Safety is a crucial part of Shell’s work. Whether on an offshore rig or a city office, in the 40°C sun or amongst snow and ice, Shell’s mission to protect its 80,000 employees is guided by “Goal Zero”. This is a Shell-wide policy to achieve no harm and no leaks across all of Shell’s work around the world every single day.
But when working with external contractors how can we also ensure similar high standards?
In 2014 Shell created the Contractor Safety Leadership (CSL) initiative to encourage Shell companies and their contractors to work more closely to improve safety. Through the initiative Shell executives pair up with executives of major contractors to build a trusting relationship.
Together these executive pairs work on fostering a culture in which matters like safety can be discussed openly and respectfully. Using feedback gathered from those working on the frontline, they can then work to improve the safety culture and performance.
Making procedures as clear and simple as possible is crucial. Graham Henley has worked on joint projects all around the world. “Unfortunately, when multiple companies work together we often see complexity and inefficiency when it comes to safety,” he says.
As part of the CSL initiative, Henley, who was then overseeing a project in the North Sea, partnered with the CEO of contractor Amec Foster Wheeler (now Wood). The pair hosted a series of joint workshops with staff to examine all project safety processes. They found that many processes had been duplicated when the project first started which was causing inefficiencies and confusion.
Using the results of these workshops the pair were then able to simplify and standardise safety procedures in their organisations.
This was so successful that it is now being implemented in other projects in the North Sea by Step Change in Safety, a UK based organisation that promotes safety in the oil and gas industry. Read their guidance note on simplification for more information.