Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  What is Safe TO Work in Trinidad & Tobago (STOW-TT)?

A. STOW-TT is a joint initiative of the Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago (ECTT), the Point Lisas Energy Association (PLEA) and the Association of Upstream Operators of Trinidad & Tobago (AUOTT), to prequalify contractors in the energy sector, in a consistent manner. This is achieved through the creation of standardized minimum health, safety and environmental (HSE) requirements for prequalifying contractors and an independent system for certifying contractors.


Q.
  What are the benefits of becoming STOW certified? 

A.  Among other things, STOW certified companies can benefit from reduced paperwork in bid submissions, improved HSE performance and the ability to meet the HSE requirements of the major oil and gas companies in Trinidad & Tobago, new and repeat business with the major oil and gas companies in Trinidad & Tobago.


Q. Who Needs to be STOW certified?

A
.  Visit http://www.stowtt.info/downloads/Who_Needs_STOW_Certification.pdf for guidance.

 
Q.
  What is the difference between the HSE standards being developed by the Trinidad & Tobago Bureau of Standards and (TTBS) the requirements developed under STOW-TT?

A.  The TTBS is developing standards to support the Trinidad & Tobago Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).  The requirements developed through STOW-TT are in line with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, but in most cases at a higher and more stringent level, reflecting the inherent risks in many energy sector activities.


Q.  How do the Point Lisas Energy Association (PLEA) contractor Passport System and the STOW-TT Minimum HSE requirements differ?

A.  The PLEA Contractor Passport System serves as the minimum assurance that only suitably trained individuals are allowed to work on all PLEA member company facilities.  The STOW-TT Minimum HSE Requirements serves as the minimum assurance that only contracting companies with acceptable HSE Management Systems in place and in practice are allowed to work on PLEA AND AUOTT member companies.  


Q.
  Are the STOW-TT Minimum HSE requirements voluntary or mandatory?

A.  The majority of the operating operating companies have set December 31st 2013 as the deadlines for their contractors to be STOW certified.   


Q.
  What can I do internally at my company to meet the STOW-TT Minimum Requirements? 

A.  Companies can use the STOW-TT Minimum HSE Requirements Contractor Guidance Manual, the STOW-TT Administration Manual and the Sample STOW HSE Manual to guide the implementation of the STOW-TT Minimum HSE Requirements.  The Minimum HSE Requirements Contractor Guidance Manual outlines the requirements and provides best practices to meet each requirement.  The STOW-TT Administration Manual provides detailed information on the STOW-TT certification tier system. The Sample STOW HSE Manual provides examples and templates that contractors can tailor to suit the needs of their operations.  These documents can be found on the Manuals and Documents page under Guidance on this website.

Q.  Can I become STOW certified if I only just started my company

A.  A company must have at least 3 - 6 months of records and evidence of implementation of their HSE management system to become STOW TT certified.  


Q. Can I certify only one of the services I provide?

A.
 No. A company will have only one (1) certificate which covers the HSE management system for the range of services provided.  Companies applying for audit must list ALL its services and sites on the application form.  If the company is certified the list of services and sites will be included on the certificate.
 
Q.
  Can a company select an Assessor of choice to conduct the asssessment for STOW-TT certification?

A.  No. The STOW-TT Project Office assigns an Assessor to conduct the assessment. Companies may however, select an Assessor of choice to advise on implementation of the STOW requirements or whether the company is ready for STOW-TT assessment.      


Q.
  What is the STOW-TT certification tier system?

A.  Contactors servicing the energy industry do not all bring the same levels of risk to the overall operations of the major oil and gas companies.  As a consequence, the STOW-TT Minimum HSE requirements were developed on a tiered basis and companies are certified according to the level of risk (low risk or high risk) associated with the services provided. Details on the STOW-TT certification tier system are outlined in the STOW-TT Administration Manual and on the About STOW page of this website.


Q.  How do I know which level of certification I should request for my company?

A.  Companies are expected to be certified at the level  of risk which corresponds to the type of services offered to the energy industry. A STOW Assessor can help you determine your level of risk. Ultimately it is the oil and gas operating company that determines the level of risk that a contractor briings to their operations. Therefore, contractors can also check their clients to find out if they are listed as a low or high risk company.


Q.
  How long is the STOW-TT certification valid?

A.  The period of certification depends on the scores attained at the end of the certification audit. Companies must attain a score of 75% in each element plus a minimum of 70% in the physical condition tour to be certified and certification will be for 1 year.  If 85% or more is attained in each element plus a minimum of 70% in the physical condition tour, the company will be certified for 2 years.


Q.
  What do I get if my company is compliant to the STOW-TT Minimum HSE Requirements?

A.  If the STOW Implementation Board grants certification, you will receive a STOW-TT certificate, a copy of which you can include in bid documents instead of huge amounts of HSE documentation.


Q.
  What is the process for becoming STOW-TT certified?

A.  Visit the Guidance section of this webiste.


Q. If I apply for the STOW certification audit, how long is the application valid for?

A.
The application for the STOW audit is valid for 3 months from the date of application. Once the application has expired, the company must re-apply for the audit and pay the application fees again.  

   
Q. Do I still have to be STOW certified if I am already internationally certified e.g. ISO certified?

A. 
Yes.  Companies that are certified to other international standards still have to be STOW certified.

   
Q.  What does an Independent Assessor do?

A.  An Independent Assessor provides advice on implementing the STOW-TT Minimum HSE Requirements. The Independent Assessor also assesses companies for conformance to the STOW-TT Minimum HSE Requirements.  An Independent Assessor is not allowed to advise a company on implementing the STOW-TT Minimum HSE Requirements and assess the same company for conformance to the requirements.


Q. Must I use an Independent Assessor to implement the STOW-TT Minimum HSE Requirements in my company?

A.  No. Companies with in-house expertise can implement the STOW-TT Minimum HSE Requirements using the STOW-TT Minimum HSE Requirements Contractor Guidance Manual and the STOW-TT Administration Manual.  Companies can also use any other consultant with the required competence to assist them. However, and companies must use an Independent Assessor to assess the company for certification.


Q.
  What is the difference between an Independent Assessor and a Senior Independent Assessor?

A.  The Independent Assessor is only authorized to assess companies at the lowest level (low risk) for certification, while the Senior Independent Assessor is permitted to assess companies at all levels (low, high risk) for certification.  Detailed information on the certification levels is outlined in the STOW-TT Administration Manual on this website.


Q. How long is an Independent Assessor certified for?

A. Independent Assessors are certified for two (2) years.  


Q. What is the criteria to become a STOW Assessor? 

A. Click here for the criteria to become a STOW Assessor.


Q.
  How do I contact the STOW Project Office?

A.  Suite B2.03 Atlantic Plaza, Atlantic Avenue, Pt. Lisas
STOW Project Office:636-3749  
Email: keina@energy.tt (Ext 31); ayanna@energy.tt (Ext 32); natalie@energy.tt (Ext 27)

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UPDATES:

Surveillance Audits

Effective Sept 1st 2017 Surveillance Audits will be included in the contracts for STOW audits.......Read more

Now available:
- STOW Clinic (call for an appointment)
- Feedback form on the STOW website
- HSE lessons learnt website at 
  http://energynow.tt/hse-lessons-learned/.

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