In this article


Personnel safety

At Imperial, our people are our most valuable resource and that is reflected in our vision of achieving a workplace in which Nobody Gets Hurt. To that end, we continue to drive process improvements that support Imperial’s employee safety vision. We have a long history of embedding safety into our culture, reinforced by safety leadership, standards, practices and experience. We focus on an integrated framework of systems, processes, tools, and behaviours aimed at eliminating injuries and fatalities.

HP Approach = Leadership and teamwork; Design; Normal work; Higher consequence work; Learn

Integrating the human performance model

Human performance

Human performance (HP) is about making our work easier to get right, and harder to get wrong. HP is an applied science that informs how we design and deploy our Operations Integrity Management System (OIMS) to set people up for success and catch human error. Our goal is to leverage human performance principles and concepts in our operations to deliver world-class business results by enhancing the resilience of our facilities, systems and people, and focusing on learning and improvement. HP is focused on preventing fatalities, life-altering injuries, and serious process safety events. We want to make tough or confusing work less difficult. Clarifying leadership behaviour expectations and operationalizing HP has enhanced our capacity to manage our operational risks safely and reliability. We also integrated HP concepts into core safety and work management tools and enhanced our learning approach to create more resilient systems that anticipate failure and have the ability to fail safely. In 2022, we’ve applied HP concepts by:

  • improving hazard identification and management by work teams who identify and mitigate error-prone situations;
  • empowering work teams to start and stop work by enhancing the way safeguards are verified before starting a job;
  • enhancing learning through the application of after‑action reviews for our highest risk work; and
  • improving the precise execution of critical tasks through enhanced procedures and independent verification.


In 2022, Imperial had a Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) of 0.29 and a Lost Time Incident Rate (LTIR) of 0.01. Our LTIR performance matched a best-ever result from 2016 because we renewed our focus on Life Saving Actions, incorporated lessons learned from industry and continued to integrate human performance principles into the way we work.

Our contractor management systems require service providers to be screened, monitored and continually assessed to ensure they are meeting our stringent health and safety requirements. These systems helped us achieve our best-ever contractor LTIR performance, with a LTIR of 0.00 in 2022.

Imperial workforce safety incident rates

incident per 200,000 work hours

Process safety

At Imperial, we recognize that successfully managing process safety protects our people, the community and the environment by properly controlling the hazards inherent to our operations.

Process safety is more than words we write in a procedure or boxes to check on a work permit. Thoughtful risk management actions are integral to the way we design, operate and maintain our facilities. We verify and rigorously manage these safeguards through maintenance, inspection, operations testing, competency demonstrations and emergency preparedness drills. The primary purpose is to keep hydrocarbons, chemicals and process water controlled and safely managed at all times through all phases of our operations.

Our enhanced process safety guidelines and expectations are focused on leadership, scenario management, human performance principles, critical task execution and learning from experience, all designed to help achieve a step change in process safety performance.

In 2022, scenario management was further strengthened by a process safety knowledge verification initiative that required workers to complete additional training and demonstrate competencies specific to higher consequence process safety scenarios. In the field, leaders reinforced expectations with workers and verified they understood the scenarios and their specific responsibilities.

Higher-consequence process safety risks and risk management strategies are stewarded by Imperial’s management committee and reviewed by the company’s Safety and Sustainability board of directors committee.

Unplanned release prevention

Process safety is not only vital for driving us closer to a workplace where no one gets hurt, but it is also critical for reducing unplanned releases and supporting our aim of zero spills.13 Imperial designs and operates facilities with the objective of preventing unplanned releases from entering the environment and causing adverse effects. In addition, our spill prevention program establishes procedures for inspecting and maintaining equipment, training operators and conducting practice drills. For more information on our management of our recent Kearl industrial water incidents please see our website and the water section of this report.


Product safety

Throughout the value chain we are focused on product safety, product stewardship, regulatory compliance and we collaborate with industry professionals, regulators and policy makers to ensure the best available science informs industry product safety policy. This work includes communicating with customers and addressing regulatory developments.

Imperial’s Product Safety Policy is consistent with external product safety standards, including those codified in Responsible Care®, an initiative of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada. Our products, including chemicals, lubricants, and fuels, meet or exceed applicable regulations, standards and guidelines including:

  • U.N. Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).
  • U.N. Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM).

Our primary communication tool is our Product Stewardship Information Management System (PSIMS),which provides information on the safe handling, transport, use and disposal of our products via safety data sheets.

Workplace security

Imperial’s robust security measures are designed to protect our personnel and facilities from operational threats and cybersecurity attacks. Our security programs are risk-based, flexible and responsive to the diverse locations where we do business.

Proactive security actions are enabled by effective processes and systems that collect, monitor and evaluate potential security intelligence and threats. We regularly participate in government and industry forums to enhance our knowledge, skills and technical security applications, and have ongoing awareness and training programs including cybersecurity awareness to reinforce safe behaviours with our workforce.


As cybersecurity risks continue to evolve, our multilayered approach to preventing and mitigating the risks of cyberattacks helps protect us against business disruptions and threats that could affect our data, facilities, operations, or the safety and privacy of our employees and customers.

Attacks against other companies in recent years highlight the urgent need for robust cybersecurity measures at all companies. At Imperial, we use a combination of automated mitigation along with a team of investigators to detect and eliminate vulnerabilities.

We leverage the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework to identify potential gaps in our defenses, and we work within dependent third parties to help ensure the strength of our systems and processes through:

  • Penetration tests by “ethical hackers” to identify vulnerabilities
  • Breach assessments to find evidence of undetected cybersecurity breaches
  • Maturity assessments on our overall cybersecurity program

In addition, all new applications on our systems are subjected to rigorous, focused vulnerability testing, and the aspects of our systems that are identified as highest risk are reassessed annually.

Cybersecurity updates are provided to the audit committee of our board of directors annually.

Data protection and security

The integrity and privacy of personal, corporate, and customer data is protected by a comprehensive program that includes user rules and system-wide processes. We monitor for irregular behaviour patterns that could indicate data theft, and we have established safeguards to protect the privacy rights of our users in compliance with applicable regulatory requirements.

For example, most companies see the highest risk of data breaches when an employee exits the company. Simple steps, such as restricting data mobility as soon as an employee is known to be leaving, help reduce the risk of data loss. In addition, highly sensitive documents are encrypted so that they can only be read within our computing environment, providing an additional level of protection.

Training and business continuity

Awareness remains one of our best defenses, and cybersecurity education is a priority for Imperial. All employees must complete annual web-based cybersecurity training to help them understand and respond to cybersecurity risks and to reinforce safe behaviours. These lessons are reinforced throughout the year through activities such as our ongoing mock phishing exercises.

In addition to promoting safe behaviours, we manage business continuity as a key component of our Operations Integrity Management Systems (OIMS). We have developed business continuity plans (BCPs) with a suite of enablers to be activated in the event of a major cyberattack.

Our BCPs are reviewed for compliance, performance, and potential improvements via annual updates and periodic drills, with best practice sharing facilitated by a global center of excellence.

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