Safety culture is a hot topic in industry. Google “Safety Culture” and you find 749 million references! In the offshore oil and gas world, the regulating agency BSEE has made helping to foster safety culture one of its primary goals.
But we always have to remember that creating a safety culture is hard work. Read this article from the Harvard Business Review’s blog concerning the efforts of one mining company to change its culture and you can see just how hard it can be. It included the indefinite shutdown of a South African mine while its safety program was revamped and the retraining of thousands of individuals.
Hopefully no one in the U.S. oil and gas industry faces those kinds of challenges or has to take such drastic steps. But we do know it takes a focused, tough-minded effort. As a term, “safety culture” can be hard to define, but it doesn’t happen without work. When you talk to companies that have a strong safety culture, they always say it is worth it, but they never say it is easy.