Language Assistance »

Success Stories

Learning & Collaborating on Safety to Deliver a Project on Schedule Without a Single LTI main image
Download PDF of this article >
  • Client: Learning & Collaborating on Safety to Deliver a Project on Schedule Without a Single LTI
  • Industry: Oil & Gas Major Capital Project
  • JMJ Service: Incident and Injury-Free™ (IIF™) and High-Performing Projects™ (HPP™)
Results: • Owner and contractor alignment • Project completed on schedule • 500+ days without an LTI • Creation of a strong safety leadership culture • Reduced staff turnover (100%) with improved morale • A workforce committed to Incident and Injury-Free (IIF)

“It was great to see Clarke Energy’s enthusiasm, because they hadn’t done anything like that before. It was fantastic to see them get on board, from the senior management level all the way down through their workforce.” Lou Fazzalari Deputy Project Manager Origin Energy

Clarke Energy saw the value and benefits first hand of having a great safety culture. It aspired to operate in that type of safety conscious environment. This was a great opportunity to raise their safety standards and learn from others who are already deeply committed to the goal of everyone going home safe.

Background Summary:

The Australia Pacific Liquefied Natural Gas (APLNG) project supplies gas to power stations that produce cleaner, greener, sustainable electricity for major industrial customers, as well as homes and businesses in South East Queensland. The project, worth $24.7 billion, is based in the Surat and Bowen regions, and is a coal seam gas (CSG) to liquefied natural gas (LNG) project enabling transport to export customers. APLNG is an incorporated joint venture between Origin Energy, ConocoPhillips and Sinopec.

The project consists of three key parts: further development of APLNG’s gas fields in the Surat and Bowen Basins in south-west and central Queensland; construction of a gas transmission pipeline (530 km) from the gas fields to an LNG facility and the building of the LNG facility, on Curtis Island off the coast of Gladstone. The first two gas production trains are already processing up to 9 million tonnes of LNG per annum.

There were various sub-projects involved in bringing gas through to Curtis Island. One of these was the APLNG electrification project to provide high voltage electrical infrastructure and power to the gas compressors. Origin Energy’s electrification group was tasked with building power lines and substations to electrify the gas fields, including construction of a temporary power stations in the remote locations at Reedy Creek and Eurombah Creek.

Clarke Energy was awarded the contract by Origin to provide these temporary power solutions to enable APLNG to run the gas processing facilities prior to connection to the grid.

Clarke Energy provides power solutions. These include a range of General Electric’s gas and diesel generators, as well as full in-house engineering, construction and operational capability. The company specialises in all grid-connected and remote off-grid power solutions, utilising a range of gasses from bio and landfill gasses through to coal seam gas, coal mine gas and natural gas.

Clarke Energy has worked with a range of energy and construction companies including Origin Energy, Energy Developments Ltd, AGL, Santos and QGC, through to companies such as Laing O’Rourke.

Business Challenges:

Clarke Energy faced major challenges in building the three temporary power stations:

  • The time frames were both tight and critical. Some of the operational targets hinged on the company having power connected, and running, by dates that were vital to the overall success of the project.

  • The sites were remote and difficult to access, despite being only a few hours from regional centres and at times were impacted by flooding.

  • The company initially experienced issues with team morale and staff turnover at Reedy Creek due to the remote location. This included some key personnel leaving prior to Clarke Energy’s introduction to the Incident and Injury-Free (IIF) safety approach.

  • Safety instances had occurred with near misses and incidents.

Working with JMJ, the APLNG project already had a well-developed safety culture in place, with certain systems and processes that they expected Clarke Energy to follow. Origin’s extremely high standards in health, safety and the environment were beyond what Clarke Energy had experienced even though they pride themselves in having HSE standards above their peers in the same industry and Clarke Energy was enthusiastic to rise to the same level.

A challenge for both companies was the disparity in safety cultures, processes and systems between the two organisations, and Clarke Energy’s ability to meet Origin’s requirements. While it was not a contractual requirement, Origin did expect Clarke Energy to attain the project’s established safety standard and culture, and all contractors were encouraged to be involved in initial safety orientations and training.

“There was a lot of evidence that Origin, Laing O’Rourke and Leightons had already got together and formed a very safety conscious work environment. The electrification project provided the opportunity to bring Clarke Energy into that approach. Clarke Energy jumped at the opportunity to join in, but also I think to highlight their safety message to their workforce. The company was very excited and interested in going forward with the IIF principles and it was just a matter of bringing its team up to the standard that Origin had set for itself.” John Wills, Origin Energy

“We were well aware that we were going through the ISO accreditation and ‘raising the game’ was our mantra at that time. While we knew it was going to be a big task, we wanted to change our approach to safety. And we were very keen to partner with Origin and work closely with them to help us improve.” Sam Vickery, Senior Projects Manager - Clarke Energy

Clients’ Goals:

  • Deliver the project on time and safely, with no injuries or incidents, or harm to the environment

  • Raise the level of Clarke Energy’s safety standards beyond the high expectations of Origin

  • Meet the project schedule

  • Build trust and a high-performance relationship within the teams

  • Work effectively together and speak a common language for safety

  • Raise Clarke Energy’s game’ and improve their safety culture overall

JMJ Approach

Clarke Energy saw the value and benefits first hand of having a great safety culture. It aspired to operate in that type of safety conscious environment. This was a great opportunity to raise their safety standards and learn from others who are already deeply committed to the goal of everyone going home safe.

It helped that JMJ’s Incident and Injury-Free safety approach was not Origin-specific. Rather than Origin trying to make Clarke Energy take on specific APLNG processes and procedures that are unique to Origin, it was easier to adopt the best practice approach from JMJ. Clarke Energy could see the advantages and increased probability of project success through adopting a common approach. Additionally with the partnership and collaboration on a project of this size, the learning of a different approach to safety leadership could continue once the project was finished. And it could be embedded in the company’s culture. Clarke Energy was investing in IIF beyond the APLNG project. They knew it was the right thing to do for their people and their organisation.

“It was great to see Clarke Energy’s enthusiasm, because they hadn’t done anything like that before. It was fantastic to see them get on board, from the senior management level all the way down through their workforce.” (ou Fazzalari, Origin Energy

JMJ facilitated a number of workshops, for both the Origin and Clarke Energy project teams, on safety culture and alignment, providing a clear structure and process for rolling out the new safety approach across the whole project. This included an Alignment Workshop to gain agreement between both parties, to ensure everyone had a clear view of what they were trying to achieve and setting the nature of the relationship between the two companies.

From that point a safety leadership team was formed with three representatives each from Origin and Clarke Energy. From the outset this team got together and created a project charter, helping to forge the alignment of the team, rather than being ‘us’ and ‘them’. Right from the start the two organisations broke down the barriers.

The team held monthly leadership meetings, including site visits, where members of the leadership team would walk the site assessing specific concerns each time. This clear focus and intention allowed the group to operate cohesively, as one team.

IIF was a really good fit for helping us to take our safety attitudes to the next level. From a safety performance point of view, the IIF approach gave us a structured methodology and tools to get common alignment and common thinking. With the integral model and the initial orientation items building relationships, it is a platform that everyone from senior management to site workers can relate to. It’s all a common language, but it also has the tools within it to allow you to get a common platform across the organisation. It allowed every level to see that the other levels care and have the same objectives, because everyone was involved in it, right up to senior management.” Sam Vickery, Clarke Energy

“We took the same view in a lot of our discussions and a large part of that was because of the work that we’ve done around IIF.” Lou Fazzalari, Deputy Project Manager Origin Energy


The IIF safety approach brought together a client and contractor, who were both fully aligned on their project vision and goals and were able to communicate using a common language. The workforce was actively engaged in safety conversations, engaging with leadership and providing feedback. It created a successful partnership.

The IIF Safety Leadership Team, with the support of JMJ, created a strong safety culture for the duration of the project, that of transparent communication and alignment. The team was able to cascade a strong safety message and system effectively to all the people on the project. Everyone was aligned with a common understanding and purpose from a health and safety perspective. The IIF safety approach was not only effective in creating that common language and understanding between Clarke Energy and Origin, but also between the project’s leadership and the frontline workforce.

“The two organisations have the same focus, the alignment is there. I think it looks a lot better now in terms of people’s interaction on-site, as well as in the office and off-site at high level meetings. We have a steering meeting between the two executive teams on the project. That has driven us closer together and we all want to have the same goal and the same outcome. We have three stations built in 500 days with zero harm, no LTIs and no recordable injuries or incidents. That’s something to be proud of. With both organisations adopting the same IIF safety culture, working together is easier because they all knew what we were talking about and we knew what they expected.

IIF has unlocked our thinking about how things could be done, not just quickly, but more importantly safely. If there is a risk or a potential for risk, how do we actually mitigate that or eliminate the risk before we even do the task. It’s given us a high level of awareness not just from the office, but right down to the apprentice on site. Everybody’s conscious of their responsibility. In my role in the leadership team I’ve done a number of walks around on the APLNG site and it’s very clear that the message has got through to each and everyone on-site.” (Kong Leong, Clarke Energy)

Clarke Energy was able to bring its safety standards up to the high expectations of Origin and to roll-out the Incident and Injury-Free program across their organisation and divisions.


“I think that the knowledge gained and the cultural change has actually put us in better position to win new work, not just with APLNG, but also with other customers. We actually put forward how we do things and we mention the IIF safety culture that we’ve embraced.” Kong Leong, Clarke Energy

“The IIF safety approach is a holistic concept that helps in other aspects. Every incident or near miss costs you money in investigations and everything else. With 500 days incident and injury-free, it doesn’t take much to see that it’s probably saved you some time and money. It’s good from a business perspective, as well as (most importantly) having everyone stay safe and well. 

I guess what you learn from the IIF safety approach are life lessons. It’s not something you’re going to do in a course and forget, because it changes your own attitudes and perceptions. It helps in building those relationships. You’ve got a long-term change.” Sam Vickery, Senior Projects Manager - Clarke Energy