2nd March 2022

Q&A with our HSSE Manager

Our Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) Manager Lee Deponeo heads up our work to safeguard best practice across the business. His team ensures the very highest standards are upheld as we develop the sustainable energy hub of the future.

Lee has more than 15 years’ experience in the health and safety department at Stanlow refinery, having held positions with Essar Oil UK and Shell. He also studied H&S management at university.

Q: Why is health and safety a key concern at STL?

A: Health and safety has always been our number-one priority at STL.

We’re the UK’s largest liquid storage business handling high volumes of potentially hazardous materials with up to 500 road movements per day. That means that it’s critical for us to have the most robust health and safety processes to minimise any risk to our people, the local community and the wider environment, as well as the financial and reputational risks to our business.

Operating safely is also commercially critical for STL, as customers value reassurance that we have strict processes in place and are committed to being best-in-class.

As a critical step in the supply chain for fuelling the regional economy, we play a key part in helping to lead the UK’s transition to low carbon fuels, another reason that it’s imperative that we make no compromises when it comes to health and safety.

Q: How does STL protect people and the environment?

A: We manage health and safety in three key areas, field safety, process safety and environmental performance.

Field safety covers everything we do to ensure people always work safely on site. This is the basics of safety – do our people have the right tools and equipment to complete their work without incident? Has the task been planned and prepared to the correct standards, and has proper communication taken place to ensure we are able to work safely?

Process safety means applying state-of-the-art expertise to make sure that safety is engineered into every part of every process.

When it comes to environmental performance, we’re committed to ensuring STL has zero impact on anybody on or off-site, so we closely monitor the performance of our equipment to ensure we are compliant with all environmental regulations.

Q: How do you see the health and safety requirements of STL changing in the future?

A: We are committed to lead the national charge in the development of a more sustainable energy infrastructure by creating the UK’s first eco-friendly Energy Hub. We’ll do this through a combination of our unique geographical location, decades of experience and a passion for a greener, cleaner planet.

This also means we’re required to take all measures necessary to prevent major accidents, and ensure precautions are in place to reduce the consequences should an accident take place. 

STL’s growth means we’re transitioning from lower to upper tier operator under the Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) regulations. This will mean closer working with the regulator, and increased expectations on our performance.

As we grow, agility in our operations will be essential, and our health and safety processes will need to be able to adapt quickly to ensure we’re always operating to the very highest standards.