Historically, safety measures regarding Health, Safety and the Environment (HSE) in oil and gas were primarily rules-based. This means people were expected to act safely because there were safety rules in place; it was a method that was transactional in nature, according to Pierre-Arnaud Delattre, Group Pulse Manager at Technip S.A.
“The problem with this safety environment is that the rules have to be known by everyone, the rules have to be understood by everyone and the rules have to be interpreted by everyone the same way, whatever their work tasks are,” Delattre told Rigzone. “In the industry, this led to excuses such as ‘I didn’t know the rule’ or ‘I didn’t understand the rule’ when safety was compromised.”
In more recent years, a behavior-based safety environment took precedence – in which oil and gas workers were educated on the “why” aspect of the rules and understanding the implications and consequences of breaking the rules.
Delattre said the transition in safety environments began in the industry around the time of reported large disasters such as the Piper Alpha disaster in the North Sea in 1988 and the more recent BP refinery explosion in Texas City in 2005. Since then, the behavior-based approach has been adopted by the majority of the oil and gas industry.
Within his own company, a commitment to HSE was taken a step further. Partnering with Insights Learning and Development, in 2008, Technip launched the Pulse program after a global employee survey revealed a gap existed between what management believed and what personnel thought they believed in. Essentially, a sizeable proportion of Technip employees didn’t believe the company’s leadership team had a strong commitment to HSE. This number has now been reduced after the introduction of the pulse program.
“Pulse is a vehicle in which we can demonstrate a system of core values. There are two key parameters: transformational leadership and effective impactful communication in HSE,” said Delattre. “Pulse addresses leadership and effective communication and helps us to build trust and authenticity of intent.”
Delattre said the benefits of the Pulse program are far-reaching across the Technip organization and he can confidently say HSE has taken a more important role with certain projects.
“The Pulse program has made a fundamental difference in people’s mindsets,” Delattre said. “This mindset will eventually become the norm in how we conduct business throughout the world. The safety of all of us and all of our partners is a core value and an absolute commitment.”
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