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Workforce Involvement Group (WIG) Podcast
Friday 20 January 2012

Behavioural safety - Austin Grant & Scott Russell

Austin Grant (AG): Hello, thanks for logging on to this podcast.  My name is Austin Grant.  I work for CNR International as an OIM on the Tiffany platform.  I am also a member of the Workforce Involvement Group or WIG.  I have here with me, Scott Russell, who is going to talk to us about his involvement with workforce driven safety. Scott, if you’d like to introduce yourself.

Scott Russell (SR): Thanks Austin, I am the Behavioural Safety Advisor for CNR International.  I started offshore as an electrician and found myself being asked to do this full time, because the Behavioural Safety programme got so big.

AG: Scott, can you tell us how you were introduced this type of Workforce Involvement?  

SR: It was about 11 years ago now, a programme was introduced to us, which was completely new, called Behavioural Safety.  The basis of the programme struck a cord with us, although we had to change it a bit to fit in with the offshore life. It grew arms and legs and the guys thought there was good value in it even though they were sceptical at first. 

AG: Personal responsibility is important then?

SR: Exactly, nowadays people are asked to have personal responsibility for themselves and others.  To do that you’ve got to give them the responsibility and we found that the guys grasped this with both hands.  It started off on Murchison and was really accepted well from the workforce.  We’ve had our hurdles because it was completely new both to management and employees but is now fully established.

AG: Scott, you spoke at the WIG event at Thainstone House Hotel, Inverurie. Your presentation is on the WIG website, can you give us a brief overview of what the Behavioural Safety Programme is all about.

SR: The programme focuses primarily on attitudes and behaviour, also taking in teamwork, interventions, reducing risk, consequences, situations awareness, physical environment and the impact this can have on behaviours. 
We also measure platform safety and percentage safe.  If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.  This is a task orientated view of behaviour and it treats safe behaviours as a critical work related skill.  It should not be confused with inspections and audits of the workplace. 

AG: So it’s about getting away from prescriptive, procedural type systems?

SR: Well not really, they work together, most progressive companies have long since established these systems, our program recognises workers as mature human beings, with genuine interest in their own and others well-being, and who contribute best when they can see that they themselves can have an influence on their own safety. Their training gives a framework for the individuals to build on.  It encourages people to take responsibility for their own and others safety and to be more aware.  CNR’s culture is an open and participating culture; there is no better example of workforce involvement than Behavioural Safety.

AG: What do you think has contributed to the programme’s success?

SR: It has now been spread out to incorporate all five of CNR’s North Sea platforms.  The system is owned and run entirely by workforce volunteers on each platform.  Supervision, Safety Officers and OIM’s are not allowed to run the programme.  It is a bottom up approach, which has the full backing and encouragement of the top CNR management.

AG:  Fantastic.  So it is completely workforce owned and driven?

SR: Yes.  Each platform has its own Behavioural Safety team and name. for example – ‘Team Tiffany’, and for Murchison it’s ‘Murch Safer’. The logos and names were all designed and selected by the workforce themselves. 

AG:  One of the recent projects WIG have been working on is a standard for additional training for Safety REPs. I know that Behavioural Safety is open to everyone including Safety REPs but what sort of training do you provide? 

SR: Everyone who wants to be a part of the Behavioural Safety Team receives our training, regardless of whom they work for or what disciplines they are in. We base the training on teamwork to get these guys working together.  We also give training on interventions, reducing risks, consequences, and situation awareness - everything you can come across in everyday work.  The good part about the training session is they are all mixed with people from other disciplines and platforms. And we always incorporate a bit of fun in the process.

AG:  Scott, thanks for talking with us today and thank you for listening to this WIG podcast.

Updated 2012-07-20