Guest Editorial—Changing How We Manage HSE: Getting to Zero

Topics: Environment Safety/health
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For the more than 7 billion people on our planet, every measure of quality of life, from gross domestic ­product per capita and infant mortality, to education levels and access to clean water, is correlated to the consumption of modern fuels, including oil and gas. Now more than ever, our industry faces imperatives: delivering affordable energy more safely, economically, and sustainably—that is, in a way that responsibly meets the needs of today’s populations without jeopardizing the Earth or its future populations. Sustainability will depend on continuing to close gaps, not only in technology, but also in health, safety, and environmental (HSE) performance, to eradicate HSE incidents from our operations. The expectation is a future with an ­incident-free workplace and where everyone returns home safely each day. Closing the HSE gap will require major shifts in cultural, organizational, and human performance paradigms.

Changing the Culture

For years, HSE was seen as a regulatory obligation to meet government requirements. It was governed by, and managed in reaction to, rules and regulations. Control and discipline were prevalent. An incident-free workplace was generally not considered possible, and when it was considered, it was only as a vision, at best.

Over time, industry HSE culture began to shift from dependent to independent as the process and complexity of operations became better understood, and commitment to safety became more personal and individual. An incident-free workplace began to be seen as a possibility, but still as a target to achieve rather than a realistic goal.

Changing the Culture

For years, HSE was seen as a regulatory obligation to meet government requirements. It was governed by, and managed in reaction to, rules and regulations. Control and discipline were prevalent. An incident-free workplace was generally not considered possible, and when it was considered, it was only as a vision, at best.

Over time, industry HSE culture began to shift from dependent to independent as the process and complexity of operations became better understood, and commitment to safety became more personal and individual. An incident-free workplace began to be seen as a possibility, but still as a target to achieve rather than a realistic goal.

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Guest Editorial—Changing How We Manage HSE: Getting to Zero

Jack Hinton, Vice President, Health, Safety, and Environment, Baker Hughes

15 March 2016

Volume: 68 | Issue: 4