemented standardized company tools and guidance across the organization. Examples of such tools include:

  • Global online risk mapping tool with geographically conducted vulnerability assessments that include the identification of threats to each business line, function, and manufacturing center
  • Emergency response assessment tools, standardized emergency response plan templates, and comprehensive guidance for a variety of scenarios (such as natural disasters, extreme weather conditions, injuries, illness, fire, security threat, and evacuation of building, site or country)
  • Comprehensive global reference manual and online library of available resources, such as notification and response flowcharts, checklists, and drill scenarios, as well as best practices, which are regularly updated based on lessons learned from company responses to drills and real crisis and emergency situations
  • Designated trained CMTs and crisis management planning at both corporate and geographic area levels, as well as designated trained EMTs and emergency management planning in every country of operation, all of which follow a company-wide crisis and emergency management playbook
  • Incident response digitally enabled application that links to our global crisis and emergency management online portal in order to:
    • Identify and map internal and external stakeholders (such as contractors, customers, regulators, emergency services, government agencies, specialist service providers, community officials, members of the public, and/or media)
    • Maintain real-time internal and external communications
    • Record crisis and emergency response and management decisions and actions throughout each crisis or emergency cycle
    • Manage business continuity actions and decisions
  • Emergency situation identification, vulnerability assessment, and response planning for every company location, using global tools to maintain consistent assessment of the threats, internal and external resource capability analysis, and plans for control and mitigation of emergency situations
  • Communication tools, including mass e-mail distributions, text message alerts with receipt confirmation, news and updates on our company intranet and internal social media channels, 24-hour emergency call centers, and standard IT tools for managing and documenting actions taken and interactions with stakeholders
  • Business impact analysis and continuity planning assessment tools, templates, and guidance covering (among other things) anticipated business disruptions.

Emergency response training

We implement crisis management training programs throughout our organization. Senior leaders around the world attend a two-day CMT or EMT training course, which can be held in person or virtually. These training courses enable attendees to participate in practical exercises combining crisis management best practices, techniques from global academic experts, and expertise from within the company. Our comprehensive training incorporates realistic scenarios to successfully translate theoretical training into practical skills. Our initial training is also supplemented with refresher training and regional readiness assessments. Subject matter experts provide crisis and emergency management support to our global organization on an ongoing basis.

Emergency communications

SLB maintains communications channels open to the public to report:

  • Chemical emergency situations, including emergency contact numbers for all our chemical products and different geographic areas with multiple language options as appropriate
  • Via an e-mail contact option from our public website.

For internal reporting, the following options are made available and can be used anonymously:

  • EthicsLine, available 24/7 with two ways of reporting, by telephone and using an online report
  • Using the online QHSE business system’s ethics and compliance feature or mobile reporting application.

HSE management system

The SLB HSE Management System sets forth the principles by which we conduct our operations worldwide regarding HSE and security. SLB management communicates our global QHSE Policy, as well as our HSE philosophy, priorities, objectives, and requirements, to all employees, customers, contractors, and third parties associated with our business. Our global HSE standards are implemented in all our operations and comprehensively assessed to assure compliance. We require each SLB geography, business line and function to provide positive evidence of conformance to our HSE Management System.

HSE Management System

We work to continually improve upon our HSE outcomes through:

  • Regular conformance checks on day-to-day standards and procedures (referred to in the diagram at left as “control”)
  • Conformance checks on the management system as a whole (referred to in the diagram at left as “correction”)
  • As needed, appropriate modifications to the management system (referred to in the diagram at left as “improvement”).

Our HSE Management System comprises several global standards, which we require to be implemented at all SLB operations and facilities, regardless of whether a particular operating location or facility has chosen to commit to third-party certification, such as to ISO standards or American Petroleum Institute (API) specifications.

SLB’s HSE Management System uses a risk-based approach, which enables us to focus resources on the geographic locations, activities, and services that present a higher risk to the company, our personnel, and our customers. Our risk-based strategy enables us to develop focused, concise HSE standards that are easily read, understood, and monitored for effectiveness and compliance.

Each risk based HSE standard contains the following items:

  • Statement of intent
  • Objective of the standard
  • Scope of application
  • Requirements for implementation of controls
  • Clear statements of responsibility for the management of the subject matter
  • Performance monitoring criteria for performance and compliance.

Our risk-based approach involves setting prescribed control measures that apply at all SLB sites and to all of our activities and employees, as well as to contractors under our operational control. SLB’s HSE function has developed specific strategies for our risk-based HSE standards, covering both the fundamental controls that apply globally throughout all company activities without variation, and certain risk-based controls—assessed by country, business line, and location—for which application increases proportionally with the assessed risk. At the global level, each SLB HSE standard has an assigned owner who is responsible for developing and monitoring the standard and for regularly updating it to reflect the company’s commitment to continuous improvement, industry best practices, and lessons learned.

Each year, SLB holds a global meeting of the senior HSE managers in our geographic locations and senior corporate HSE personnel to review the SLB HSE standards and emerging regulatory changes to reflect both internal and external updated HSE best practices. This annual HSE management review is focused on identifying opportunities for improvement both in our HSE Management System and in HSE performance. We also set annual performance and improvement objectives (including leading and lagging performance indicators), review existing HSE standards, and develop new HSE standards, personnel engagement initiatives, and campaigns for the year.

Health and wellbeing

In 2021, we assigned our first Global Health and Wellbeing Manager, recognizing the strategic need to support employees to live their best lives. The Live Well program was launched with the vision for SLB employees to be the healthiest and happiest people in our industry, and our mission is to provide a positive environment for people to flourish and for business to thrive.

Our SLB BlueFlex program and our Flexible Work policy have been developed to reflect our commitment to implement models that benefit work-life balance by enabling office-based personnel to work from home a few days a week.

SLB engages with personnel globally on the topic of Wellbeing and Mental Health. The “Building Blocks for Positive Mental Health” training raises awareness of what Mental Health is and how to remove bias and stigma, and also offers strategies to help normalize the conversation around this topic.

Emotional intelligence

Our Mindfulness program is an evidence-based approach combining neuroscience, attention training, and emotional intelligence. The program provides practical tools that can be immediately applied in life or work. We start with a foundation of mindfulness and build the core emotional intelligence domains that lead to outstanding leadership. These training courses are teaching tools, practices, resources, and exercises to enable:

  • Improved overall well-being
  • Resilience in the face of challenges
  • Improved stress management
  • Greater self-awareness and emotion regulation
  • Development of empathy
  • Effective communications
  • Increased focus and attention

From 2023, every SLB location will have a least two employees trained as Mental Health First Aiders, supporting employees and signposting them to professional resources, such as the Employees Assistance Program, local doctors, psychologists, or psychiatrists.

Three employees sitting on a long white ottoman

Medical fitness

Fitness to work, and periodic medical screening examinations are available to over 70% of employees on a tri-yearly basis. This physical examination and investigations represent a significant investment in employees’ health and are considered a win-win benefit. The program helps identify and detect early signs of illness. It is frequently an upgrade to the basic primary care available in many countries. The data from this program allows us to build a health promotion campaign tailored to the specific health risks of our people. In some cases, serious illness is prevented and is lifesaving.

Occupational health

Through the Global Health Management standard, SLB assists HSE Managers and company Health Care Specialists in evaluating country and operational location health risk levels and implementing appropriate control measures. 

The standard also provides the: 

  • Methodology for conducting country and operational location health risk assessments.
  • Fundamental health controls.
  • Country health profile, risk level and requirements
  • Health controls relevant to the operational location health riskHealth controls relevant to occupational health
  • Guidance for the implementation of country and operational location health controls
  • Framework for required Country Health Management Procedure 

The Global Health Standard also contains guidelines, which supplement the fundamental controls and risk-based health controls. These include definitions, specification documents and references. Our Health Risk Assessment Tool defines the health risk level and score of the project and the Remedial Work Plan-RWP to implement to either remove, mitigate or control the risks.

An Operational Location Health Risk Assessment is performed to identify and evaluate the medical and occupational health risks which can impact personnel in the workplace, taking into account the location environment and the type of operational activities.

A Country Health Profile, Risk Level and Requirements is maintained for all countries in which we operate. This provides the Country Health Risk Level based on WHO data and the assessment of Country Health Care Facilities as well as the Country Regulatory Medical Requirements which include the country specific regulatory medical requirements for entry along with the SLB country medical requirements.

Compliance to all applicable international, national and local regulatory requirements for occupational health is required.

Regular medical examinations of employees exposed to specific workplace hazards are completed by external Company Health Service providers. Examples include chemicals, fumes, radiation, noise, etc. Specialized detection devices are used where specific hazards are present (example: dosimeters and radiation meters counters for radiation, gas detectors, etc.).

Fatigue management

Fatigue management training is given to all employees and managers.  Monitoring and follow-up of work schedules are conducted by the HR function and business line managers. Operational sites have established Fatigue Management Plans where fatigue risks are identified, and risk controls outlined.   

Reduce chemistry-related risks

  • Three people in a conference room
    Chemical Management
    The Global Regulatory Compliance Chemicals (GRC-C) team is responsible for ensuring chemical compliance and safety throughout the lifecycle of our products.

    All engineered and SLB trade name chemicals go through our lifecycle management framework, which includes a Health Safety and Environment (HSE) and regulatory assessment. View