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Our lessons-learned process

Lessons learned, a key element in continuous improvement

Three employees talk around a table at the Repsol Campus

Ensuring people's safety and the protection of the environment is the most important commitment we have at Repsol. That's why we work every day to improve safety in our operations wherever we are, focusing on facilities, processes, and people from a standpoint of prevention and anticipating events.

Our systems and regulations are very advanced — but in addition to maintaining and enhancing them, we also work on learning throughout the organization.

To be successful, knowledge about safety must be shared and reach all the different areas, businesses, and facilities. A lesson learned is knowledge gained through reflection on an experience or process that could have relevant consequences for safety or the environment and which is shared for the sake of continuous improvement and learning.

The keys to the success of our lessons learned process

  • Having principles to guide the process and which have the support of our leaders.
  • Develop clear processes with well-defined roles and responsibilities.
  • Ensuring the availability of the best technical resources around. 
  • Developing efficiency assessment methods. 
  • Recording our lessons learned and integrating them across a broad spectrum as needed. 
  • Involve our employees: they know the risks better than anyone and can be the ones to provide the lessons coming from our operations.

How our lessons learned process works

1. Capture. Develop, assess, and approve the lessons leaned.
2. Share. Communicate and spread new knowledge.
3. Learn. Follow up and monitoring of implemented actions.

1. Capture

We are continuously seeking room for improvement in our research. Here are a few examples:

  • We create workshops and assemble operational learning teams, which get critical areas involved in the work of reflecting on processes and tasks. 
  • We work from our industrial complexes to find lessons in our standard operations to analyze possible areas for improvement in in a preventive way through dynamics and cause analysis tools, even involving the operators' own shifts. 
  • Through the CCPS (Center for Chemical Process Safety) we're working on a project on "Lessons Learned Years Later" which will help both us and other companies in our sector to learn from studying past incidents. 
  • IPSG (International Process Safety Group): this is a forum for sharing information about incidents and exchanging knowledge, experiences, techniques, procedures, and special design characteristics — all with the goal of preventing serious accidents.

2. Share

Our lessons learned can be shared in different ways:

  • By creating reflexion and discussion spaces, which could include our internal software tool for incident management, internal forums, or collaborative communities between different industrial plants.
  • Through videos that highlight learning-focused actions and best practices put into place.

3. Learn

Once our lessons have reached their targets, the managers of the business, area, or facility in question must identify preventative action plans. For learning to take place, it is vital to ensure that the actions defined can be implemented as quickly as possible and that both their effectiveness and the learning process itself are assessed regularly, e.g.:

  • Our incident management software tool Synergi has a lessons learned module that is used by some of our business and besides, actions can be registered for follow-up. 
  • The Industrial area is working on building a process that allows to speed up the incorporation of the good practices identified in the Communities of Practice and areas of collaboration in our operational processes, through the figure of the senior technical advisor, who with a global vision and the reputation of his expertise has the capabilities and recognition to ensure the agility, quality and cross-company coverage of this process.
  • With this project, we positively contribute to the United Nations' 2030 Agenda through the following SDGs: