Continuous improvement in safety and environmental performance is a goal for most all companies in the energy industry. But substantially improving performance, that is creating a step change in the metrics used to measure performance in the field, requires an expanded view of Health, Safety, Environment, and Compliance (HSE&C) programs. These programs must be viewed as both an integral part of each company's organization and more importantly as programs that are continually integrated into an expanded network of organizations – operators, contractors, suppliers, communities, and regulators. Companies must proactively move from successful stand alone programs to programs that easily and effectively interact with all participants and participating organizations.

Two factors that are highly correlated with improved performance in this network environment are workforce competency assessment and communication. Competency assessment is critical in that employees must be placed in the right job and have the knowledge required to successfully and safely execute the skills required of the job. Effective two-way communication between all organizations in the network is vital in creating an environment where information and expectations are shared among participants. It is especially important to engage the regulatory authorities, both internal departments and governmental agencies, in the process.

Integrating HSE&C into a network of organizations does not necessarily require a complete redesign of existing programs, rather it requires a new approach that actively looks for ways to work with each of the other participants to improve the performance of the group.

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