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Three HSE management case studies produce improvements

Posted on 23 April 2009

National Drilling & Services Co
It’s all about behaviour, both at the working and leadership levels. Maybe especially the leadership level, according to results announced by Brad Richards, National Drilling & Services Co (NDSC), in a presentation at IADC Drilling HSE Middle East on 21 April in Abu Dhabi.

A study found that, while senior staff believed that they portrayed an effective safety management style, only half of junior staff agreed.

Reported Mr Richards, “Significantly, a large percentage of junior staff perceived senior staff as either ‘Pathological – I can accept that injuries are unavoidable in this work,’ or ‘Reactive – I have to take safety seriously as my onus is partly tied to the accident rate.’”

Quite a disconnect in perception. “Our HSE leadership was not up to the expectations of our employees,” Mr Richards said. “NDSC needed a suitable program that would address both HSE leadership and positive behavioral change throughout the company.”

As a result, NDSC launched a safety leadership training program to ensure that leaders could understand and positively influence employees’ attitudes, along with behaviours and environmental factors. Such a leadership style should lead to high morale, strong safety records, open and frequent communication and mutual respect, the company believes.

The program drew heavily from scientific principles, Mr Richards, said, including 10 key person-based factors that influence employee attitudes, impact of personality on safety leadership, diversity and social influence, and other topics. The 10 person-based factors are personal control, empathy, self-efficacy, communication, optimism, self-motivation, self-esteem, self-monitoring, belonging/group cohesion, and self-awareness.

After 12 months of implementation, all HSE indicators showed sharp improvement, including incident frequency rate, compliance, use of pre-job tool-box talk, and STOP reporting rates.

Qatar Gas 3&4 JADT Project
Managing HSE in a joint venture to develop the world’s largest non-associated gas field is no small task. The field is the North Field in Qatar, under development by Qatar Gas 3&4 JADT Project.

Explained upstream HSE manager Bill Mitchell, Qatar Gas’ successful results stemmed from several factors. First, the company instituted a contracting strategy wherein the HSE policy was supported and endorsed by contractor management. Further, the policy was formally documented as an HSE management system. This, Mr Mitchell said, allowed the company to audit the contractor against his own management system.

What can’t be measured, can’t be changed, is the underlying principle here.

Next, safety officers on all three rigs and onshore reported directly to drilling supervisors and the base manager. Experienced and credible staff with solid communication skills were hand picked.

Other elements included logistics support, STOP program, use of key performance indicators, and an audit and inspection program,

Mr Mitchell pointed also to aspects where improvement is possible. First, the potential of the safety case is not fully realized. Document control, he said, amounted to hard work for little reward.

ADCO Drilling Division
ADCO Drilling Division worked hard at HSE management to be come the “safest in the Gulf Region,” said senior HSE advisor Mustapha Nasreddine Boucif. (A full article will appear in a future edition of Drilling Contractor.)

ADCO Drilling Division brought its LTI rate down to 0.09 during 2008, a record low, said Mr Boucif. In addition, one rig has operated 13 years without an LTI, and another a full decade.

Investigations and analysis of the division’s LTIs from 2007 illustrated three target areas for improvement:

• Management commitment to safety;
• Human behavior;
• Communication.

The 2008 HSE action plan comprised high-profile HSE tours by senior ADCO management, advanced leadership training, time out for safety, the concept of area management, monthly DOIRC meetings and the launch of a DOIRC website.

Implementation was monitored through rig inspections, contractor audits and the high-profile tours.

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