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Health and Safety

NOVATEK is fully committed to putting the life and health of its employees above its business results, and is aware of its responsibility for ensuring accident-free operations and safe labor conditions for its employees, as well as protecting the health of the population in the areas, in which the company operates.

In its pursuit to reduce the injury rate in production activities, the Company continuously improves approaches to occupational and industrial safety management. This is achieved through continuous analysis of production process to prevent accidents and incidents that may lead to emergencies on the job.

Below are the main principles that each and every Company employee must accept:

  1. Leadership of the Company management in HSE.
  2. Involvement of personnel of all levels in efforts to reduce operation risks.
  3. Personal responsibility of each Company employee for complying with the requirements to minimize operation risks that may cause personal injuries.
  4. Personnel motivation to seek potential for occupational safety improvements.
  5. Priority of prevention over reaction.

Pursuant to effective legislation, workplaces undergo special working conditions certification. As of 31 December 2020, 9,254 workplaces were covered by the assessments. The assessment identified 7,947 (85.8%) workplaces to have permissible conditions. At workplaces with harmful working conditions, a set of measures to eliminate or mitigate harmful factors has been implemented. No workplaces with hazardous working conditions were identified.

Controlled entities have in place an occupational health and safety management system, which is part of a wider management system and ensures risk management based on the key principle of prioritizing prevention over incident containment and response.

The Company is engaged in exploration, production, transportation, processing and sales of natural gas and liquid hydrocarbons, which implies setting up complex technological processes for operating fire- and explosion hazardous facilities. Operation of fire- and explosion hazardous industrial facilities is carried out in compliance with industrial safety laws. Group entities have licenses to operate Hazard Class I, II and III fire, explosion and chemical hazardous industrial facilities.

In 2020, regional branches of Rostechnadzor registered 260 hazardous production facilities, including:

Class I (extremely high hazard) – 13 facilities;

Class II (high hazard) – 51 facilities; 

Class III (medium hazard) – 174 facilities; 

Class IV (low hazard) – 22 facilities.

For Class I and II hazardous industrial facilities, industrial safety management systems and industrial safety declarations were developed providing estimates and specifying actions for:

  • identifying, assessing and forecasting accident risks;
  • planning and implementing accident risk mitigation measures;
  • coordinating accident and incident prevention measures;
  • industrial control procedures; and
  • employees’ involvement in the development and implementation of accident risk mitigation measures.

To compensate for the damage inflicted to third parties and the environment as a result of an accident at a hazardous industrial facility, all hazardous industrial facilities are insured in accordance with Federal Law No. 225-FZ On Mandatory Third Party Liability Insurance for Owners of Hazardous Facilities for Damage Inflicted by Accidents at Hazardous Facilities.

Executives and specialists of subsidiaries and affiliates that are subject to Rostechnadzor supervision undergo routine certification on industrial safety rules performed by Rostechnadzor's regional commissions. From among these employees, industrial safety assessment commissions are set up to evaluate staff and permit them to independently work at hazardous production facilities using the Unified Testing Portal information system.

Occupational health training is mandatory for all categories of employees and is offered in all subsidiaries and affiliates. Unit managers, including top executives, take courses at training centers. To offer in-house training to white-collar employees, the Company has developed training programs and set up certification commissions to assess trainees' knowledge of occupational health regulations.

In 2020, 13,997 employees received HSE training and were certified in industrial safety, which is in line with the established training plan.

In 2020, standing safety and occupational health control commissions carried out 409 compliance checks in controlled entities. The results were documented in relevant reports and special measures were elaborated to eliminate identified incompliances. Employees in charge submit monthly remedial action reports to their respective health and safety units to further analyze risks of hazardous situations.

In 2020, NOVATEK continued its programs of targeted audits of controlled entities for compliance with occupational health, industrial, fire and environmental safety requirements by a Company committee. During the reporting year, targeted audit of NOVATEK-Chelyabinsk was performed. Based on the findings, relevant report was produced, and remedial actions were developed.

At the Company level, data are collected and analyzed regarding remediation of all findings of both scheduled and unscheduled audits carried out by the government supervisory authorities and integrated and targeted audits of the Company's committee.

To prevent accidents and incidents at hazardous operating facilities:

  1. each year the Company develops and consistently implements technical inspection, certification and test schedules for various types of technical equipment (external and internal inspection, hydrostatic and pneumatic tests, and industrial safety audits). In 2020, the Company performed industrial safety audits of 1,031 equipment items and extended their safe operating life.
  2. The Company organizes drills and exercises on possible accident containment and response scenarios and actions for the personnel involved in the maintenance of equipment items, buildings, and structures within hazardous production facilities. 5,782 training sessions were held in 2020.

In 2020, there were:

2 incidents:

- there was a power outage at power lines, which caused a partial shutdown (for a short period of time) of technological and auxiliary equipment. The power outage occurred as a result of adverse weather conditions (thunderstorm with sharp gusts of wind). The shutdown did not affect production.

- a driver (consumer), while refueling, got into the vehicle and, not having properly checked the disconnection of the dispensing sleeve, started driving. As a result, the dispenser’s breakaway coupling was deformed. The filling station was temporarily turned off. The shutdown did not affect the sales volumes.

13 operations-related incidents, 8 of them related to movement of personnel and climate conditions (slipping and falling).

All incidents were investigated as required by law in accordance with the Company's Incident Root Cause Analysis Standard; immediate and system causes were identified; a Mitigation Plan was developed

Cooperation in the area of industrial safety

PAO NOVATEK is one of world’s leading producers of natural gas, including LNG. Industrial safety and the health of employees are our key priorities. We use state-of-the-art equipment and innovative technologies in our operational activities to ensure safety and efficiency as we operate in the harsh climatic conditions of the Russian Arctic region. For that reason, The Company attaches great importance to applying the world’s best practices in this area.

In January 2020, PAO NOVATEK and Total signed a Memorandum of Understanding in occupational health and industrial safety. Its main goal is exchange of respective best practices, expertise and know-how as well as familiarization of experts and managers with the most advanced methodologies in industrial safety.

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