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The Clarity of Risk Identification

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

Embracing Our Uniqueness in Risk Perception

Where risks are diverse and dynamic, the adage "we are all unique" takes on a special significance in risk management. As an HSE (Health, Safety, and Environment) Consultant, I've observed that over time, teams develop a shared culture that acknowledges certain risks while inadvertently overlooking others. This phenomenon, which I call "generationally-introduced risk exposure," presents a unique challenge in fostering a culture of safety ownership and maintaining safety excellence.

The Chess Analogy: Anticipating Future Steps in Safety

Teaching safety in our industry is akin to training a chess novice to become a master. The fundamental difference lies in the ability to foresee several moves ahead. Our objective in safety management is to cultivate a culture that not only practices safety routinely but also adopts a forward-thinking approach. Changing how individuals perceive and evaluate risks is a complex task that requires patience and experiential learning.

Gaining a New Perspective: The Lens of Clarity

A personal anecdote illustrates the power of a shifted perspective. When my friend got glasses and let us try them during a family gathering, I was surprised to find a clarity I hadn't realized I was missing, while others found the vision blurry. This experience led me to get my own eyes checked and eventually adopt glasses, greatly enhancing my ability to see details and appreciate the world more vividly.

Applying Vision Clarity to Risk Management

This revelation about vision clarity mirrors our approach to risk identification in the Oil and Gas sector. Like adjusting to new glasses, we need to develop an acute awareness of risks, even when they may not be immediately apparent or acknowledged by others. Our perception of risk, much like vision, can become dulled over time, necessitating a fresh perspective to recognize and adapt to new hazards.

Embracing Change for Proactive Safety

Risk is a constant in our industry, and our success in managing it hinges on our willingness to embrace new viewpoints and understand that our environment is always evolving. Like my experience with glasses, recognizing and adapting to new risks can be a gradual process or stem from a sudden realization. As safety professionals in the Oil and Gas industry, it's our duty to acknowledge the ever-present nature of risk and continuously strive to identify and mitigate it. This proactive approach is key to ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone in our field.

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