Many oil and gas companies aspire to a vision of ‘Zero Harm’, regarding any other visions as taboo. For many, ‘Zero Harm’ appears to be the only morally acceptable aspiration. Any other vision would imply an acceptance of harm. For others, ‘Zero Harm’ makes zero sense. It is considered a mythological aspiration, a fashionable fallacy anchoring us to achieve ordinary outcomes.

Vision is critical to success. It forms the foundation which drives company values, strategies and resources. If the foundation is weak, cracks permeate through all that is linked to the vision. Foundations deteriorate with time and periodically need to be dismantled, evaluated and re-built for success.

To evaluate both arguments we'll explore a number of perspectives including The Psychology of Safety provided by Nada Wentzel (The Jonah Group), the Risk Management perspective, provided by Tony Pooley (Principle Seven) and the Legal perspective provided by Barry Sherriff (Norton Rose).

This purpose of this paper is inspire leaders to challenge assumptions by sharing various perspectives and, in doing so, encourage new insights into the cost and value of zero harm on safety culture.

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