While overall safety performance has improved considerable over the past 15 years, during the more recent past the performance indicators have flattened out suggesting that that tools used to improve safety performance have reached their limits and a new approach might be required. The Safety Leadership initiative is a unique approach by Shell in building safety culture in contracting environment through addressing the aspects of safety leadership. Why target safety leadership? Because safety culture starts with leadership, leadership drives culture and culture drives behaviour. Shell Malaysia Geophysics and Geomatics Operations are currently replicating this methodology with Malaysian contractors. Outcomes are encouraging for both larger scale mega survey campaign and smaller scale site surveys. Early engagement of survey contractors in order to set expectations right from the beginning and explain the Safety Leadership initiative during pre-tender briefing was essential to ensure contractor management understood the context and actions required from them during execution. In a more complex environment of the multi-client's mega survey campaign, the team also sought agreement upfront with other operators on HSSE Policies and Management to have unity in safety messages. During operations, the contractors were entrusted to lead various events such as:

  • 2-Stage HAZID before & during mobilisation attended by field staff;

  • Project kick-off meeting (with client supporting);

  • Rotation of Toolbox Talk leader role amongst the crew who execute the task, instead of all being led by the supervisor only;

  • Cross-team inspections throughout the vessel: HSSE walk-abouts across the teams by survey and marine crews.

In additional, the contractors were supported by the leadership team through a Management Facility Visit as well as by regular other visits to support vessels during re-supply to further strengthen safety management. The 2016 Mega Seismic Survey and Site Survey campaigns were within timeline and budget, and more importantly at the end of the campaigns there were clear signals that the project and contractor team had achieved a step change in the safety culture towards a generative culture. E.g.:

  • Proactive cross-team inspections were welcomed by the crew and led to a number of improvements.

  • The crew developing their own safety role model program, identifying and nominating those crew members who exemplified good safety behaviours.

  • Proactive Interventions: A crew was intervening on a Shell staff member. This indicated that a strong ‘one team’ culture and level of trust had been developed.

  • Working collaboratively with SMEs the contractor teams developed robust Lifting Plans for both soil sampling operations as well as for "standard" supply activities both at port and vessel-to-vessel and safely executed these tasks. Adherence to the plans was checked on various site visits.

The changes introduced through the Safety Leadership initiative have impacted the survey contractor management and team. The crew were able to embrace the Safety Leadership program wholeheartedly because they felt the empowerment and trust given by Shell.

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