What’s the worst thing that can happen? It’s a question I ask myself and my team to think about every day when it comes to their safety. The answer? Anything. We can’t take for granted the importance of being conscious of our surroundings and activities. Whether we are living on offshore drilling rigs supporting our onshore team or living on construction camps supporting our engineering clients, safety has to live in the forefront of our daily activities. Our lives and health depend on it.
- First step, fully ingrain a safety culture at every level of the organization. This means going beyond check the box thinking and required audits and assessments. Everyone must ‘buy-in’ and own safety, performing safety protocols every time not sometimes.
- Next, conduct safety walks with your teams–point out the positives and opportunities, no shortcuts especially those jobs that have been done hundreds of times.
- Focus on all activities with emphasis on high risk tasks. All tasks should be preceded with a safety assessment.
- Be empowered to question the safety of your activity. Assume the responsibility to stop work and reassess the situation if you don’t believe it is safe.
- When something changes (environment, tool, location) stop and review procedures and work to eliminate barriers.
- Use of PPE is the last line of defense–if everything else goes wrong -Use your “safety nets”–they will protect you.
In the end, it’s about the basics and using the 3 checks for safety before every task. They really work.
- Is my environment safe?
- Do I have the right tools?
- Do I know how to do the job?
In sum, be safe out there!