Process safety

Process safety is at the heart of accident prevention. Galp guarantees a proactive action, based on analysis and prevention of activity risks.
We consider that process safety is at the heart of accident prevention, and results from applying good design and engineering principles, as well as robust operating and maintenance practices.
Galp guarantees a proactive action, based on analysis and prevention of activity risks. We monitor and analyze the process safety events that occur at our downstream and upstream facilities, and complete this cycle by conducting audits of the Company’s operations to verify the efficiency of the risk mitigation measures implemented.
In 2018, our process safety strategy has shown a positive trend, mainly in Tier 1, and we are continuing to work towards a lower rate of process safety events per million hours worked. 

Process Safety Event Rate (PSER)


* Process Safety Indicators (PSI) adopting API 754-Process Safety Performance Indicators for the Refining and Petrochemical Industries


Tier 1 is a primary containment loss of major consequence: unplanned release of any material, including non-toxic and non-flammable materials, from a process that results in a very serious consequence.

Tier 2 is a loss of primary containment of minor consequences: unplanned release of any material, including non-toxic and non-flammable materials, resulting in a consequence. 

We believe that safe operations translate into efficient and reliable production. 

"Focusing on equipment life cycle management enables us to avoid unexpected outages, improving operational availability and the possibility of maximising the margin capture of our refineries."

Martinho Correia, Refining Operational Director

Targets for 2019

  • ZERO personal, material and environmental accidents with a significant impact.

  • PSER Tier 1: 0,09

  • PSER Tier 2: 0,30  

At Galp, we aim to set more ambitious goals that position us at the level of best performers, as well as to continue to improve our performance with regard to process safety, based on the benchmarks of the sector (CONCAWE and IOGP).

Prevention, detection, control and mitigation

An accident with serious consequences often results from failures in the various barriers that must be interposed between a first incident and the consequences that it can generate.

These barriers should ensure prevention, detection, control and mitigation, as well as the emergency response. Thus, we act in the following dimensions:

  • of our people – we guarantee the training of all employees and partners and value operational discipline;
  • of our processes – we implement technologies and procedures that guarantee the operation of the facilities and that include expeditious and safe working practices;
  • of our assets – we ensure the integrity of assets, at all phases of their life cycle: formulation, design, operation, maintenance and deactivation.

Process event analysis, audits to operations, risk reviews and the internal and external sharing of lessons learned are key tools for improving activity safety.

Instances of containment losses

We act in several aspects to minimise the instances of containment losses.

We promote the monitoring of all primary containment losses, regardless of the volume released or the affected environment.

We seek to promote the dissemination of the lessons learned from the investigation of each event, of its causes and effects.

  2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Total volume (m3) 61 22 124 16 27
Total volume that reached the environment (m3) 30 10 99 5 5

We remain committed to reducing the number of containment losses.

We implement measures to prevent and mitigate spills, promoting the quality of the environment and the species and habitats that depend on it.
We strive to improve the understanding of the environment in which our activities are developed, at the level of: local hydrogeology, surface and groundwater resources quality and characteristics, soil type and characteristics, bioclimatic conditions and, of course, ecological vulnerability.

In an integrated way, with the safety management of our operations, we define the following axes of action:

The indicators related to primary containment losses are monitored and reported in the Scorecards of the Business Units, which are regularly monitored by the top management.

Seveso Directive

We follow and apply the requirements established at EU level for the Prevention of Major Accidents involving hazardous substances. We incorporate the guidelines issued by the regulating entities on this matter in our management systems.

We analyse systematically the accidents that occurred in the sector, seeking to integrate in our operations the lessons learned. Internally, we publicise and promote the interdisciplinary discussion of accident reports.

Check the European Commission's Accident Reporting System