2018 Responsible Care® Initiative of the Year Awards (Company Project)

Turnover Category A

Winner: Sasol South Africa Ltd for its Aiming for “Zero Harm” Project

A suite of initiatives is being concurrently implemented within the chemicals division of Sasol South Africa Ltd (Sasol) to strengthen their management of critical preventative controls for their defined key undesirable product transportation event, ‘Loss of control of a product transport vehicle and/or product containment’. As with all Sasol’s High Severity Injury initiatives, a data-driven approach guides the identification of key focus areas to improve safety performance.

Based on analysis of incident data over a period of time, a selection of initiatives identified as vital to making a material improvement on transport safety performance, and which have already commenced, include:

  1. The Installation of Advanced Telematics, Driver Scorecards and Dashboard:

The installation of telematics and tracker systems in all chemicals product transportation and pool vehicles, together with the issuing of more than four hundred driver tags and the development of a driver behaviour scorecard, provides Sasol with the necessary tools to gather the data required to analyse driver performance.

The capabilities of these systems allow Sasol to track vehicle locations through GPS satellites; monitor the ‘ABCS’ of on road risk (Acceleration, Braking, Cornering and Speeding); detect vehicle impacts in case of emergencies; allow for visual assessment of severity in case of an incident; identify and manage licenses, certifications and odometer readings; define and manage locations, routes, stops and zones; and generate route, event, risk and trip and utilisation reports. This initiative allows Sasol to leverage the potential of digitalisation to ensure that drivers always return to their loved ones.

  1. Fatigue Management and Improved Quality of Incident Root Cause Analyses using the Seeing Machines:

An extensive Fatigue Management Guideline was developed in collaboration with an external fatigue management consultant. Fatigue management training and risk assessments were conducted at the four highest risk sites within the Sasol Base Chemicals environment and risk management gaps were closed out. The Seeing Machine technology utilises computer vision algorithms, optics and processing technologies that measure drivers’ visual attention to their environment, assess their degree of drowsiness and ultimately detect if the driver has passed a threshold of risk. This risk is then mitigated by alerting the driver as well as informing the vehicle’s wider control systems.

Sasol currently use Seeing Machine technology in high risk vehicles (e.g. ‘Box trucks’ transporting packaged explosives) to detect driver fatigue and therefore manage this risk in real time, which also allows for much improved incident root cause analysis by enabling the detection of true root causes. This empowers Sasol to put in to place the necessary controls and mitigating actions to prevent recurrence of incidents.

These initiatives commenced roll out during 2017 and Sasol expects to see the full benefits realised over a two- to three-year time horizon, with significant improvements already realised by June 2018. Within the Base Chemicals division where the bulk of incidents have historically occurred, the total number of transportation accidents has decreased from 22 to 17 in the 2018 financial year. The severity of these 17 incidents has also significantly reduced, as witnessed, for example, in incident investigations where improved driver behaviour resulting from defensive driver training has been noted, resulting in reduced impacts of incidents.

Further initiatives are being advanced for implementation in coming months and years, targeting further improvements in performance.

Sasol’s overall transportation indicator of performance, measured as the severity index of product transportation incidents over 1 000 000 km travelled by road, improved from 4.09 in FY 2017 to 2.2 in the FY 2018, representing a 46% improvement. These improvements reflect Sasol’s continued focus on strengthening controls to prevent transportation incidents, through the initiatives described above.

A combined capital in the region of tens of millions of Rands was invested during the implementation of the transportation safety initiatives of which a small portion relates to the installation of Seeing Machine technology and is supplemented by additional operating costs required to maintain these initiatives, such as driver tags, dashboard operation and vehicle tracking units. A further R3 000 000 is invested per annum as operating costs are required to maintain these initiatives, including driver tags, dashboard operation and vehicle tracking units. Significant cross-functional involvement in these initiatives from the SHE team, the capital budgeting team as well as the supply chain team was necessary to identify the targeted initiatives, to scope the associated projects and to implement change management across all affected stakeholders in order to ensure success. A considerable amount of management time was also involved to provide steering and oversight throughout the process.

Sasol states that these initiatives highlight the company’s commitment to safety and wellbeing, as well as their drive to ensure a high performance SHE culture throughout the life cycle of their products. Plans are in place to ensure the roll out of the telematics technology to a large number of LSP vehicles and their drivers, which is expected to have a positive impact on the safety performance and culture, not only within Sasol, but in all their areas of influence.