UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Jefain Alhajri


The management of health and safety risks in the oil refinery tends to be centred on the collection and simulation of technical data which can then be used to make decisions on the wellbeing of the workforce as well as the refinery installations. While the number crunching in the process is immensely vital, there tends to be a problem of ignoring or, at the very least, side-lining the social-cultural values of the people dealing with health and safety risk assessment processes. The economic driver for the operation of the oil refinery tends to be more important because of the generally huge initial financial outlay, and the eventual high costs of maintenance; hence health and safety risk management should have evidence of ensuring that the installations, as well as the people that work in them, are well catered for. In the Kuwait Gulf Oil Company this problem is more evident in newer installations where lean management processes have been instituted by oil firms so that they can reduce waste in the oil refining process without compromising the occupational health and safety needs of the refinery. Therein lies the initial problem of integrating health and safety risk assessment processes because most approaches concentrate on the technical elements of waste elimination while ignoring the social-cultural factors that impact on the health and safety of the workforce. This is an exploratory piece of research that examines the impact of rational and cognitive decision theories - herein called the psychology of risk - and how they impact on the occupational health and safety systems in the oil and gas refining sector of Kuwait. The research concludes that the application of lean concepts in the oil refining process is noble in itself but it needs to be integrated with the rational and cognitive detection factors that are necessary to incorporate and support the social-cultural tendencies of the workforce. The research recommends a framework for incorporating social-cultural values in the decision making process pertaining to health and safety risk assessment in oil refining process plants. Key Words: occupational health and safety risk assessment; lean management; social-cultural values; rational and cognitive decision making; oil and gas process plants.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date1 Aug 2015