A valued based approach delivers high performing teams and a sustainable incident free and injury free culture

Paul Rubotham's picture
Paul Rubotham, Regional HSSE Director – Asia Pacific, Kentz, SNC-Lavalin
Bob Greaney's picture
Bob Greaney, Senior Project Director EPC – Asia Pacific, Kentz, SNC-Lavalin
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We are committed to our vision to achieve a workplace where no-one gets hurt and everyone goes home safe and well. This case study examines how our team working on a major LNG project in Australia evaluated and improved their approach to safety culture, working towards this vision, and achieving excellent results.

Culture: It is widely accepted that to create a true safety culture on a project site and within an organization as a whole requires a lot more than written rules, policies and procedures. The on-site safety team recognized that safety needs to be a mind-set engrained in each and every team member, in every task they do – achieving this mentality makes incident free and injury free possible.

The team wanted to create a working environment with a complete intolerance to any incidents or injuries, at any level of frequency or severity. For this to happen, the focus needed to be on people and not numbers and statistics, with safety accountability and leadership driven through all levels of the work scope.

Value-based approach: On reviewing the team’s safety performance, it was apparent that the majority of incidents on the scope of work had been attributable to individual human behaviour and this was leading to a disregard for personal and other’s safety. The management team observed that a lack of adherence to safety procedures and the negative safety attitudes of some team members was passing onto their colleagues. They decided that a customised values-based program aligned to Kentz’s organizational values would improve chances of developing a high performing safety focused team and a sustainable Incident and Injury Free culture integral to all disciplines.

Following an evaluation of its existing culture using a diagnostic survey and conducting interviews, the site team implemented a coaching plan that identified what was working well and specifically highlighted areas for cultural improvement requirements. They also created an action plan entitled ‘Enabling and Requiring Improvement’ which was based on incident trends during the life cycle of the project and identified key areas that needed to be addressed.

Behaviours, Commitment and Intention: Kentz’s 9 Habits of Highly Effective SSH&E Leaders was rolled out to personnel at all levels across the work scope, to ensure each employee was equipped with the right tools and skills. Each of the habits is supported by a desired behaviour, including putting health and safety first, being credible, communicating often and effectively, and providing resources and training. To implement the program, certain values including respect for others, supportive mannerisms, and the wellness of one self and colleagues needed to be shared by all and could not be seen as mere compliance with standards and policies. It was about making team members care about and prioritise their own safety and that of their colleagues.

Outcomes: Positive results in the development of leadership skills were noted within months as the program enabled all employees, regardless of position to feel empowered to discuss any subject with their leadership team - not just safety. The site team realised working as a collective started to deliver the best outcome, as they celebrated multiple safety achievements and observed a shift in the safety culture across the site.

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How can the industry achieve good policies and procedures to create a culture on safety? Let us know your views below.

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