Protecting workers during the coronavirus pandemic
We established a system of COVID-19 emergency response centers to make timely decisions and coordinate actions; PJSC LUKOIL supervised the centers’ operation. Every week the centers reviewed the infection rates and determined relief measures, including treatment arrangements in severe cases. All high-volume corporate events such as major meetings, drills, and other, as well as business trips, except for shift personnel, were canceled or moved to a later date. Oil product supply entities, where employees were at the highest risk of contracting the virus because of direct contact with customers, were provided continuous outreach and updates, including prevention brochures, and daily safety announcements. Customers were invited to fill up using the mobile app to minimize contact with gas station personnel.
The principal change in production processes was associated with transitioning a considerable part of our office staff to work from home — a new experience both for the Company and many of our employees. The Russian labor legislation has been amended concerning remote work, and the Company is now considering the possibility of introducing new approaches to organizing labor activities, including hiring employees to work from home on a full-time basis or alternating periods of remote work and work at an office location (combined employment).
From the very beginning of the pandemic, all personnel were provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) and disinfectants and were subject to mandatory health screenings at the entrance to the facilities and in the workplace. The process and form of food catering on the production and office premises were modified as well.
We also revised our primary health care system. Welfare services of the Group’s entities, together with health care contractors, successfully adjusted the operation of corporate health care centers to the new environment. Additional medical procedures were introduced, such as examination and testing of workers before starting their shifts; transportation methods for personnel to all production facilities and work terms in quarantine areas were modified; and ongoing monitoring of workers by trained medical professionals in these areas introduced. Additional medical personnel were engaged to monitor sick employees around the clock.
Unfortunately, we also had employees come down with severe cases of the virus and it was imperative to provide medical assistance to them. The Company’s specialists promptly developed evacuation plans for very sick patients and established relations with the leading regional and federal medical institutions.
LUKOIL combined measures to protect its employees with assistance to medical institutions in the regions where the Group operates in order to keep families of our employees healthy and decrease the overall infection rate. We delivered large quantities of personal protective equipment, new devices, and expensive medications to treat patients. The Company funded the construction of a new laboratory in Kogalym, which now provides testing for coronavirus antibodies.
The COVID-19 pandemic became the first serious test of the effectiveness of our medical departments. The results of 2020 proved the effectiveness of measures previously taken: we managed to prevent massive infection and contained isolated local outbreaks. All entities and gas stations continued to operate during the lockdown. In some cities, our gas stations remained practically the only open public places.
In addition to enhanced safety measures for LUKOIL employees, we also supplemented our contractual agreements by requiring mandatory compliance with sanitary regulations to contain the infection. In particular, workers were allowed to enter the oilfields only if they tested negative for coronavirus and after completing a pre-quarantine.