Developing a safe work environment for employees in the petroleum industry has been a high priority in recent years. Although much improvement is evident in the industry, there is a commitment to further reduce the potential for accidents. Psychological characteristics of both individuals and groups that undermine the potential for a healthy work environment are discussed. The resistance to using psychology in developing safety awareness and accident investigation techniques is explored followed by the potential contribution psychological thinking might make to the challenge of insuring a safe and healthy work environment.

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