While we as an industry are proud of our achivements relating to health and safety, we still have a long way to go. As we continue to place emphasis on behavior, awareness and understanding, we do experience setbacks and occasional peaks in certain areas of our safety records.

Safety is the responsibility of every employee, and improvement of safety performance depends on every employee focusing on hazard identification and elimination. Improvement also requires commitment from the leadership to assign accountability and place the correct focus.

This paper will highlight how, in 2006 after a period with a high frequency of hand and finger injuries from 2003–2005 (50%), Halliburton Norway sought to increase awareness, place correct focus, create a sustainable safety culture within the operational organization, and ensure visibility and sponsorship within the leadership group. This was especially successful in a workshop where a behavior based program (BBP) was used to strengthen the focus.

Through a highly focused campaign on hand and finger safety, Halliburton Norway managed to reduce the injury frequency rate to zero. Visible leadership and a sustainable safety culture were successfully ensured within all aspects of the organization at a time when the number of employees increased by 50%. The primary goal was to understand and mitigate the risks, while placing the responsibility of the individual's safety on the individual.

To effectively address and place focus on problem areas within health and safety, the risks involved must first be understood. Activities that have a higher potential for injuries and incidents must be mapped and categorized. Leadership commitment to properly managing risks must be demonstrated, and the message that the individual's safety is the individual's responsibility must be conveyed to employees. An OHSA 18001 risk assessment process was used in this task.

However, it must be understood that visible leadership and commitment does not equate to an effective health and safety culture without continued focus, emphasis, and commitment. The individual employee must be allowed to participate, impact, and change behaviors concerning safety.

This approach yielded a sustained health and safety culture that extended beyond the hand and finger campaign, improving overall safety performance and ensuring that the ownership of safety was assumed by the individual.

The topics covered in the paper and which helped ensure the sustained safety culture are:

  • Risk management.

  • Visible leadership.

  • Accountability.

  • Employee engagement.

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