The oil and gas industry has reached a plateau in many of its health, safety, and environment (HSE) indicators. Statistics show that over the last five years the industry has not experienced a significant reduction in either the number or severity of accidents, despite the investment of considerable effort and money. Influencing employee behavior has been identified as the key factor for resuming performance improvement, with several organizations adopting systems to tackle the challenge using behavior-based safety programs. In the opinion of the authors, most of these programs have had limited effectiveness due their being implemented in isolation, rather than integrated into an overall management system.
This paper shows how a corporate program in an oilfield services company has been fully integrated into the organization's HSE culture with an innovative approach: humanizing the management system. The paper describes the vision and strategy to bring implementation of the management system to a more mature level by measuring changes in managers' leadership styles and by using a bottom-up approach that allows employees to participate in the system and, at the same time, feel accountable for the actions they take. This approach requires putting tactical programs in place to make managers believe in the change and make employees believe in the system. The paper shows examples of these programs, such as a commitment and leadership key performance indicator (KPI) for managers; a weekly positive message to create an "it's possible" way of thinking across the organization; and a program to build a bridge between the families of employees and the system.
The paper also describes the key principles that make the approach of humanizing the management system effective, and shows how it is improving HSE performance in the operations of the oilfield services company in Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador.