Saipem has worked tirelessly since 2006 to deploy its safety leadership program, both shaking the mind and hitting the heart of people with a particular focus toward ‘Leading Behaviours’, going beyond traditional communications to propagate safety culture.

Five simple and transferable ‘non-negotiable’ behaviours, carefully developed by a HSE and Operational Management Workgroup, were injected into the workplace over a nine-month period for embedment into the DNA of everyday actions and decisions, disrupting a cycle of unsafe behaviour.

Following the CEO's campaign launch companywide, Management and Line-Supervisors cascaded the behaviours through high influence events to their Workforce; supported by multimedia communications and incorporating ‘peer-conformity’ mechanisms of story-telling, widely evidencing behaviours translated into action by employees, encouraging others to follow and conform.

The 9-month strategy releases a behaviour every six-weeks, maintaining long-term focus which allows practice of each behaviour before the next is released. The campaign concludes with a twenty-minute hard-hitting film which follows the life of a Saipem employee, visibly demonstrating how the Leading Behaviours can be interwoven into working and home life in simple terms.

This innovative emotional and behavioural based approach has paid dividends, reflected in the accident frequency reduction of over 50%, and increased proactive safety observations by 70%.

Humans are resistant to change but highly susceptible to peer-to-peer influence, easily adapting to behavioural change when those around are involved in the process.

In order to accelerate the cultural development an innovative and inspiring campaign ‘Leading Behaviours’ was introduced during 2011, focusing on visible behavioural change, peer-to-peer conformity, and incorporated a bottom-up and top-down strategy, actively engaging the workforce.

This methodology along with management passion and commitment and workforce engagement is truly industry excellence which could easily be replicated, and will be of interest to managers aiming for zero-accidents within multicultural contexts.

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