Good health management enables Schlumberger to reduce illness in the workplace, increase employee and family satisfaction, minimize medical evacuations and deaths, streamline health care costs, increase customer retention and satisfaction, optimize business performance and the Company’s reputation, and reduce project disruptions while protecting the health of all involved.
Schlumberger promotes industrial hygiene, ergonomics, healthy lifestyle, and preventive medicine to reduce work-related and location-specific health risks.
Schlumberger’s network of 70 in-country doctors around the world evaluates local medical facilities, assesses the health risks at operating locations, oversees physical examinations for local employees, manages emergencies and evacuations, follows up on employee hospitalizations and return to work, and promotes Company health training programs. In addition, more than 100 health professionals (e.g., medics, nurses, doctors) provide medical support on Company-managed rigs and seismic crews on land, at sea, and in remote and hostile environments.
The extreme health risks of major epidemics, such as SARS, H1N1, and Ebola—with their potential for rapid global expansion—require practical training in effective emergency response. Employees at all of our operating locations undergo health-risk assessments (HRAs) before new operations begin and regularly thereafter. Performed by Company-approved health professionals, HRAs address management of all health issues. The review covers medical exams, health training of employees and contractors, catering facility conditions, malaria programs, fitness initiatives, and vaccinations. It also covers Company-managed medical facilities on rigs, camps, and vessels—including the assessment of equipment, medications, and health professionals, along with local health facilities such as hospitals and clinics. In addition, it covers local health issues such as epidemics, malaria, clean drinking water, ergonomics, and stress, along with local and international emergency response plans.
Schlumberger provides health training concerning travel risks, work-related exposures, and issues in these categories: first aid; hearing-loss prevention; fatigue management; food and waterborne diseases; insect-borne diseases (malaria prevention in particular); HIV/AIDS; cardiovascular illnesses; substance abuse; smoking; vaccinations; risks related to working in extreme climates; lifting and handling to prevent low-back injuries; ergonomics; and stress.
Malaria—found mainly in sub-Saharan Africa and the Amazon River basin—is a major occupational illness risk for the oil and gas industry, including Schlumberger. Between 2000 and 2002, four Schlumberger employees originating from non-malaria countries died of malaria. In response to these deaths, Schlumberger developed a world-recognized malaria prevention program that has decreased our malaria deaths from four between 2000 and 2002 (2-year period) to three between 2003 and 2015 (12-year period).
Schlumberger has created an Ebola Crisis Management Team to monitor the global epidemic, define company travel policy, track travel requirements and restrictions for airlines and countries, implement preventive screening measures, establish procedures for suspected Ebola cases, and develop a business continuity plan. We created a 24/7 Ebola hotline as well as a 15-minute Ebola awareness video that was distributed to all Schlumberger computers. In addition, we developed a mandatory Ebola training package that is available in 10 languages.
Each of our operating locations has a specific preventive-training program with a major focus on occupational health. Some of the work-related hazards in the program include: ergonomics; vibration; ionizing and nonionizing radiation; manual handling and prevention of repetitive stress injury; working at heights; noise; pressure; thermal work environment; confined-space entry; chemicals, including carcinogens, mutagens, and heavy metals.
Good health management begins with regular prevention measures. The Company promotes medical checks (Med-Track and Med-Check programs) for pre-employment candidates and regularly for employees. These checks help ensure that employees are medically fit to travel, live, and work in their assigned country—and they detect and treat pre-existing health issues before employees require hospitalization or urgent international evacuation.