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Developing an Advanced Safety Culture – Non-Compliance and the Just and Fair Culture

Recorded On: 01/19/2015

Recent analyses of major incidents, both within and outside the Oil and Gas industry, have highlighted the crucial role played by the safety culture of organizations. The safety culture determines whether the organization takes safe and environmentally responsible operations into account, and if so, how seriously.

Studies on safety culture, and by extension the HSE culture, have shown how a number of distinct cultures can be recognized, ranging from the Pathological, clearly not a culture of safety, through the Reactive and Calculative to the more advanced Proactive and Generative cultures. This 5-step Culture Ladder has been recognized as the industry standard by the OGP (International Association of Oil and Gas Producers) and has also been accepted as a standard for downstream activities by the OECD. This presentation outlines the different levels of culture and describes how an organization can progress up the ladder, in terms related to the development of safety management systems.

One major issue is whether there are well-developed procedures and if those procedures are actually followed. Non-compliance to procedures has repeatedly been identified as the No. 1 cause of incidents and how organizations deal with non-compliance is diagnostic of their level of culture. The presentation will describe a new approach that meets the requirement for advanced safety cultures that they be Just and Fair, and be seen so by all parties, without allowing individuals to get away with reckless violations while recognizing that people often find themselves working in an environment where procedural non-compliance represents a way to achieve performance.


Patrick Hudson

Former SPE Distinguished Lecturer

Patrick Hudson is one of the world's leading authorities on the human factor in the management of safety, in the oil and gas industry, in commercial aviation and in medicine. He was Project Leader of the Tripod Research program for Shell International Exploration and Production since 1986 and was part of the team that developed Shell's approach to safety management systems after the Piper Alpha disaster. He then led Shell Group's Hearts and Minds research program on developing safety culture in the Oil and Gas industry that won the Energy Institute Communication award in 2005. He also advises BP, where he is Distinguished Advisor to the Safety Culture and Leadership program, Total, British Gas, Dong Energy and ENI-Agip. He consults regularly to the OGP. He was the Safety Plenary speaker for the SPE HSE conference in Caracas in 1998 and again delivered the plenary address on safety in Calgary in March 2004. He regularly chairs and gives keynote addresses for industry conferences.

His involvement with aviation includes working with companies such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Malaysian and Singapore Airlines, and Airbus. He is a regular advisor to the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) based in Montreal and works with the Dutch, US, Australian and Canadian aviation regulatory authorities. He is increasingly asked to advise other industries, including the mining industry. In 2005 he was appointed to the safety oversight board of the European Union's main nuclear research reactor.

Patrick was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer during the 2012-13 lecture season.

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Recorded 01/19/2015
Recorded 01/19/2015 Scheduled for 60 minutes.