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Safety Progress

Safety is at Our Core
At Marathon Oil, safety is one of our core values, and we’re committed to providing workplaces where everyone can perform at their best, free of injury and illness.

In 2021, despite the challenges and risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, we achieved our second-best year in company history for total recordable incident rate). Our combined TRIR for both employees and contractors was 0.29 in 2021 compared to 0.24 in 2020.

  • ᵃ TRIR = Incidents x 200,000 / Work Hours. 
2021 In-Depth Global Safety Chart2021 In-Depth Global Safety Chart
Section 2

Safety Management

Driving Improvement
Robust reporting, strong relationships with contractors, proactive training and emergency preparedness positions Marathon Oil as an industry leader in safety.

We promote our safety culture by attracting, developing and retaining individuals and partners who share our commitment to operational excellence. Marathon Oil’s Health, Environment, Safety & Security (HES&S) activities are guided by our Responsible Operations Management System (ROMS), which includes HES&S Standards, Procedures, Life Critical Expectations and HES Beliefs. The HES Beliefs define our expectations in the areas of Stop Work Authority, pre-job planning, reporting and sharing lessons learned and open communication. They affirm that no job will be performed if our people cannot be protected.

As the executive owner of the ROMS Safe Work Practices Element, our vice president of HES&S and Corporate Sustainability sets priorities and expectations, tracks progress and is accountable for the results of our safety training and competency programs. Our executive vice president of Operations, who reports to our CEO, is accountable for our global safety performance, with oversight from members of the Health, Environmental, Safety and Corporate Responsibility (HES&CR) Committee of the board of directors.

Marathon Oil’s safety performance for both employees and contractors remains integrated into our executive compensation scorecard, and we incorporate enterprise-wide safety metrics in our annual incentive plan for all employees and executives.

In 2021, we finalized our two-year project to successfully update our ROMS safety management system and our safe work practices and procedures. Prior to executing this update, each business unit implemented its own localized approaches to the safety management system in place. After the update, we standardized the adoption of best practices and have experienced more consistent alignment across our business operations.

Safety Leadership Across the Industry

Marathon Oil staff played a leadership role in the American Petroleum Institute’s Onshore Safety Alliance (OSA), which finalized its program in October 2021. We shared information related to serious injury events with peers and contributed to the development of tools and processes to help companies across the industry learn best practices and improve safety performance. Our CEO, Lee Tillman, is also chairman of the American Exploration and Production Council (AXPC), which works to educate regulators and policymakers on safe, responsible exploration and production.

Serious about Safety
We educate our employees and contractors on safety from day one.

Maintaining a Robust Reporting Culture

Marathon Oil’s robust and transparent reporting culture, coupled with an experienced leadership team that is regularly looking for ways to improve, provides our organization with a strong foundation of accountability and willingness to learn.

Each week our operations leaders, from the executive vice president of Operations to field-level supervisors, meet to openly share and discuss lessons learned so that the entire organization benefits from the knowledge gained. Employees and contractors are trained on our processes and required to report all incidents, including “near misses.” In 2021, our near-miss frequency rate was approximately 9.09, a significant decrease from 16.7 in 2020. This decrease was driven by both performance improvements and procedure changes.

One of the things I’m most proud of is our open and transparent reporting culture. Every Monday, we share our incidents and lessons learned with our operations leadership. Our leadership team is constantly supporting our safety program, encouraging reporting and offering ideas on ways to improve. This is a real strength of Marathon Oil.
Jon Kizzee, Corporate Health & Safety Manager
Mike Henderson Executive Vice President, Operations is speaking during a training and coaching engagement.Mike Henderson Executive Vice President, Operations is speaking during a training and coaching engagement.


One of Marathon Oil’s core strengths lies in the engagement of our leadership team in all aspects of the organization and the embodiment of our core values in our leaders’ day-to-day lives. Through Safety Leadership Engagements, leaders engage with contractors and field crews working on the ground, helping to convey our safety culture and expectations. In 2021, we developed a Safety Leadership Engagement training package and offered coaching to leaders to increase consistency across these engagements.

Process Safety

Process safety encompasses programs to prevent hydrocarbon releases that have the potential to affect people, property and the environment. We actively seek to strengthen and improve our programs through the use of audits and by implementing corrective actions from our investigations associated with our Process Safety Events.

We developed process safety awareness and advanced-level trainings and improved the quality of our Hazardous Operations (HAZOP) assessments, a third-party-led, multi-day assessment that aimed to prevent process safety events.

We strive to improve our process safety performance. In 2021, we experienced two Tier 1 (high-consequence) and zero Tier 2 (medium-consequence) Process Safety Events at our designated facilities in our U.S. resource plays, Marathon EG Production Limited (MEGPL) and Equatorial Guinea LNG Operations, S.A. (EG LNG).

Contractor Safety

We work with top-rated contractors who share our commitment to safeguarding our workforce, communities, property and the environment. The strong relationships we build with our contractors can help prevent fatalities, injuries, fires, spills and explosions. We take a risk management-based approach to contractor oversight and provide safety-based orientation to new contractors and companies when they begin to work with us.

We hold suppliers accountable for executing our required Life Critical Expectations training and safety orientation programs. In 2021, approximately 18,500 individual contractors successfully completed the online training and passed the associated safety exam. Contractors must also comply with our safety policies and adhere to our contractor management plans. While we strive to maintain a stable contractor workforce, we will stop working with vendors and bar individuals who don’t meet our HES expectations and performance requirements.

In addition, we conduct field-based safety inspections and audits, track our contractors’ OSHA recordables and serious event rate, and oversee our contractors in line with the Responsible Operations Management (ROMS) Third-Party Services element.

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