Integrating management systems across our operations

Corporate Responsibility

Integrating management systems across our operations

In 2017, we welcomed the expertise of more than 2,800 employees through a number of acquisitions, including the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP) and Peace River operations. The transition for new employees to Canadian Natural has been a collaborative process, largely focused on familiarizing them with Canadian Natural’s mission statement, corporate culture and values, and how these positively impact our business on an ongoing basis.

Our teams have worked together to deploy our Safety, Asset Integrity and Environmental Management Systems across all locations, create awareness and understand how any changes from previous systems affect day-to-day activities for frontline employees. We have also incorporated business management practices that have been proven successful.

“From day one, the Safety Management System (SMS) has been well received, achieving full implementation within weeks,” explains Keith Hague, Peace River Safety Lead. “The area’s Leadership Team has fully engaged in training, facility inspections and the Worksite Safety Observation program, as we now focus on continuous improvement in its application and understanding.”

At our AOSP operations, which include the Muskeg River and Jackpine Oil Sands Mines with approximately 2,500 employees, a major part of the management systems integration was to clearly communicate procedures and expectations, while providing the necessary tools for frontline employees to do their jobs safely and efficiently.

The Environmental Management Systems (EMS) for AOSP and Horizon were fully integrated into a single system incorporating elements of both, and ensuring consistency in documentation, aspect identification, risk assessment and procedures. Variations in procedures of the two previous systems were identified and standardized to one EMS, applicable to both operations. The integrated EMS maintains the strong components of both systems while standardizing the content into 17 procedures, accounting for all business areas and meeting ISO 14001:2015 specifications.

Throughout the management system integration process, our teams assessed potential impacts and common risks with our Corporate Risk Matrix, a framework to understand and manage risk across our operations. Teams also applied techniques from the Lean Six Sigma (LSS) business methodology, to facilitate process integration and improvement. The LSS methodology was first introduced to our oil sands operations five years ago, and is helping us continuously improve process quality, enhance operational reliability and strengthen our work culture.

The commissioning of Horizon Phase 3 was included in the EMS to capture the environmental aspects of the expanded operation and to address all environmental risks associated with those operations. From this common basis, the EMS will be implemented in 2018 with staff training, along with a planned audit to assess the system through a continuous improvement process. The integrated EMS forms the structure to support management planning and stewardship performance reviews to ensure regulatory compliance and performance improvement.