Within the Shell Group of companies (Shell), keeping people safe at work is a deeply held value and the company actively pursues the goal of no harm to people. Shell actively works to build a culture where every employee and contractor takes responsibility for making this goal possible – it is called "Goal Zero". After reviewing work-related fatalities that occurred, Shell found that failure to comply with safety rules was a significant factor in the majority of these incidents. In response, and as the next step in the Goal Zero journey, Shell launched 12 Life-Saving Rules in 2009 across the Shell group. They were not new rules but were promoted in such a way to increase awareness of the importance of following the rules and to drive compliance in the areas with the highest risk of fatal injury. They set clear expectations about what employees and contractors and their supervisors must know and do to prevent injuries or fatalities. Compliance is mandatory for all Shell employees and contractors while on Shell business or sites. The guiding principle of the Life-Saving Rules is "if you choose to break the rules, you choose not to work for Shell".

Following the launch in 2009, Shell's lost time injury frequency (LTIF) reduced from 2008 until 2011 by 40% to 0.36 and the fatal incident rate (FAR) reduced by 71% to 0.96 fatalities per 100 million exposure hours. By comparison, LTIF and FAR reduction in the rest of the Oil and Gas the industry was less marked, at 21% and 39% respectively.

Although the long-term sustainability of this reduction still needs to be proven, the introduction of the Life-Saving rules provide a rare example of a safety related intervention with statistically and practical significant results. According to statistics the Life-Saving Rules helped to save about 13–29 lives in 2010 and 2011.

This paper describes the research, the implementation strategy and learning's for the organization from the Life-Saving Rules implementation.

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