Report on Sustainability 2018

Personal and process safety

In October 2017, during excavation activities in our Millennium Mine, we had a contractor fatality. This tragic loss of a colleague reminds us that we can never stop thinking about safety. Suncor must remain focused on incident prevention and learning, particularly in those areas of work where there is the potential for the greatest harm.

We’re working to continuously learn, share and improve personal safety efforts by embedding safety leadership into our culture, fully engaging all employees in safety and providing a safe work environment for all employees and contractors.

2017 safety performance

Suncor’s 2017 combined employee and contractor Recordable Injury Frequency performance was 0.40, close to the annual target of 0.39. Our Lost Time Injury Frequency from 2017 was 0.03.

Performance chart: Recordable Injury Frequency
Performance chart: Lost Time Injury Frequency
* For additional information about this chart and its data, please refer to performance data notes (#12 - notes on health and safety)

Safety initiatives

We promote workforce safety dialogues and participation through various activities and processes, including:

  • procedures to secure site access and ensure we know who’s working on our sites
  • safety meetings to exchange information, concerns and increase safety awareness
  • toolbox talks at worksites focused on specific hazards
  • regular safety stand-down sessions to reflect on performance and reinforce our commitment to safety
  • a dedicated management system outlining requirements for reporting, investigation and management of incidents, hazards and near misses

Another key initiative is Suncor’s Serious Injury and Fatality (SIF) prevention strategy. SIF incidents are tracked and reported, helping identify our top hazardous situations, in which management controls are either ineffective or not complied with, and which could reasonably result in a serious injury or fatality if allowed to continue. Recognizing the situations, learning from these incidents and taking corrective actions are key to preventing SIF incidents.

Incident management and corrective actions (IM/CA) – next steps

We continue to encourage everyone to report all incidents and hazards, and enter accurate and quality information into our enterprise-wide incident and corrective-action management tool. In addition to monitoring the tool to identify and close data gaps, we will also focus on building competence in key IM/CA processes. This includes how we conduct investigations, perform root-cause analyses and create strong corrective actions. Closing these gaps will enable us to track trends from a growing pool of data to better understand and address our operational risks.

Process safety

Suncor is focused on reducing loss of primary containment incidents by assessing incidents and prioritizing gap closure and continuous improvement opportunities. Effective management has ensured alignment across Suncor to identify opportunities and accelerate performance improvement. Recent improvements include a focus on the quality of process hazard analyses, and competency in consistent identification, and assessment of consequences and likelihood of process safety risks.


Through a robust governance structure, senior leadership sets enterprise priorities and manages initiatives to ensure a focused effort on maintaining and improving reliability. Stewardship of key indicators and benchmarking is an important component to ensure progress and sustainment of reliability elements such as asset criticality assignments, strategies, root-cause analysis, work execution, bad-actor elimination and Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) integrity.

SIS improvement

These systems are key controls to mitigate process safety and reliability risks. A team of Suncor Process Automation Systems experts continuously work towards improving SIS management. Through this team, Suncor incorporates industry best practices into existing functional safety management programs, to ensure consistency and effectiveness.

Operational controls

Operating Procedures, Safe Work Practices and Operating Envelopes enable our front-line employees to manage operational risks. Suncor continues to raise the bar through the implementation of new standards across the company. Increasing the effectiveness of operational controls helps us manage personal and process safety risks and supports reliability improvement initiatives.

Suncor applies the OEMS to manage process safety and reliability.

We look at lessons from incident investigations to improve process safety and reliability performance. This ensures learnings are embedded in our work practices and mitigating actions are implemented to prevent the reoccurrence of similar incidents. Audits and management reviews are used to ensure Suncor’s practices are effective and continuously improve.

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Recommended readings
Performance data
Suncor's Journey to Zero Program