As of today, 11 corporate HSE standards have been penned and introduced through TNК-BP. Each of them meets Russia's legal requirements on HSE and complies with TNK-BP's Code of Business Policies. Over half a year TNK-BP's HSE Assurance & Control Dept. has been overseeing the implementation of standards by different subsidiaries. According to Khromov, the monitored standards included Leadership, Accident Investigation and HSE Reporting, PPE and Transport. Different methods have been used to obtain information, including polls, monitoring and documentation analysis. Behavioral audits were performed when necessary. Grading was done by using a five-point scale. Two marks were given based on two criteria – polling and expert evaluation. Then a median grade was determined. The results were as follows: "Leadership" – 4.2, "PPE" – 3.8, "Transport" – 4.0, "Accident Investigation and Reporting" – 4.1.
The audit results show that the use of PPE (personal protection equipment) is not satisfactory due to both objective and subjective reasons. Talking about the former, Khromov said that the audit was launched in early 2005, at a time when the rules of PPE supply were not approved and, accordingly, some companies did not purchase protection equipment, while other units did not distribute it to the staff. "At corporate level we have put together a list of regulations and requirements which has finally been approved by Russia's Health and Social Development Ministry, so there aren't any more hurdles to clear in regard to the implementation of this standard," Khromov said. "Old regulations used for providing staff with PPE were in full compliance with the Russian legislation, but they absolutely failed to meet the high standards advocated by the Company."
Another issue which needs to be dealt with is the provision of PPE to contractors. However, there are certain peculiarities here. In Khromov's opinion, the Company should apply different approaches when dealing with contractors executing short-term and long-term contracts. "When we discuss long-term cooperation, it goes without saying that our Company will put similar requirements to the contractor as to its subsidiaries and provide the contractor's teams with PPE in compliance with our standards. In case of short-term contracts, the Company may be forced to provide the contractors with PPE.
Otherwise, the price of such contracts could grow substantially." And yet, says Khromov, the biggest problem in this regard is not the lack of PPE or its untimely supply, but its not being used even when it's available or being misused. Recalling an example from real life, he says: "For instance, you meet a worker carrying a bag with a gas mask inside. I ask him if his bag was checked. He answers that the foreman had checked it. Then I open the bag and find sweets in the gas mask and tobacco in the box. And this is not a singular case."