Senior management in the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of companies recognise that the management of Health, Safety and Environment is an essential factor for long-term success.

While there has always been a recognition of the responsibility to manage the hazards of the business, Shell companies saw a need in the early 1980s to raise the level of effort given to the important task of safety management. To this end, the exploration and production function of Shell Internationale Petroleum Maatschappij (SIPM-EP) actively sought advice from a number of sources, particularly Du Pont in developing and then implementing a programme of "Enhanced Safety Management" (ESM).

Underpinning the ESM programme was a clear management policy, which may broadly be paraphrased as follows: - Safety and productivity have the same priority within Shell, and should be managed in the same manner. To quote John Jennings, the Group managing director who in 1990 was responsible for E&P, " … safety performance of companies is an absolutely reliable manifestation of good management." This belief resulted from inter company comparisons of both safety and business performance which tended to show that the most efficient companies had the best safety performances and vice versa.

In order to encourage and promote the implementation of ESM, an approach was developed to assist management of operating companies world-wide in their endeavours to implement ESM in the work-place.

It has become apparent, as we have progressed in the development of the SIPM safety culture, that the same management techniques used in ESM are equally applicable to the areas of environmental matters and occupational health. The more focussed task of managing the current HSE issues and those that arise as the industry progresses into the twenty-first century require that the staff charged with this responsibility should have a sound technical background and broad experience credentials.

The development of staff to meet the above-stated needs is the subject of this paper. The approach of seconding senior, high-potential line staff to HSE assignments is addressed and the importance of this broadening, both to the individual and to SIPM, is explained. The development and role of HSE professionals is identified in relation to line seconded staff. At the conclusion of the paper there is a future outlook for the HSE professional and for the line professional attached to the HSE department.

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