A systems-oriented, behavior-based safety (BBS) process was initiated during 2004 in Songkhla, Thailand. Songkhla was selected as an implementation site because of their willingness to be involved, good safety performance, and high expectations for success. Being a systems oriented approach, the process included elements for team development, behavior observation and feedback, data recording and analysis, improvement action planning, and sustainability.

Factors critical to the successful implementation were: management leadership, communication, and employee ownership and participation. Examples are given showing how these different factors were applied effectively, including: how management showed leadership, the types and frequencies of communications, how the employee team was organized, and how employees were motivated to participate. To monitor progress, it was important to link these factors to meaningful performance measures.

Historical performance was measured primarily on injury rates. While useful, lagging indicators emphasize the negative aspect of performance, and when rates are low, it is difficult to differentiate true improvement from statistical noise. For BBS, several leading indicator performance measures were introduced. Performance indicators other than injury rate were needed for two reasons:

  1. injury rates before the BBS process began were low, and

  2. the BBS process was designed to be proactive. Plotting process performance measures over time indicates improvement but there are limitations to the measures.

Based on employee and management feedback, and performance indicators, the program has been successful. Halliburton implemented over 20 BBS processes in several different countries before the Thailand implementation. The critical success factors are broadly applicable although effective application varies with culture and local environment.


Halliburton, having worked in Thailand for nearly 30 years, established operations in Songkhla in 1997. Currently, over 283 employees are based in Songkhla providing services such as logging and perforation, production enhancement, cementing, hydraulic workovers, etc., and products such as drill bits, drilling fluids (mud), completions tools, etc. Average workforce seniority is slightly less than 5 years, although many workers have been employed more than 10 years with the company. This seniority provides a solid employee base whose company culture includes high standards of safety. This culture is defined as one where continuous improvement in safety is expected and zero incidents are the vision. Halliburton safety culture is supported by a large amount of HSE training and well defined procedures, processes, and rules. Songkhla's OSHA recordable injury rate, shown in Fig. 1, highlights their strong commitment to safe operations.

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