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New BP boss says staff bonuses linked to safety

LONDON, Oct 19 – BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley told staff that fourth-quarter bonuses will be linked to their performance in terms of safety following the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, the Financial Times said Tuesday.

Dudley, who started earlier this month after his gaffe-prone predecessor Tony Hayward was forced out over his handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, told staff in an email about the new bonus policy, the paper reported.

"Today, in advance of the full review of performance and reward, we are announcing that the sole criterion for performance reward for our operating businesses in the fourth quarter of 2010 will be performance in safety, compliance, silent running and operational risk management — and exhibiting and reinforcing the right behaviours consistent with these goals," he wrote.

Dudley added in the email, which was sent to staff on Monday, that existing bonus arrangements would be honoured for the first three quarters of BP\’s financial year, according to the FT.

However, he said that bonuses for the fourth quarter, or three months to December, will be measured "solely according to each business\’s progress in reducing operational risks and achieving safety and compliance guidelines".

"We are taking this step in order to be absolutely clear that safety, compliance and operational risk management is BP’s number one priority, well ahead of all other priorities," Dudley wrote.

A company spokesman confirmed the contents of the email, underlining that safety was now the number one priority.

"It\’s just illustrating how important saftey is in the company," the spokeman told AFP.

"It always has been, but this is just extra confirmation for all operational staff that the only thing they are going to be judged on is safety, for the rest of the year."

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