Safety & health

In line with its Code of Conduct, Total has adopted a Safety Health Environment Quality Charter on which the Group relies for the conduct of its operations. This Charter represents the common framework of the Group’s management systems. Group directives define the minimum requirements expected in the areas of safety, security, health, the environment, quality and societal, and are implemented in the business segments, which subsequently factor in the specific characteristics of their operations. Recommendations, guides and manuals, which are the primary documents used for implementing and managing the Group’s policies, are regularly distributed within the different business segments. The HSE division supports the Group business segments and oversees the implementation of the policies that reflect the HSE principles of this charter concretely and effectively.


Occupational health and safety



For many years, the Group has been developing a normative framework related to occupational health and safety, security, societal commitment and the environment. Total implements management systems in these areas (MAESTRO). In this respect, directives have been drawn up for occupational health and safety. These directives set out Total’s requirements in these areas for personnel working on its sites. Since 2013, the Group’s business segments have increased their efforts regarding the frameworks of the HSE management systems in order to provide greater overall consistency, while at the same time respecting the businesses’ specific characteristics.


The Group’s safety efforts are focused on preventing occupational and transport accidents, and on preventing major accidents and accidental spills. They cover both Total employees and employees of external contractors, whose safety indicators are monitored with the same vigilance as those concerning Total’s personnel. 


Indicators are used to measure the main results in these areas. Monthly reporting of occupational accidents is used to monitor performance at both the global and site levels.


For more than 10 years, the TRIR1 and the LTIR2 have declined continuously. In 2016, the Group regrettably recorded one accident that led to a fatality. The measures adopted in 2015 have helped to improve the safety of employees working for external contractors. These measures continue to be deployed, with a view to strengthening and sharing safety values throughout and outside the Group.


Safety is the subject of regular training activities, in particular at management level, as well as of a policy that recognizes HSE performance, in particular by taking account safety-related criteria in the calculation of compensation.


Since 2010, the basic rules to be scrupulously followed by all personnel, employees and contractors alike, in all of the Group’s businesses worldwide, have been set out in a safety document entitled “Safety at Work: Total’s Twelve Golden Rules”.


According to the Group’s internal statistics, in 2016, in more than 90% of severe incidents or near misses with high severity potential in the workplace, at least one of the golden rules had not been followed. The proper application of these golden rules, and more generally of all occupational safety procedures, is verified through site visits and internal audits. An e-learning tool has been developed to train the personnel in the 12 golden rules and was rolled out in 2016. An update of these rules, prepared in 2016, has been deployed in April 2017, on the occasion of the World Safety Day. For simplicity’s sake, the decision was taken to reformulate the golden rules as do’s and don’ts. This more operational approach should improve the adoption of the rules and make it easier to control their application.


One of the priority programs launched in 2016 to improve long-term safety performance was focused on strengthening the control of the activity of employees working for external contractors, who are statistically the main victims of accidents. In 2016, the Group launched a program of regular meetings with the management of external contractors. These safety meetings are organized both on the sites and in the subsidiaries for local contractors, and at Group level for some international contractors.


Moreover, the reporting of anomalies (895,000 in 2016) and near misses is strongly encouraged and monitored. The ability of each employee to identify anomalies or dangerous situations is one of the measures of the personnel’s involvement and vigilance in accident prevention and reflects the safety culture within the Group.


An investigation is generally launched in response to any type of accident whatsoever. The method and scope of investigation depend on the actual or potential severity of the event. For example, a near miss with a high severity potential level is treated in the same way as a severe incident: its analysis is considered to be a key driving force for progress and, depending on its relevance to the Group’s other entities, triggers a safety alert and even the dissemination of a feedback report.


With respect to transport safety, the Group constantly strives to improve its performance in terms of road accidents. The actions taken in recent years have helped decrease the severe accident rate by 40% between 2013 and 2016, with a focus on measures in Africa and the Middle East zone of Marketing & Services. These actions rely, in particular, on inspections of transporters. The program was also rolled out in three Asian pilot countries where Marketing & Services is present (Cambodia, India and Pakistan), and it will gradually be extended to other subsidiaries in Asia-Pacific in 2017.


Along with 21 other major French companies, the Group also responded to the national call in favor of occupational road safety. Total has been investing in this issue for a long time, and even goes beyond some of the commitments stated in the call by taking actions for its employees all over the world, in addition to the requirements of local regulations. By way of example, the Group expressly forbids the use of mobile phones while driving.


In 2016, the Group-wide coordination for safety in marine and inland waterway terminals was reinforced. The training in the Ship Shore Safety Check List of the International Safety Guide for Oil Tankers and Terminals, which covers the movement of products during loading and unloading operations of ships or barges, a particularly sensitive phase, was promoted at the last safety seminar for the European operators of marine and inland waterway terminals in Vlissingen (the Netherlands) in September 2016. More than 300 terminal operators have been trained.


With regards to health, the Group has drawn up a policy to define Total’s minimum requirements in terms of the prevention of industrial risks to health and the protection of workers.


In particular, based on the Directive on industrial hygiene and occupational health, the Group’s companies are expected to prepare and carry out a formal risk assessment (chemical, physical, biological, ergonomic or psychosocial), create a risk management action plan and provide medical monitoring of staff in line with the risks to which they are exposed.



A Medical Advisory Committee meets regularly to discuss key health issues that may affect the Group’s employees. It consists of external scientific experts and brings together Total’s management team and the relevant members of the Group. This Committee provides scientific monitoring of health problems that could impact the Group, thus enabling the best health protection strategies to be put in place when necessary.


In support of the Group’s health policy and to complement the periodic medical surveillance program currently in place and organized by the Group’s medical staff, an employee health observatory has also been set up. This observatory aims at establishing health indicators for keeping track over the long term of any medical conditions that could affect employees using a population-based approach. This program can be used to quickly identify the emergence of certain illnesses and, if applicable, suggest and oversee appropriate preventive measures. Approximately 13% of the Group’s employees worldwide, whatever their position, age or horizon, took part anonymously in this program, thereby providing a representative sample of the Group’s different business segments and professions, including administrative as much as operational staff.


The study entitled Sleep, shift work and cardio-metabolic illnesses was initiated on the basis of the findings of the Total health observatory. The study covered the employees on four Refining & Chemicals industrial sites in France (Carling, Donges, La Mède and Normandy) and was conducted in collaboration with the occupational health departments on each site. The results are expected to be published in 2017.


On a broader level, Total is associated with promoting individual and collective health in the countries where it operates, including flu vaccination campaigns and prevention and screening programs for certain diseases (AIDS, cancer, malaria, Ebola, etc.) for employees, their families and local communities. For several years, awareness campaigns have also been in place concerning, for example, musculoskeletal disorder prevention and lifestyle risks (anti-smoking and anti-drinking campaigns).


Consumer health and safety



Many of the products that Total markets pose potential risks; for example, if they are used incorrectly. The Group therefore aims to meet its current and future obligations with regard to information and prevention in order to minimize the risks throughout its products’ life cycle. Total’s health and products directive sets outs the minimum requirements for marketing the Group’s products worldwide in order to reduce potential risks to consumer health and the environment.


Total identifies and assesses the risks inherent to its products and their use, and then informs customers and users of these risks and the applicable prevention and protection measures. The material safety data sheets (MSDS) that accompany all products marketed by the Group (in at least one of the languages used in the country) and product labels are two key sources of information in this regard. All new products comply fully with the regulatory requirements in the countries and markets for which they are intended.