This discussion paper concerns the critical role leadership plays on safety behaviour in the innately hazardous environment of oil and gas installations. It has been demonstrated on a number of occasions that safety culture is a major determinant of either positive or negative safety behaviour. In turn it is clear that managers at all levels on a rig can determine the safety culture though the emphasis they place on safety in all that they do. It has also been shown that transformational and transactional leadership styles are much more effective in developing a positive safety culture than authoritarian and passive styles. Positive psychology is a relatively new concept in psychology that emphasises an optimistic view of people and the world, of possibilities and what can be done. The approach provides a number of easily learned techniques that can improve leadership style and safety culture as part of the essential war on fatalities and injuries.

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