28 March 2010

With this in mind the Malaysian Gas Association (MGA), in collaboration with two local universities located in the southern part of Peninsular Malaysia, organised the ‘PRESTIGE’ or Practical Environmental, Safety and Industrial Guidance for Student Engineers, a two days workshop to expose them on the importance of HSE from March 27 to 28 at the Equatorial Hotel, Melaka. This is the third year that this program has been organised by MGA following the success of PRESTIGE held in the Klang valley in 2008 and PRESTIGE held in Penang in 2009. More than 140 final-year engineering undergraduates have participated in the two previous programs. This two-day workshop is adapted from a similar programme run by Shell Malaysia in East Malaysia.

This comprehensive workshop incorporates activities and scenarios designed to test the students’ abilities to understand and apply HSE concepts. It also covers sharing of experiences from industry experts, dissemination of practical information and tools to enhance awareness on HSE and its critical role not only in the daily operations at the workplace but also in our daily lives.

The objectives of PRESTIGE are:
• to create HSE awareness of the proper usage, delivery and application of gas products
• to raise understanding of the HSE and sustainable development issues faced by the industry today
• to enhance the students’ understanding in HSE by sharing tools and practices and its application
• to provide an overview of the career opportunities available in the gas industry.
• to create awareness amongst the students on the value chain of gas commercialisation

A total of 48 final-year engineering degree students from the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Skudai, Johore; and the Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM), participated in this program. The students were nominated and selected by their respective universities based on their academic achievement, leadership skills and participation in co-curricular activities.

As part of the workshop, the students were exposed to a whole host of issues and challenges faced by the gas industry; from overview of the operations of PETRONAS Gas to safety, health and its impact on the environment and the career opportunities and development. The invited speakers included representatives from the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), the Department of Environment (DOE), Energy Commission of Malaysia, ExxonMobil, Gas Malaysia, PETRONAS Gas, PETRONAS and Shell Malaysia.

In the opening address, Datuk (Dr) Abdul Rahim Hj Hashim, the President of MGA and President of the International Gas Union (IGU), encouraged the participants to make full use of the program to learn of the importance of HSE as they will be the ‘baton bearers’ and champions for inculcating HSE practices, behaviors and applications when they venture out to join the workforce. He also highlighted on the growing importance and utilisation of gas as an environmental friendly fuel, to meet world demand for primary energy consumption in the face of issues of rising carbon emission and the global climate change. In Malaysia, gas is used extensively in the power sector and also in the non power sectors.

Syed Zulkarnain Syed Abu Bakar, Deputy General Manager of Shell Malaysia, in his closing message, pointed out that HSE mindset is of absolute paramount importance in the long term well-being and sustainability of our society.

The concerted effort to educate our youths with health and safety in engineering fields comes in line with one of the topics covered in the 25th World Gas Conference (WGC2012) that will be held in Malaysia from 4-8 June 2012. Malaysia leads as President of the International Gas Union (IGU) for the triennium of 2009-2012 where one of the important focus of our Presidency is to develop strategies to reach out to the youth and educate them on careers leading to gas-related industries, especially those in engineering disciplines.
The participants expressed their appreciation and gratitude for the opportunity to attend this program where they have gained valuable and practical knowledge on HSE. Comments received in the feedback forms and verbal expressions of the students provided insight to the success of this program :-
– ‘fantastic, exciting opportunity to learn how HSE is important in our lives as one day we will become managers and need to have HSE mindset’
– ‘enjoyed the program, gained additional knowledge that is not taught in the university, impactful experience as safety subject used to be boring but now realised the importance with this exposure, to increase HSE awareness’
– ‘this program effectively exposed students to safety issues of the oil and gas industry’
– ‘best program ever joined, different from other safety seminar, and the comfortable environment make it easy to be active in thinking’
– ‘honoured to be selected to attend, learned many things especially the ‘practicals’. Given the chance to know safety aspects in practical manner versus theory learning as we can see the actual importance of safety which should not be neglected’
– ‘Very good program to bring awareness of the importance of HSE, have learned a lot over the 2 days’
– ‘Excellent, good and enjoyable program, interesting information’
Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) won the HSE competition and was awarded the MGA PRESTIGE Award comprising of a champion trophy, cash incentive of RM5,000 for the university and RM1,500 worth of book vouchers for the students.