Wiri Oil Services Ltd

Strategic energy storage and supply for Auckland City.

Wiri Oil Services Ltd (WOSL) is a joint venture between BP, Mobil, Z Energy, and Chevron shareholders. The facility is a site of national significance and is a major supplier of fuels and oils to the wider Auckland region, including supplying Auckland International Airport with aviation fuel.

Gary Kirkland-Smith is the Health, Safety, Security and Environmental manager for WOSL in charge of health and safety for both the Auckland and the Marsden Point sites.

Gary engaged us to assess and improve the permit-to-work systems for WOSL. A permit-to-work system is a formal system used to control high-risk work that is or has the potential to be hazardous. This system was and is one of the biggest systems that we have worked with.

A permit-to-work system will generally issue an employee or contractor with a permit-to-work document of some description which specifies the work to be done and the hazard controls to be put in place. Permits-to-work form an essential part of safe systems of work for many maintenance activities, especially in high-risk situations.

Something that needs to be understood about Gary’s site is that it has all the ingredients for fire except one thing – the ignition source. This means that all maintenance work is strictly controlled and reviewed before allowing it to proceed. Even basic maintenance is controlled by either strict standard operating procedures or a permit-to-work.

Gary’s permit system had been developed over a number of years and was a combination of several sources. This meant that at times it was hard to follow and overly complicated to work with. Our project brief from Gary was simple – “Take what we have and make it workable!”

Over the course of around 3 months, we worked with Gary and his team to review and improve the permit systems. Looking at both the flow of information and how this information was recorded, we rewrote, reformatted and simplified the system including the creation of new policies, standards, procedures, visual flow charts and training documentation for the system. This was an extensive rewrite, involving both Susan and Steve and a significant amount of research and development!

We also engaged Anagram Ltd to undertake a rebranding exercise for their health and safety brand to facilitate more buy-in from their staff.

The end result was a simpler system that is more efficient and easier to understand for the employees tasked with running the permit-to-work system.

Key Learnings:

  • Your systems need to be relevant to your business and the risks you are undertaking.
  • If you don’t have the resources internally to complete your health and safety projects, don’t be afraid to outsource them.
  • Your staff and contractors alike need to be able to both interpret and follow your systems safely.


  • Industry: Strategic energy storage & supply
  • Serviced: 2016


  • Improved permit-to-work system
  • Improved contractor control processes
  • Ongoing support and follow-up from our team to ensure nothing is a problem
  • Simpler guidelines
  • Access to professional advice