As a result of the four fatalities in 2015, management introduced a strategic focus on fatality prevention and commissioned an independent external assessment of the safety culture at each operating site.
The assessments provided valuable insights into factors that contribute to the safety culture at each site: employee sentiment towards the company, accountability for safety at the line-management level, leadership interactions in the field and control of critical risks. A key learning was that most safety systems and tools are similar around the world. Safety culture comes from the leaders.
Some common findings include: senior leaders have not been role modelling the desired behaviours; there is some confusion over what safety work should be done by various roles; capability gaps exist with front-line leaders; there is a sense of comfort with the status quo; management of low-probability/high-consequence events can be improved; and simple hazard-assessment and communication tools are inconsistently used.
In response, each site has developed an action plan to drive safety culture improvements. Actions include: role modelling safety behaviours by leaders; clarifying authorities and accountabilities; improving governance programs; conducting leadership training; requiring that leaders spend more time in the field; increasing the focus on significant potential incidents; and improving usage of hazard-assessment tools.