Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has launched an industry-first investigation into the welfare of 30,000 employees in its contractor community.
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At a conference at its Mina Al Fahal headquarters held on 29 November, senior representatives of around 200 of PDO’s main contractors and sub-contractors were invited to participate in a workforce welfare assessment programme, underpinned by the need to demonstrate "duty of care" to staff and ensure full compliance with Omani labour laws.
The three-year benchmarking programme, called Project Prism, is a ground-breaking initiative for the oil and gas sector focused on worker welfare, support and engagement with the aim of identifying and sharing best practice and raising standards.
PDO Managing Director Raoul Restucci said: “Project Prism is about embedding effective and caring labour practices among our contractors and ensuring personnel at every level are engaged and supported well and in accordance with national legislation and best international standards.
"We want to work with our contractors to help create a better work environment across our operations and beyond. We cannot expect people to give their best for PDO and their companies without demonstrating the equivalent commitment to our respective staff.
"The interviews, which will be carried out with contractor personnel, will be completely confidential and employees will be able to speak freely and honestly so that we can identify key issues, assess and raise operating standards and share best practice, and not least, recognise top- performing companies."
The 61-question survey, which will be conducted by independent consultants Inspirational Development Group on behalf of PDO, covers a wide range of topics including safety, pay, training, medical care, food, accommodation and human resources provision in the field.
It will be carried out at PDO’s seven main Interior locations at Fahud, Lekhwair, Yibal, Qarn Alam, Marmul, Nimr and Bahja in one of six languages - Arabic, English, Urdu, Hindi, Malayalam and Tagalog - and also cover 3,000 PDO staff.
After rigorously assessing the data collected, the Company will give each contractor detailed feedback and offer high-level coaching and advice on best practice.
The survey follows a pilot last year in which 1,500 PDO contractor employees from 20 companies were surveyed to identify areas where improvements could be made to enhance performance and productivity.
In January, PDO became the first national oil company in the Gulf to become a member of the United Nations Global Compact – the largest voluntary corporate social responsibility initiative in the world. Under the terms of the agreement, the Company is committed to supporting the UNGC’s 10 universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.
PDO Industrial Relations Manager Saoud Al Jabri said: “Project Prism is about giving those who work for us a voice so we can address problems and embed best practice. We must maintain the highest ethical standards and ensure that those who work for us, whether staff or contractors, are treated well and operate in a safe environment where their health, welfare and dignity are properly protected.
"We take our responsibility as a member of the UNGC seriously and Project Prism will help us to meet our commitment as a signatory."