Driving Progress through a Paradigm Shift: The Importance of a Strong Safety and Quality Culture to the Oil and Gas Sector

In the business world, the word progress is commonly associated with technological advancements, as well as developments in processes and procedures. There are additional drivers to progress and their significance can also have powerful results.

In the oil and gas sector, studies have shown that for companies to be successful in the long run, it’s critical for them to incorporate a strong culture of safety and quality.

How about we take a step back to understand the full picture?

The Traditional View of How Oil and Gas Companies Should Operate


While traditionalists will claim that an industry strongly based on scientific processes and technology don’t need to focus on employee-centered processes or procedures, their thinking has since been proven to be antiquated and potentially dangerous.

How so, you ask? Well, empirical research has proven that high-reliability organizations (HROs), which by nature, have a labor-heavy component to their operations, have shown … Read more...

How a Robust EHS Solution can Help you Address COVID-19 Related Challenges in your Organization

With the profusion of COVID-19 related information readily available, it’s critical to focus on the things you can control and to create an action-based plan of attack. While creating long-term plans is important, there are actions that should be taken today.

It makes sense to start with identifying the resources and tools that you need to successfully protect employees. Once you’ve established buy-in from leadership, develop a dedicated task force (if possible) that combines EHS, quality, production, human resources and other internal shareholders who can help develop a return-to-work strategy. Once that task force has been created, the next step is to identify the tools required to address this.

Gaining Insights from Organizations Who Launched Employee Benefit-Focused COVID-19 Response Programs

Since the outbreak of this pandemic, there have been some companies that have introduced some innovative solutions to manage issues they have faced related to COVID-19. These success stories have … Read more...

Enhance Your COVID-19 Response Tactics via Our Top 10 Practices

With COVID-19 continuing to have a profound impact on businesses today, organizations are turning to robust tools, enhanced processes and subject matter expertise to help them address current challenges. In fact, experts claim that implementing a multi-faced approach is the only way to ensure that health risks are mitigated, the spread is slowed down and, equally as importantly, that business continuity is ensured.

The logical questions are then: how do we go about doing this and where do we start? As they say, when you don’t know where to begin, start anywhere.

Achieving Long-Term Results | A 3-Pronged Approach

To find solutions to the ever-growing challenges of this crisis, we can break them down into 3 main categories. These are:  internal processes and practices, the provision of proper equipment and cleaning supplies and implementing Health and Safety-specific tools.

Our Expertise in a One-Stop Shop

As leaders in the ESHQ space, … Read more...

Yes, You Should Argue with Success: Why You’re Luckier Than You Think You Are

Many organizations operate according to the maxim “you can’t argue with success.” In other words, if it works, it’s worth doing. You might have heard this in another guise when someone says, “I don’t care how you do it, just get it done.” 

But what if you should argue with success? What if what you think is success is simply sheer luck that the small failures that take place unnoticed every day simply haven’t yet aggregated into an inevitable cataclysm that results in injury, financial damage, or loss of life? 

Humans are not particularly good at extrapolating possible negative future outcomes from the information they learn from past events. We’re prone to assuming that if something has gone well when we performed the task on a previous occasion, that it will always go well. As a consequence, we get an inflated sense of our abilities and our skills at handling other similar situations, and the level … Read more...

Being a safe employer pays off: Ontario announces program to reward excellence in health and safety

The Government of Ontario has announced that it will provide $140 million in WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board) rebates over three years for employers who successfully implement occupational health and safety management systems (OHSMS) in the workplace. The program is open to any employer regardless of sector or size, and while it will recognize existing safety management systems, it will also encourage organizations that don’t have safety management systems to create them. 

This program is the first of its kind in Canada. The incentive is part of Supporting Ontario’s Safe Employers, a voluntary program that recognizes employers who are working towards lowering the accident and injury rate among Ontario workers. The program is accredited by Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) under the authority of the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development with the goal of promoting health and safety in the workplace and encouraging continuous improvement in existing safety management systems. The program has … Read more...

Why the Human Factor is as Important as Your Technology

In 1979, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) held a workshop at which it presented research demonstrating that the root cause of most aircraft accidents was human error and worker performance relating to poor critical thinking, lack of leadership, and miscommunication. The presentation was a response to the crash of United Airlines Flight 173 in Portland, Oregon in 1978, in which a landing gear problem forced the crew to circle the airport prior to landing. The captain focused on the landing gear problem for over an hour, missing frequent communications from his crew that the fuel supply was running low. The captain only realized his lack of situational awareness moments prior to the plane running out of fuel and crashing only a few miles short of the runway. Two crew members and eight passengers were killed. 

NASA therefore developed the practice of crew resource management (CRM). CRM addresses the human factor in teams … Read more...

Ontario Increasing Workplace Safety Inspections

Businesses in Ontario should prepare for a workplace safety blitz. Between October 1 and December 27, 2019, inspectors from the Ontario Ministry of Labour will be performing safety inspections across the province, focusing on the health care, mining, and construction sectors.  

Inspectors will be focusing on musculoskeletal injury and respiratory illnesses. Musculoskeletal injuries, such as tendonitis, back pain, and carpal tunnel, are among the most frequently occurring workplace injuries on all worksites in Ontario. They are common injuries for workers who engage in heavy physical labour, including repetitive actions and heavy lifting in awkward positions, and can damage joints, soft tissue, ligaments, and bones. According to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), they also account for more than one-third of all lost-time injury claims in the province. In 2017, that meant approximately 19,000 claims that cost WSIB $72 million and resulted in a cumulative 462,000 days of lost work time. Inspectors will be looking to ensure … Read more...

Adopting ‘Lean’ Safety Takes You Beyond Compliance

How to embed safety into every minute of every day—and continuously improve it.

Robert Hafey, a 25-year lean practitioner and consultant with 10 years specializing in safety, is working to change how business leaders think about workplace safety. He’s trying to help them understand how much more effective “lean safety” is, compared to “compliance safety.”

Writing in a recent issue of Target magazine, the quarterly publication of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME), he explains the difference. Compliance safety, he writes, “focuses almost exclusively on following OSHA or other regulatory agency rules.” In organizations that focus on compliance safety, he explains, “practices are ‘pushed’ from regulatory agencies to safety professionals, who then take the new or changed requirements to their management team and eventually to those who perform the work.”

While this approach is right as far as it goes, Hafey asserts that this top-down directive approach often causes safety … Read more...

What Can We Learn from the Organizational Cultures of Different Industries?

Many industries have no clear boundary between safety and quality culture. In fact, they are often very closely integrated. Quality failures and nonconformances that require rework have been correlated with increased accidents and recordable injury rates in manufacturing organizations. These injuries are frequently the result of fatigue, workplace pressure, and the pressure from extra work due to quality failures.

Among the important collective of people, processes, and tools, people are the primary point of failure in increasingly automated systems. Unlike machines, we are subject to fatigue, information overload, and stress that can have a serious impact on our ability to work safely and efficiently. However, people are also the place where dynamic sensemaking, decision-making, and situational awareness reside, which are vital ingredients in complex and high-reliability organizations (HRO).

Culture is therefore an integral element of every organization. In the new Intelex Insight Report Integrating Quality and Safety in Organizational Culture: Read more...

Tackling the Evolution of Your EHS Program

It can be hard to step away from the day-to-day demands of managing an EHS program and take a critical look at what needs to evolve. Often, the people, business and goals of the organization evolve while safety processes remain the same.

Identifying areas for improvement can include leveraging leading and lagging metrics, getting stakeholder and employee feedback, or learning from peers.

Once opportunities for improvement are identified, a structured process to make those changes is required. This will require securing stakeholder improvement for the new ideas, initiatives and tools.

Want to learn more? Access our free webinar to listen to Billy Powell, an EHS Director for Smith & Nephew, talk about the challenges he faces today and how he evolves his EHS processes.

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