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Year on Frontline

Date of publication: 24 March 2021

A strict COVID-19 etiquette is in force at all of the Company’s facilities, including the mask mandate and social distancing.

A whole year of pandemic became a global socioeconomic challenge for business and government. To preclude an outbreak of coronavirus among personnel and to maintain workforce productivity, the companies had to make drastic changes in the work process.

It is a lot more difficult to launch all processes at continuous-cycle enterprises - e.g., at a plant or a rotational village, than to switch office employees to remote operations. 

“We cannot suspend our activities even for a day since oil is transported 24 hours a day,” explains Deputy Director General for HR and General Issues at Transneft East Andrey Volkov. “Therefore, preservation of a stable and workable team at the time of pandemic is our top priority. 

Each rotational employee is a strategically important “soldier”. If the latter is in the ranks, there is no disruption of business activity and uninterrupted operation is assured. But if at least one worker drops out, and in times of pandemic any individual that fell sick can cause the entire team going on lockdown: this threatens the stability of operations, which we, of course, cannot allow to happen. 

We did our best to exclude this situation and to create the safest possible environment for our personnel. To reach this end, we needed a mobilisation of all resources, discipline and coherence of effort taken by executives and ordinary employees at all levels,” notes Mr. Volkov.

Austerity Can Be Helpful

As soon as the morbidity rates started going up in the regions, we imposed the strictest measures of epidemiological safety at all of our 42 operating facilities, both stationary and those staffed with rotational workers. We immediately arranged a special emergency response drill for our employees. We drilled a response to a situation when any of the colleagues suddenly has a high fever and dry cough: the entire algorithm, the rules of using personal protective equipment and the procedures of taking sanitary measures; the whole of it is described in a leaflet handed out to each employee. And that is more than 8 thousand people.

A strict COVID-19 etiquette is still in force at all of the Company’s facilities, including the mask mandate and social distancing.

The sanitary-hygienic labour conditions at the Company’s facilities have become a lot stricter during the year. To fight against the virus spread, all facilities have been outfitted with stationary thermometry equipment, air sanitizers and steam units for overalls treatment. During the pandemic, we have purchased more than 270,000 facemasks, 13,000 pairs of disposable gloves, 950,000 litres of disinfectants, more than a hundred air sanitizers. The total funds invested in ensuring epidemiological safety exceeded RUB 30 million. 
One of the challenges faced by the Company during the pandemic is the need to make on-the-spot IT decisions. Given that Transneft East operates in remote northern areas in Irkutsk and Amur Regions, Yakutia and Krasnoyarsk Territory with extended and underdeveloped networks, this was not an easy task. It took literally a month to switch thousands of employees at stationary facilities to remote operations working and to provide them with the essential hardware and software. Nevertheless, according to the Company, this did not affect the pace of work or led to failures in any of the main areas. 

Vaccination Shield

Vaccination has been awaited at the Company. As soon as this opportunity appeared, the Company started to use it extensively. Employees intending to vaccinate against the coronavirus sign up for vaccination via the Public Services Portal. The Company, in turn, raises the personnel awareness, organises collective trips to vaccinating centres.

About 1,000 of our employees have gone through this disease and do not need vaccination while others try to protect themselves. For many people, cases of their loved ones, friends and colleagues who went through coronavirus were a sobering experience. We do hope that mass-scale vaccination in our country will address the issue of developing the so-called populational immunity among our employees,” Mr. Volkov underscores.

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