Abstract

Research shows that human factors play a large part in incident prevention; operational discipline being an important contributing factor. An oilfield services company has developed an innovative methodology to apply the principles of behavioral science to improve procedural adherence. The methodology considers the environment in which people are working, allows for changes to that environment, systematically measures expected behaviors, and gives soon and certain feedback to employees to increase adherence to company procedures to reduce losses and improve operational efficiency. Positive results have been obtained after six years of application to several critical processes.

Based on the behavior engineering model (BEM) the methodology identifies the most critical processes and reduces variance in their execution. BEM utilizes the knowledge of field personnel to understand the work environment and human factors that influence behaviors. Solutions are then developed to enable procedural adherence in a consistent manner. The methodology encompasses four steps: the selection of the critical process, behavior analysis in the field, intervention in pilot locations, and scale up. Scaling up of the pilot project is conducted when intervention results are endorsed by line management.

The company developed and tested this program with support from academic behavioral scientists. The program includes work environment improvements such as the simplification of standard operating procedures and associated checklists as well as positive and constructive feedback to manage behavioral variance. The use of soon and certain feedback mechanisms inform personnel of their performance versus expectations to encourage improvement.

The paper describes the critical behaviors identified in the process, the improvements in procedural adherence, and the benefits in a variety of applications such as stuck pipe prevention, rig floor safety, well construction operations, forklift operations and hand injury prevention. The paper also explains how the application of this methodology is being expanded through a formal academic training program for personnel.

This unique and innovative methodology achieves procedural adherence with a bottom up approach.

The paper describes principles, process, results, and recommendations from this multi-year project designed to support the company's performance management system. It facilitates teamwork, increases operational efficiency and simplifies compliance requirements in planning and executing activities in a consistent manner. The key to success is having field personnel willingly adhere to procedures through their active involvement and increased awareness of the program benefits

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