Abstract

Safety at the work place has been the focus of attention in recent times. While huge strides have been made in engineering and safety management systems, unsafe behaviors play a major role in most accidents that still occur in the oil and gas industry.

Behavior safety has many advocates and critics. Advocates vouch for the effects of a well-designed process on incident rates. Conversely, critics do not believe it truly involves workers in the overall safety process. Given the complexity of the process and the variety of behavioral safety approaches, success is still not consistent.

The first part of this paper discusses the elements of behavior. The issue is that when we are not able to overcome our intuitive tendency to assume how people should behave and start studying how people really behave, human behavior turns out to be much more predictable than we think. Therefore, understanding real human behavior and incorporation of this behavior should be an integral part of safety programs. This paper explains and exposes the most important elements of human behavior which may pose risks. From there, it extends our understanding of all types of behavior so we can evaluate and design proper behavioral safety programs. Some of the components of behaviors that are exposed in this paper are: communication, memory and intuition.

The second part of this paper discusses issues like adoption, generalisation, lack of empowerment, punishment, normalization of deviances, outdated training methods and poor or inconsistent communication in current behavioral safety programs and proposes an alternative method: Social Marketing.

This relatively new approach is being used to change safety behaviors of workers, people and communities worldwide. We will discuss how it could be implemented in an Oil and Gas setting and how it improves the safety behavior of oil and gas workers.

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