In 2008-2017, 376 people lost their lives in fatal incidents that might have been prevented by following one of IOGP’s Life-Saving Rules.

Report 459

With the revision of Report 459, IOGP launched a simplified set of Life-Saving Rules to provide workers in the industry with the actions they can take to protect themselves and their colleagues from fatalities. Download 459 now

Supporting materials

Please click here for high resolution files of the icons. Note that you will be asked to agree to not change these icons nor the associated Life-Saving Rules text in any way before being able to download these files.

A revised IOGP Report 459, Life-Saving Rules is freely available from our bookstore.

Introduction to the Life-Saving Rules slide pack for organisations to adapt to their needs

Leading on the Life-Saving Rules slide pack. It should be used to introduce leaders to the Life-Saving Rules program and what it is expected of them as leaders.s

Holding workcard


Credit card/business card sizes (85x55mm) so it can fit in lanyard/wallets/pockets easily


A1 sized poster

For signage and communications

IOGP is continuing to work on translations of the Life-Saving Rules. If you are interested in a particular language, do let us know.

Download excel file of all currently available translations:

  • NEW (April 2021): Dutch and Chinese (Hong Kong)
  • As well as the previous ones: Arabic (Iraq), Azerbaijani, Chinese (Mandarin), Finnish, French,  Georgian, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese

Visit our YouTube channel for the Rule-in-a-minute animations, which are available in:

  • Arabic (Iraq),  Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish

The Introduction presentation has also been translated to Azeri – download here.

Rule in a minute

Nine simple animations explaining each Rule in a minute.

View from our YouTube Channel

View and download from our Vimeo channel

Reflective learning

Reflective learning videos for 5 scenarios:

  1. Offshore
  2. Onshore
  3. Marine
  4. Office
  5. Road transport

Click on the links above to view these reflective video exercises.

Why industry Life-Saving Rules?

A 2-min video talking to industry people about why industry agreed Life-Saving Rules can make a difference.

View and download from our Vimeo channel

Short animations for each Rule

Watch our new videos

Take the Rules with you

Try our Android App

Activities most likely to lead to a fatality

Selected from a review of data reported to IOGP

Applicable to the entire industry

Selection of topics checked against ARPEL, CONCAWE, NIOSH and OSHA data

Simple, observable actions

Focused on the things an individual has control over

Memorable icons

To help us all remember what could keep us alive


Why are Life-Saving Rules necessary?

IOGP believe no loss of life due to an accident at work is acceptable. In the last ten years 376 people lost their lives in incidents that might have been prevented by following one of IOGP’s Life-Saving Rules. The Rules are not a replacement for a management system, competent people, site rules or procedures – but when these barriers fail, following the Rules is a final barrier, designed for the worker to have complete control over, that will keep him or her safe.

Where did these 9 Rules come from and why have they been selected?

IOGP’s original 8 Core and 10 Supplemental Life-Saving Rules were created following analysis of thousands of fatal accident reports and High Potential near misses. This updated and simplified set of Life-Saving Rules was created following analysis of a further 10 years of fatal accident data and account for over 370 fatalities. An industry team of subject matter experts, HSE and operations professionals got together as a task force and created the updated set of Life-Saving Rules that, if followed rigorously, will have the greatest impact on eliminating fatalities.

Does this mean the original Life-Saving Rules were inadequate?

No, if you have implemented the original IOGP Life-Saving Rules without modification, then you will be keeping you and your people safe. With additional seven years of data and based on feedback from member companies, we have streamlined the original 18 down to 9 while retaining the effectiveness of fatality prevention, as well as rephrasing the Rules to be written from the workers perspective.

We have already implemented IOGP’s original Life-Saving Rules, should we change to the new set?

Yes, for the benefit of industry standardisation, we recommend companies change to revised Life-Saving Rules. Standardisation of Life-Saving Rules across the oil and gas industry:

  • Enables better transfer of knowledge, experience and lessons learned.
  • Increases individual awareness ownership of critical safeguards that prevent fatalities
  • Is a step towards an industry-wide common safety language.
  • Allows for ease of implementation and consistent use by contractors and operators.

For these reasons, as well as the simplification and reduction of the Rules, we are calling on Companies to consider changing to the new set of Life-Saving Rules to help with Industry standardisation and learning and work with the rest of Industry to eliminate fatalities at the workplace.  

Why not just standardise on the original set?

We wanted to revise the content based on the latest available data, simplify the number of Rules, improving clarity to the workforce, and including feedback and best practices from IOGP Members.

When will you review the Life-Saving Rules again? Will they change again soon?

We are not anticipating any change. We will continue to monitor the impact of the Rules through our annual safety performance indicators.  Any future changes would only take place with approval of IOGP Members.

My Company has its own set of Life-Saving or equivalent Rules, why should we change?

We do appreciate many companies have their own Life-Saving Rules, or equivalent, that they are attached to and have been very successful for them. We are not suggesting these are not effective, however, if we are to eliminate fatalities in our Industry, we need to work together as an Industry, and that means doing the same thing in the same way wherever possible.  If we all have different Life-Saving or golden Rules, then contractors, who do 80% of our work, must learn multiple ways of doing the same thing – apart from being inefficient and confusing, it introduces risk as workers struggle to remember which process they are supposed to follow. By adopting the same Life-Saving Rules, in addition to the reasons given in Q4:

  • We can compare the outcomes of implementing a standardized process among organisations
  • We can compare incident and accident findings to improve the efficacy of the Rules
  • Workers can relate to one another using a common language and terminology
  • Workers can learn from each other through comparing experiences doing the same thing in the same way, thereby addressing problems and learning what has worked and not worked and why
  • It is more time and cost efficient as we are not constantly retraining workers to follow company specific Life-Saving Rules.

Are the Life-Saving Rules relevant for Contractors?

Yes, IOGP’s vision of success is for the whole industry to adopt IOGP’s Life-Saving Rules.  The contractor community asked for a standard set of Life-Saving Rules.

Can we add additional Rules?

Companies are encouraged to manage specific risks that are not covered by the Life-Saving Rules in a different way, either by campaigns, training, site Rules and procedures or local activities specific to the particular risk that they need to manage.  Adding extra Rules may dilute the benefit of industry standardisation.

Can we change the icons or make them match our corporate colours?

No. The idea behind the Life-Saving Rules is that they are standard and recognisable as Industry Life-Saving Rules, so if you use IOGP’s Life-Saving Rules, the icons or the wording are not to be altered in any way.

Can we add our corporate logo to these Rules?


Can we call them something other than Life-Saving Rules?

While we strongly encourage Companies to refer to the Rules as “Life-Saving Rules”, we are less concerned about the overarching title of the program – what is important to us is that the icons and “I” statements remain the same and that people don’t try to add any more.

What should a company do if individuals do not follow the Life-Saving Rules?

This will very much depend on your company culture and how it applies consequence management.  The important thing is to understand why Rules are not followed and embrace the learning and improvement opportunity. The organisation has a role in positively reinforcing an open reporting culture, i.e. for self-reported errors and peer-to-peer interventions and responding appropriately where cases of ‘non-reporting’ are found. The intent is to understand why people did what they did, what conditions and environment drove the non-conformance, and to identify and apply lessons learned.

How do you know the Life-Saving Rules have been successful?

Post implementation, there will be a step change improvement in safety performance related to fatalities associated with work-related deaths and serious injuries.

Who can I provide feedback to about the Life-Saving Rules?

You can provide feedback to IOGP at

How can we help IOGP support the industry implementation of the Life-Saving Rules?

IOGP welcome any feedback on best practices, instances of nonconformance, and sharing of lessons learned in order to implement improvements, provide additional guidance and prevent similar challenges globally.

Why have the “Drug and Alcohol” and “No Smoking” Rules been removed? These are still a concern for us, especially with some countries relaxing drug laws.

The new Life-Saving Rules are much more focused than the old version. We have removed the duplication of covering standard site rules and National and International Laws in the Life-Saving Rules. “No Smoking” is covered under “Hot Work” (“I identify and control ignition sources”) where smoking areas are controlled on site. “Drug and Alcohol” are site and company rules, one of the pre-requisites for a successful deployment of the Life-Saving Rules is a worker Fitness for Duty process and a Drug and Alcohol Policy. We think adherence to Company Policies as well as National Laws and Life-Saving Rules will help us eliminate fatalities in the Oil and Gas Industry.

Why has the 1.8m height limit been removed from the Working at Height Rule?

IOGP still recommends 1.8m (71”) as the height at which fall protection should be worn. Feedback from the previous Rules suggested the 1.8m caused some confusion as some areas had legal requirements different to 1.8m. Our advice is that where the legal requirement is less than 1.8m the law should always be followed, and where it is more than 1.8m then by using 1.8m you are always in compliance with the law.

I work on a vessel/MODU/rig, why has Personal Flotation Devices been removed?

The Life-Saving Rules are not a substitute for a good safety management system and wearing suitable PPE in accordance with the requirements identified by risk assessments and work-site policies is a fundamental requirement of implementing the Life-Saving Rules.

What is a “protected area” in Working at Heights?

A protected area is an area such as an elevated work area or platform not enclosed by hand rails and working in these areas requires the use of approved fall protection equipment secured to an approved anchor point. Other considerations for working at height include ladders, work over water, rope access, floor openings, access hatches, and inspection pits. Floor openings should be protected with physical barriers to prevent falls.

We are concerned about excavation activities – why has this Rule been removed?

The Rules are not intended to cover 100% of the causes of fatalities. Fatalities due to trench collapse or ground disturbance were in scope for the Life-Saving Rules, but represented 2% of fatalities in 2008-2017 and therefore IOGP decided to focus on other topics. As the program is fully implemented, the causes of fatalities may change, but in the meantime, many of the hazards associated with this work are covered by the “Work Authorization” Rule.

What is the intent of the Line of Fire Rule?

The intent is to engage individuals to actively look for and avoid line of fire hazards. The Line of Fire Rule is different kind of rule and intended to enable the individual to be more aware of their position and interaction with activities, people, and equipment around them.  A majority of IOGP member reported fatalities may have been prevented had the individual not been in the line of fire.

I am a worker on site, if I see a Life-Saving Rule being broken but do not report it, what’s the consequence for me?

That is for each organisation to determine. IOGP wants to help the industry create a culture where people care for and look out for each other. Sadly, we are aware of people who have not reported rule breaking, or who have not intervened, and their workmate has suffered a fatal accident. In a case like this, often the motivation for not reporting was not to be seen as getting someone else into trouble, and in every case the person had to live with the tragic consequences that they could have saved a life had they intervened or reported a Rule violation. Please report all safety violations. We want to create a proactive reporting culture where we address unsafe acts and situations pro-actively; we do not want to create a culture where reporting goes underground.

I am a supervisor. If one of my team members breaks a Life-Saving Rule, what’s the consequence for me?

That is for each organisation to determine. IOGP’s focus on personal accountability for following the Rules is about care and concern for the individual and the well-being of everyone who works in our industry. Applying consequence management for a Life-Saving Rule violation, while a difficult conversation, may help prevent a subsequent conversation with family members whose loved one has been seriously hurt or killed. If a Life-Saving Rule is not followed, the reason should be determined, whether or not it resulted in undesirable consequences, and those reasons dealt with openly and constructively.

What happens if I see someone not following a Life-Saving Rule?

We want a safe working environment for everyone. If you observe rule-breaking or unsafe activity, you should first intervene if it is safe for you to do so and report it to a supervisor or manager. Yours may be the last opportunity to stop someone not following the Rules having an injury or fatality. If the unsafe act persists or if the violation jeopardises people’s lives, escalate immediately to the person in charge of the work activity or a supervisor, if necessary take the matter to other members of site leadership.

What happens if a Life-Saving Rule cannot be followed (for example a seatbelt is not fitted to my vehicle)?

Do not start the activity until it can be confirmed the actions within the Life-Saving Rule can be followed. If, before or during a task or activity, you realise the Rule cannot be followed, stop the job, call a supervisor and carry out a risk assessment to put in place controls that will make the task safe to complete.

Is it still a Life-Saving Rule violation if the incident investigation shows a specific case could not have led to a fatality?

Yes. The investigation process for any Life-Saving Rule breach is the same regardless of the potential risk. A Life-Saving Rule violation always remains a Life-Saving Rule violation, even if the potential severity is less than a fatality. The reasons for the violation should be determined and dealt with openly and constructively.


Contact us to find out more about the supporting tools and materials that we are still working on, or to give us your feedback on the Rules and associated materials Get in touch