Culture clash: Use training to build your safety culture

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Courtesy of ABS Consulting

Culture is the tendency in all of us to want to do the right thing in the right way at the right time, ALL the time — even when no one is looking. Culture is the result of all the actions and inactions in institutional and work force memory. Good cultures evolve from common values and attitudes developed as the group seeks to properly solve common problems; it is hard to measure and more difficult to change.

While organizational culture has often been discussed by executives and business leaders looking to drive corporations toward business excellence, it is more recent that the terms “culture” and “safety” were combined. Now, “safety culture” is an everyday word in refineries, platforms and process facilities
here in the Gulf Coast and across the globe. OSHA, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, the Baker Panel and other independent researchers helped drive this adoption when they confirmed that a strong safety culture can have the single greatest impact on accident reduction. Culture will be the “root cause” of the decade.

These findings confirmed that established programs (process safety management, safety, mechanical integrity, incident investigation, procedures, training, etc.) alone could not ensure a safe operating environment if the safety culture was not strong enough to support those tools.

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