A hazard observation program is a core element of a proactive health and safety risk management approach. Early identification and robust communication of the hazards in the workplace accompanied by a timely follow-up on safety concerns play an essential role in mitigating the occupational risks and improving health, safety, and environmental performance.

The information coming directly from the people immediately exposed to the worksite environment brings unique value to the scope of health and safety risk awareness and risk reduction programs maintained by organizations. Another important benefit of the program is engaging every single person in the company in the process of identifying and eliminating risks they encounter in their daily job. Employees watching out for the hazards ultimately embrace a responsibility for their own safety and for the safety of the peers working next to them. This can be considered a first step toward making a difference in safety on behavioral and attitudinal levels.

While the concepts described above are well known to the oil and gas industry globally and should be easy to grasp, most companies in Russia have not implemented them. This paper describes how a hazard observation program was launched throughout company locations in the region and how it works today. Sharing the history of the initiative in Russia, common challenges and success stories may help to encourage local companies to employ the hazard observation tool for raising employees' awareness of the existing health and safety risks and for mitigating those risks to make a Russian oil field a safer place to work.

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