A Shift in Safety Paradigm
In the dynamic landscape of the oil and gas industry, fostering safety excellence is not just about compliance or the absence of incidents. It's about creating a proactive and positive safety culture. Here are strategies to redefine and sustain safety excellence in the workplace.
1. Positive Definition and Measurement of Safety
Rather than focusing on the lack of incidents, redefine safety excellence in positive terms. Establish criteria that prioritize mandatory and discretionary safety actions. This proactive approach shifts the focus to behaviors and practices that drive successful safety outcomes, encouraging the repetition of positive actions and attitudes.
2. Evaluating External Support through Tangible Outcomes
Assess the effectiveness of external support, like training programs, based on observable improvements in safety performance. This ensures that these initiatives are not just box-ticking exercises but contribute significantly to enhancing safety on the ground.
3. Site-Specific Improvement Strategies
Recognize that a standardized approach to safety might not fit all scenarios. Tailor safety improvement strategies to address the unique challenges and conditions of each site. Promoting ownership of safety processes among employees ensures that the strategies resonate with the workforce and align with the site's specific safety culture.
4. Building Internal Expertise for Sustainability
Developing internal expertise in safety management is crucial for long-term success. Relying excessively on external consultants can create dependency and ethical concerns. By fostering in-house safety expertise, the organization ensures resilience and the capability to continually evolve safety practices, even in challenging economic times.
5. Leveraging Habit and Culture for Sustainable Safety
Acknowledge the power of habit and organizational culture in embedding safety practices. While awareness and mental alertness are important, ingraining safety as a habitual part of daily operations ensures consistent application across all levels of the organization. Initiatives that bolster systems, performance, and culture cultivate a deep-rooted sense of ownership and a commitment to ongoing safety improvement among all employees.
A Comprehensive Approach to Safety
In conclusion, achieving safety excellence in the oil and gas industry requires a comprehensive approach that goes beyond traditional methods. It involves positively defining safety goals, measuring tangible outcomes, customizing strategies to fit specific site needs, developing internal expertise, and leveraging the strength of habit and culture. This holistic approach ensures not just a safe work environment but also fosters a culture where safety is an integral and valued part of every operation.