Safety Management System

Corporate Responsibility

Safety Management System

Canadian Natural's Safety Management System (SMS) is a key framework used to safeguard people, operations and the environment. Our SMS consists of 15 industry recognized elements used to meet or exceed standards for basic safety programs. Canadian Natural conducts its business in accordance to the principles found within our Corporate Statements, and our SMS is aligned with the Corporate Statement on Health and Safety.

Our integrated management systems represent our wide range of operations, allowing employees to use proven and established safety methods to conduct their work, with similar procedures for incident investigation, inspections and safety meetings. The North American SMS focuses on major oil sands mining and upgrading operations, as well as diverse conventional and thermal operations. In our International operations, our integrated Safety, Health and Environmental Management System (SHEMS) is based on the same principles, structured to meet local regulatory requirements and performance goals. 

15 Elements of our SMS

1.      Introduction and Leadership Commitment
2.      Organizational Guidelines / Standards / Policies
3.      Employee Training
4.      Hiring and Job Assignment
5.      Emergency Preparedness
6.      Incident Reporting / Investigation
7.      Incident Analysis
8.      Inspections / Audits
9.      Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
10.  Engineering Controls
11.  Safety Meetings
12.  Personal Communication
13.  General Promotion / Recognition
14.  Evaluation of Management System
15.  Hazard Assessment / Task Analysis

Integrated Management Systems

Canadian Natural believes safe workers and safe operations help deliver steady, reliable production. We manage personal safety and process safety differently, but we link them together in terms of awareness and potential impacts. We also focus on the integrity of our assets to address the risks associated with our various operations in a complete manner. To ensure safe and reliable operations, we have integrated management systems for:

  • Personal Safety (safety of all workers);
  • Asset Integrity (safety, compliance and reliability of our pipelines, pressure equipment, tanks and infrastructure); and
  • Process Safety (Process Safety Management (PSM) is a systematic approach to preventing hydrocarbon releases, that not only protects workers but also the public, the environment and our operations).

Together, these departments focus on:

  • developing a culture where safety is frontline-driven.
  • creating safety advocates or champions within all divisions of our operations – empowering every individual to be aware and contribute to their own safety.
  • following a proactive approach to risk mitigation.
  • developing a culture of learning.
  • constructing value-added communication and reporting.
  • encouraging feedback.
  • cultivating sustainable/consistent processes and systems.

SMS audits

Canadian Natural’s Safety teams conduct internal SMS audits annually to raise awareness and reinforce our safety culture among supervisors, ensuring program alignment. Audits are completed across all operations and offices, encouraging feedback and constructive collaboration. Action plans are generated within each operating area to make our worksites safer and ensure our systems are compliant and effective. 

Audits support the annual external Certificate of Recognition (COR) maintenance audit awarded by Alberta Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) to employers who develop a health and safety management system that meets provincial standards. Our North American operations maintain the COR program and the Partnerships in Injury Reduction (PIR) status. The PIR is a voluntary program for injury prevention and effective workplace health, safety and return-to-work programs. It operates through the joint efforts of the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board, government, OHS, industry partners, safety associations, employers and labour groups.

Continuous improvement in safety management

Our management systems support continuous performance improvement, shared learnings and regulatory compliance. Safety teams are responsible for maintaining these management systems, making sure we have processes and controls to operate safely, and incorporating practices that have been proven successful and lessons learned from ongoing monitoring and reviews. Our Safety teams work with employees and contractors to identify hazards and develop safe work procedures to achieve an incident-free workplace. They also provide leadership, supervisor and field employee training.

When integrating new operations into our management systems, we also focus on clearly communicating procedures and expectations, providing the necessary tools for frontline employees to do their jobs safely and efficiently, and sharing best practices. 

  • Safety Communications 

    Safety awareness and communications are crucial in maintaining our strong safety culture. To promote dialogue and ensure people’s safety, we regularly communicate incident trends across all our sites through regular safety bulletins and TRIF reports. Safety communications aid in safety discussions/actions during tool box talks, safety stand-down sessions and safety meetings, helping incorporate prevention measures into daily routines. 

    Our Safety groups monitor and receive feedback on health and safety programs and address operational specific issues that arise from our regular safety meetings. We also have formal joint management/worker health and safety committees in Canada and in the United Kingdom. 
  • Consistent Incident Reporting 

    Incidents, hazard and near-miss investigation, management and reporting include follow-up actions as part of our proactive lessons learned approach. Our incident reporting database was enhanced to provide better consistency and trend analysis to focus action towards specific incident prevention, lessons learned and hazard classification
  • Plan, Prepare and Execute

    Our Health and Safety teams continued providing effective support to our scheduled maintenance shutdowns. We follow a “plan, prepare and execute” approach to make sure workers take all necessary precautions to complete their tasks safely. For all planned turnarounds and pit stops, we developed and held safety meetings to discuss job scopes, hazards, controls and safety expectations.

 Read more about our continuous improvement initiatives in our 2020 sustainability report.