Management of ill health

A medical insurance benefit is offered to KPO employees that covers medical services in addition to those available through guaranteed free health care and mandatory medical insurance. Medical insurance covers a wide range of services from out-patient to in-patient assistance, to cost reimbursement for medicine and dental service. Employees with chronic conditions are referred to medical surveillance for regular check-ups and treatment. GRI 403-6

Fitness to work

Under the Kazakh regulations, all newly-recruited employees undergo medical examination, while those workers whose job is associated with exposure to harmful factors must also undergo annual periodic evaluations. This activity in KPO is closely supervised and monitored by the KPO Health Department.

The requirements for passing mandatory medical examinations to determine their fitness to work were unified for all employees, and the medical examination itself is now not tied to certain periods, i.e. employees can pass it at a convenient time, taking into account the validity of the previous medical examination report. KPO Fitness to Work procedure was aligned with the IOGP guidelines. KPO medical examinations are conducted by a service provider who has all appropriate approvals to provide these services.

In addition to mandatory medical examinations for field-based employees Company provides free-of-charge medical screenings for office-based employees. This screening helps determine health status and detect a disease at an early stage. The results of these examinations are not available for employer and are not used to determine an employee’s fitness to work. GRI 403-6

Health Risk Assessments

Health risk assessment (HRA) is a key element of KPO health management system. All KPO operational activities are subject to HRA with regular reviews and re-assessments.

Health risk assessment for similar exposure discipline groups is conducted by a team consisting of the assessment unit representative, HSE professional and Occupational Health and Hygiene specialist. Line management implements the HRA mitigation measures, and their closure is monitored through the Synergi action tracking system.

In 2019, experts of the Shell Parent Company conducted an analysis of compliance of the KPO’s industrial hygiene system with international standards. One of the recommendations of this evaluation was to make changes to the methodology of health risk assessment in order to cover more hazards, its quantitative assessment and to rank risks more precisely.

In 2020 health risk assessment activities were basically conducted upon requests and included workplace ergonomics evaluation.

Occupational Diseases

Oil and gas industry features various occupational hazards (hydrogen sulphide, chemical reagents, noise and vibration, climatic factors, biological, psychosocial factors etc.) that require identifying, assessing and managing associated health risks. These processes in KPO are well established and provide robust control mechanisms.

There were no occupational illnesses diagnosed in KPO in the period of 2013-2021.

Absenteeism monitoring

KPO Health Department monitors and analyses sickness absence among employees.

The medical insurance service provider submits daily hospitalisation and patient follow-up reports to the Health Department. The Health Department also monitors temporary sickness absence by analysing sickness certificates, which is then used to identify trends. The medical insurance is part of the Collective Agreement between KPO and Trade Unions.

In 2021, absenteeism at KPO was slightly down from the previous year.

KPO Absenteeism rate, 2015-2021

Note: The following method is applied in KPO to calculate the Absenteeism rate:

  • The absenteeism rate = actual number of days lost due to absence in the workplace (because of illness) x 100 / total quantity of workers. Data of days missed for other reasons is not available.
  • Calculation method for absenteeism adopted in KPO is based on the number of employees (not man-hours) as required by regulatory authorities.

In 2019, new practise has been introduced in the Company. If the employee has three or more sickness lists, this employee is invited to the occupational pathologist in the Health Department. Occupational pathologist will discuss health status with the employee and offer options for organizing a deeper examination or treatment in specialized clinics of Qazaqstan, if required and preferred by an employee. This practice is carried out on a voluntary basis.