A deep dive into safety at Lubmarine with Zainuddin Osman

Zainuddin Osman plays a pivotal role within Lubmarine – having been recently appointed as HSE Manager, responsible for implementing the safety strategy within the business to help safeguard the health and well-being of our team – no matter where they are in the world.

Zainuddin looks at his journey within TotalEnergies and his arrival at Lubmarine highlighting the vital role everybody has to play in safety.


Can you tell us a little more about your journey to Lubmarine?

I am a native of Singapore, where I was raised and continue to reside. My professional and personal endeavours are rooted here, alongside my family.

As a student I gained a Bachelors Degree in Environmental, Occupational Health and Safety, so you could say it has always been a subject I have been interested in. I was also an army infantry officer in Singapore, with responsibility for leading and managing soldiers.

In Feb 2000, I transitioned into the oil industry, working in an oil terminal, where I was involved in the operation and maintenance of storage tanks and the loading and unloading of crude oil, petroleum products and chemicals via tankers. This would include overseeing the safe storage and transport of oil, ensuring quality control, and maintaining the equipment used in these processes.

From there I moved into the upstream side of the industry, working in technical roles within refineries, specifically responsible for overseeing the building of jetties, before joining TotalEnergies in 2011 within the safety division of TotalEnergies Lubrifiants.

In 2013, I took a central role as HSE Manager for the construction of our brand new TUAS lubricant plant in Singapore. This plant stands as TotalEnergies’ latest state of the art lubricants blending facility on a global scale, serving as a pivotal hub in the region, catering to sectors including automotive, industrial, and marine applications.

When the project was completed, I stayed back to manage the HSE team within the TUAS plant whilst also overseeing the demolishing of the previous plant that existed prior to TUAS construction.

I believe everyone has a role to play in safety within any size or type of organization so this was an important part of my approach at this time and we implemented a project to reflect this.

Have you always worked in a safety role within TotalEnergies?

No. In 2020 – I moved out of HSE within TUAS and took up the role of Maintenance and Project Manager, responsible for the whole plant asset integrity including the JV.

The goal was to have everything running smoothly and efficiently, identifying any issues and planning maintenance schedules rather than fire-fighting unforeseen problems.

The Covid pandemic added challenge around this role. Given the restrictions, we had to develop a process for human movements around the plant and a Covid plan for the whole site.

The site was active 24/7 so as you can imagine it was a level of challenge we hadn’t faced before and took a lot of planning, implementation and management to ensure smooth and safe operations for everyone.

Can you tell us about your current role and what is involved?

I am still relatively new within the Lubmarine team, having arrived in early 2024 in this new role.

I am thrilled to embrace a role with global reach, focusing on a comprehensive approach to safety across the entire business. This encompasses not only our direct operations but also extends to our affiliates and partners, ensuring a cohesive safety strategy from both land-based and maritime standpoints.

Additionally, I am responsible for conducting audits of blending facilities and warehouses, as well as offering guidance and support during site visits. Collaborating closely with the local Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) teams present at most of our locations is a significant aspect of my role, enhancing our collective efforts to maintain the highest standards of safety.

What are some of your goals and challenges as you see them within the role?

Understanding the tasks and responsibilities of our worldwide teams is one of the keys. It’s also Important to understand the business and how we fit into compliance and regulatory standards and where we can go beyond those standards to greater levels. This is a critical foundation.

Only by fully understanding the roles and potential risks and hazards and then mapping those can we write policies that are correct. My philosophy is ‘if you write what you do and you do what you write we will be 100% spot on.’ We want our worldwide teams to really understand our emphasis on safety.

HSE is very broad at Lubmarine. I am still learning and undertaking a deep dive into the business, from our products and manufacturing to sales and deliveries, technical teams out on visits to customers’ vessels, through to safety within our offices – it’s a diverse business.

We also have to work closely with our partners and affiliates who have to comply with our way of doing things safely and consistently.

We have not had a serious accident in the business for years so we know that safety is already deeply embedded within the organization through our people. But that doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels and I believe there is always room for improvement.

We want to develop a winning formula to get people to buy in to what we want to achieve. We want people to see the value in our approach to safety. It is all about them and if we can get our people to lead by example, this is important.

It is worth highlighting that we are not just talking about physical risks and look at mental and emotional wellbeing at the same time. People’s mental wellbeing has become a greater consideration in the post Covid world. We need to be constantly engaged with our teams and help to support them.

Outside of work

I’m enthusiastic about sports, particularly football, where I’ve enjoyed playing at a semi-professional level. My interests also extend to outdoor activities with friends, such as hiking and traveling to discover new places. Movie nights are a cherished pastime as well.

While these pursuits bring me joy, time at home is equally precious. It’s a balance of personal interests and family life, where moments spent at home are treasured.