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Reframing Safety: From Cost Center to Strategic Value

Updated: Dec 17, 2023


In the dynamic landscape of the oil and gas industry, the perception of safety is undergoing a significant shift. Traditionally viewed as a cost center, there is a growing recognition of the crucial role that safety plays in determining a company's business success. Subpar safety performance is no longer an isolated issue; it reflects on the company's overall capability to manage critical operations effectively. Clients are increasingly discerning, often choosing to work only with vendors demonstrating robust safety records, indicating an integrated approach to business management.


The Dual Role of Safety: Business Efficiency and Ethical Responsibility

While executive support for improved safety outcomes is vital, an overemphasis on safety lagging indicators, such as injury rates, can inadvertently promote negative behavior among leaders. Unethical practices, such as penalizing employees for reporting incidents, or an obsessive drive to achieve zero injuries, can be counterproductive. It is essential to strike a balance where safety is not merely about preventing losses but is seen as a critical contributor to overall business value.


Safety Excellence as Part of Strategic Planning

For managers in the oil and gas industry, leading teams to peak performance includes integrating safety excellence into their business strategy. This integration enables sustainable business growth and creates mutual benefits for the company and its stakeholders. However, striking the right balance is crucial. An overly aggressive safety strategy can hinder growth, while a lenient approach can escalate safety-related costs in line with business expansion.


Efficiency and Value Delivery in Safety Efforts

The key to transforming the perception of safety lies in focusing on efficiency and value delivery. Safety efforts should not only be about compliance but should also demonstrate tangible value to clients. This requires a holistic approach where safety is not an isolated function but an integral part of business operations, enhancing customer experience and business outcomes.


Leadership: Balancing Efficiency with Genuine Care

The transformation in safety perception hinges on leadership. Industry leaders need to embody a dual commitment: a genuine concern for the well-being of their teams and an unwavering focus on operational efficiency in safety practices. This approach ensures that safety becomes a daily operational value, offering exciting and innovative solutions to clients while safeguarding the workforce.


Elevating Safety Beyond Compliance

In conclusion, in the oil and gas industry, safety should be reimagined not as a regulatory obligation but as a strategic business function that adds value. By aligning safety with business objectives and fostering a culture where safety and efficiency coexist, companies can not only enhance their operational performance but also solidify their reputation as responsible and forward-thinking industry leaders.

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