Most behavior based safety programs (BBSP) are implemented after the fact of either a major accident, a change in company organizational structure or as a result of a dip in company fortune. It is common practice to rely on historical data, empirical analysis and observable trends while embarking on the implementation effort. The oil industry safety management systems have evolved and have been driven by the need to embed a culture that aligns with corporate vision and objectives.

A common strategy in the exploration and producing industry is to create a culture of Safety First where everyone especially in the operations zone is empowered to stop the Job. This a great fallacy because human factors are not factored into the development of these program. This paper will therefore highlight these issues.

This paper is based on documented case studies and the author's operational experience in different companies and projects. Because most BBSP discounts the importance of human factors, it is typically met with homeostasis. Many reasons can be advanced for this observation and clearly the top reason will be that change is not natural to man and the individual's culture, experience, personality and change intelligence will all contribute to either make him or her a pro-change or an anti-change agent.

This paper will elaborate on the following pitfalls in the process of implementing a BBSP to wit:

  • The fallacies of HSSE Data Mining and Management.

  • Analysis and Inferences of Organizational Structures and Cultures.

  • The knowledge of a work team and indeed an organization is not always additive when behaviors are the focus of attention.

  • Leadership is an aberration and power distance elimination is the delimiter of the success or failure of any BBSP.

  • The half-life of learned lessons and why the same incidents recur within the same industry despite the technologies available for knowledge dissemination.

While HSSE programs are useful tools for communicating and implementing corporate safety visions and goals amongst others its limitation derives from the fact that it depends on the peripheral human behavior domain to be successful. This paper identifies all the limitations and proffers a methodology for implementing human factors backed BBSP that avoids the pitfalls.

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