Safeguarding Employee Welfare at Motor Oil with Real-Time Incident Reporting

Motor Oil, Corinth Refineries S.A. is an energy group based in Greece. It was founded in 1970 and its refinery in the region of Corinth counts among the top refineries in Europe.

The company plays a leading role in crude oil refining and marketing of petroleum products in the country as well as the greater Eastern Mediterranean region, supplying its customers with a wide range of high-quality products. Motor Oil produces 185,000 barrels of crude oil each day with a workforce of 2,500 employees and exports to more than 45 countries. The refinery, along with its ancillary plants and fuel distribution facilities, constitutes the largest privately-owned industrial complex in Greece.

Recently, Dimitrios Michalopoulos, head of Industrial Applications at Motor Oil, explained how the company improved environmental, health, and safety processes. This is of significant importance to the company’s success in keeping incidents at a minimum and ensuring a safe work environment for its employees.

Replacing Manual Incident Management Processes

For many years, incident management processes were cumbersome and manual. “We have three categories of incidents: incidents where someone was hurt like through a fire, near misses, and safety observations,” Michalopoulos said. “In the past, the incident management process was based on spreadsheets. In the case of an incident, refinery engineers had to fill a predefined form and e-mail it to our health and safety department. As there were no predefined field values, employees were free to enter texts without getting any system-based assistance and control.” He continued: “As a result, it was very difficult to generate any relevant KPIs as the entire process was manual.”

The assignment of incident managers was carried out by the health and safety section head without adequate traceability on what happened when and who was actually acting as the responsible incident manager.

“The investigation and root cause analysis process was executed completely offline, and corrective or preventive actions that were decided to be executed resulted from the investigation process. All of that was recorded in shared spreadsheet files and progress was communicated via e-mail,” he added. “It is obvious that the monitoring of corrective or preventive actions was a cumbersome and time-consuming task for all incident managers. The preparation of KPIs and reports based on unstructured data was a challenging and manual process with a high risk of human error.”

The company had to take a new approach to overcome the challenges. “All the above challenges related to an insufficient quality of incident management. The amount of time required for managing this on a daily basis, including preparing KPIs and reports, led us to the decision of deploying a new and integrated solution based on SAP ERP,” Michalopoulos explained.

Project Objectives and Key Factors

In terms of objectives and key factors, Michalopoulos identified increasing employee participation in and awareness of health and safety processes as one of the key objectives for the project. “We wanted to introduce an intuitive way to make incident reporting easier for everyone in the refinery,” he said.

Additionally, standardizing incident management processes was another important objective for the company. Based on the refinery’s official procedures, it was important to Motor Oil that every employee should be able to report an incident or a safety observation. To raise employee awareness, the company also set up a rewards program.

Meeting Strategic Goals with a Modern Solution

Motor Oil evaluated SAP Environment, Health, and Safety Management and determined that the SAP EHS Management, incident management application best covered its requirements. “We can rely on it,” Michalopoulos said, adding “our IT infrastructure is based on SAP. Therefore, we wanted to benefit from leveraging integrated data from other SAP solutions and be able to prepare consolidated reports without developing complex interfaces.”

Motor Oil deployed the incident management capabilities with its health and safety section as the business owner. “All 1,500 refinery employees can now use the system and the interactive forms can be filled by everyone,” Michalopoulos remarked. Moreover, the solution is used by the incident managers in the health and safety section as well as by refinery section and refinery department heads, which comprise about 50 people.

Improved and Automated Reporting

“We deployed the new system in July 2021 with assistance from Real Consulting IT Business Solutions S.A. Therefore, it has been productive for only a few months and it is still early to determine safe metrics about the benefits,” Michalopoulos said. “Overall, the quality of our health and safety processes and the time required for managing incidents have significantly improved.” So far, Motor Oil has seen:

  • Increased employee awareness and higher compliance with internal and external safety regulations and standards
  • Standardized and eased incident reporting on a tablet for all 1,500 refinery employees and the management team
  • Time savings of 25%-30% in managing incidents and reporting, thanks to automated workflows, predefined KPIs, and interactive forms allowing them to focus on higher value-add tasks
  • Availability of up-to-date online reports with the latest incident information details, enabling fast decision-making and advanced analytics
  • Simplified and documented incident investigation and root cause analysis processes automatically trigger corrective and preventive actions that can be monitored and tracked with regard to progress
  • Cost savings thanks to the integration with the company’s human resources system, which runs on SAP solutions, to immediately access refinery employee details

New Solution Supports Corporate Goals

SAP EHS Management helps Motor Oil meet its corporate goals. “The nature of Motor Oil Group’s business operations, such as refining, storage, transportation, and marketing of petrochemical products, make occupational health and safety a matter of high importance and a top priority to us. Our management’s commitment to ensure a safe working environment is absolute and permanent. We take an ongoing and systematic approach for the improvement of health and safety issues,” Michalopoulos said. “Based on this strategy, SAP EHS Management plays a vital role to us.”

The company’s future plans include implementing additional software components. “Our SAP S/4HANA greenfield implementation is in progress and considered the digital core of the transformation process at our company. In addition, SAP Analytics Cloud was selected as our strategic tool for planning and budgeting processes at group level.”

Request a demo to learn how to respond and recover while ensuring the safety of employees and customers in times of change with integrated environmental, health, and safety management. Read a report on how empowering employees with intelligent systems and data can help them manage unforeseen events in near real time and make more informed decisions.


Karin Fent is senior director of global Customer Success Digital Supply Chain at SAP.