Special Discount on Operating Procedures Class

Do your Operating Procedures meet the offshore SEMS rules? Are they easy to understand and use? Do they make your operations safer?  Poor operating procedures were identified as a cause of more than half of serious offshore accidents in one study and have been one of the top areas of noncompliance in SEMS audits.

Lifeline Strategies is launching a one-day class with teach people in the oil and gas industry how to create SEMS-compliant procedures, use best practices to write procedures that make sense and can become an important tool to identify and control hazards.

The first class will be held in Houston on March 28th.  For this class, we are offering  a special introductory offer of $50 per student!

The class will teach you how to:

  • Write procedures that comply with the Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) rules.
  • Follow best practices to create procedures that are easy to understand and use on location.
  • Use procedures as a powerful safety tool to identify and control hazards.
  • Manage procedures as a system.

Get more information
Register Now!
I can’t make it, but let me know about new classes.

If you would like to know about future classes or hold one at your office, contact us at Info@lifelinestrategies.com.

COME TO A PRESENTATION
In addition to the class, I will be also presenting talks on using operating procedures to enhance safety twice in the next month.

Thibodeaux, LA, Tuesday, March 21:  ASSE Bayou Chapter lunch meeting, 11:30 at Nicholls State in Thibodeaux. The charge is $25 to help fund the chapter.  Register by emailing the ASSE Bayou Chapter here.

Houston, TX, Thursday, April 14:  ASSE Energy Corridor Section, Spring Creek BBQ, 2100 Katy Fwy, Katy, TX.   You do not have to be an ASSE member to attend.

Safety Agencies May See Big Cuts In New Budget

The Administration’s released its budget plan this morning.  It is called a blueprint and gives an overview rather than a detailed view.  The full budget request will come out in the next month or so,  then it is up to Congress to decide on the actual numbers.

The short message is no surprise – Increases for defense and border security with cuts in domestic programs to offset the increases.  Some of those domestic programs are closely tied to agencies that have a strong safety mission.  While the blueprint does not say exactly what will happen for most programs, it gives some picture of what may be coming when the full budget request is released.  Here’s what it looks like: Continue reading “Safety Agencies May See Big Cuts In New Budget”

Oil Prices: What Lower For Longer Means

Companies that have been through the brutal downturn in oil are coming to realize that what we thought would be a boom is sounding more like a pop.   Even though we are clearly in a recovery, prices have been stuck in a narrow range (low-to-mid $50’s for West Texas Intermediate) for more than three months.  The slogan has become Lower for Longer and industry needs to think through what that means, including safety departments.

Continue reading “Oil Prices: What Lower For Longer Means”

HazMat Prep and Response Training

I have had several requests for HazMat and HazCom training recently and have found a lot of confusion in what companies were actually looking for.  In talking to some colleagues, I realized that this is a fairly common problem.  Companies all need to provide OSHA HazCom training and ones that ship transport or receive hazardous materials need to provide DOT HazMat, but they may not know where one stops and the other starts.  It is understandable because they overlap and a lot of classes are hybrids of the two. Continue reading “HazMat Prep and Response Training”

High Cost of Operating Procedure Problems Offshore

Operating procedures are a key part of the offshore oil and gas Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) Rules.  If you think of SEMS as a true system, with interlocking parts, operating procedures are the glue that holds the parts together.  It is where:

  1. Hazards analysis is applied to the actual scope of work,
  2. Specific skills, knowledge, training and safe work practices can be identified and applied, and
  3. Mechanical integrity has real world meaning (is the equipment or tool fit for purpose, when used?).

Continue reading “High Cost of Operating Procedure Problems Offshore”

5 Steps to Effective Injury Management – Blog Post From ASSE

Let me share with you a blog that I provided to the American Society of Safety Engineers on some best practices to consider as you set up an injury management program.  You can find the full post here.

I am a strong believer that safety departments do a much better job on the prevention side than in reducing the extent of injuries after they happen.  What many don’t fully understand is that there is a cost to injuries, but a failure to address the injury properly after it happens can make that cost skyrocket. Continue reading “5 Steps to Effective Injury Management – Blog Post From ASSE”

What The Boss Doesn’t Know Can Hurt Him….And His Company

Google the phrase “Safety starts at the top” and you will get more than 6,000 results.  We automatically accept that the CEO sets the tone on safety in a company.
What if the people at the top don’t know the true state of safety in their organizations?   DNV GL just released a study that makes that point crystal clear.   The report, SHORT-TERM AGILITY, LONG-TERM RESILIENCE, looks at a lot of issues facing the oil and gas industry as it attempts to recover, including the impact of intense cost cutting on overall safety.    DNV GL’s survey of executives found that more than half expect to continue to lay off workers in 2017 and one-third expect to reduce spending on training and competency systems. Only a handful expect to increase spending on health, safety, and environmental programs.
Here’s the most interesting part of the DNV GL study – They asked different levels within organizations whether cost-cutting initiatives were increasing health and safety risk.
Only one-in-10 of the executives thought cutbacks in the company had increased safety risks.  However, roughly one-in-four of the people who were closest to the ground – either business unit heads of non-managers – thought there was increased risk.
What does this mean?   There are a couple of scenarios.  Both spell trouble:
Scenario One:  The heads of units and rank-and-file workers overestimate the risk.  That is natural. Good unit and line managers worry about risk a lot because they are directly responsible for controlling it. Cuts came to programs they were directly involved in, so they felt them directly.  Let’s also accept that some safety programs may not have been all that effective in the first place and cutting them doesn’t materially impact risk.  The danger here is that, if unit managers and people in the field overestimate risk, the top executives have failed to communicate why and how their companies are going to run lean without sacrificing safety.
Scenario Two: Oil patch execs don’t have a true feel for the safety risks in the field.  The danger there is even greater, because the people who run the companies may not have enough visibility on their exposure to accidents, injuries and losses.   Either way, it could spell trouble.
Part of the problem is that top execs usually look at programs (budgets for safety may not have been cut as much as other parts of the company), stats (usually recordable injuries and time away from work, which should be lower if there is less work and you aren’t hiring inexperienced employees).   As the study points out, part of the problem is:
the distance between the boardroom of the budget-setters and the risks in the field. Senior management often have good sight of formal indicators (such as lost-time injuries or days away from work) but can sometimes be too far from operations to see things like corroding steel,failing pipework, structural problems or workforce overload.
However, we are now three years into a serious downturn.  Maintenance and replacements have been deferred.  A lot of the tools that give executives objective visibility into field conditions, like audits and inspections, have been reduced, if not cut.  If the company relies on contractors, survival has meant requiring those contractors to make their own deep cuts, forcing them to figure out how to make ends meet.
The disconnect on safety perception between the C-suite and the people who are closest to the work is not unique to this downturn or even oil and gas.  It shows up frequently in surveys of every industry.   A 2010 survey of company culture on Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) in Australia asked people throughout company structures
about their safety programs.   About 85% of the Owners and CEO’s said they agreed or strongly  agreed that “Top level management demonstrates a commitment to OHS.”   Down at the field or specialist level, that number fell to less than 60%.
Some of this has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with the way information is shared in organizations.  There is a popular pyramid graph that shows how much bad news is actually shared within an organization.  The message is that only about four percent of the problems experienced in the field actually make it to the CEO’s desk.   The warning is that no one wants to bring the boss bad news.
As oil and gas recovers, companies put more crews in the field, new people get hired and equipment utilization goes up.  The potential for incidents related to equipment failures, over-work or lack of training goes up the way too much pressure can find a weak spot in a balloon.
CEOs and their executive teams need to be actively engaged in identifying risk and addressing weaknesses.  Unit managers need to be honest about what they are seeing in the field.   Above all, CEOs need to invest in communicating with every level of their organizations so they have a true picture of their exposure and ensuring that no one is afraid to bring bad news to their doors.