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PESA Middle East Subcommittees Discuss Safety Culture

Image14The PESA Middle East Human Resources and Health & Safety Subcommittees hosted a roundtable discussion about onboarding new employees into a safety culture on July 23 at Weir Oil & Gas in Dubai.

PESA Middle East Vice-Chair Ed Whitnell, MENA Operations Vice President & Managing Director, NOV, provided welcome remarks and Craig Buchler, Region SSHE Manager EMEA Services, Weir Oil & Gas, gave the safety moment.

Earlier this year, a similar roundtable was held in Houston focused on the same theme. The topic of onboarding into a safety culture was noted as being critical across the services sector and recognized as a valuable topic for the PESA Middle East Chapter as well.

PESA Human Resources Committee Chair, Dave Warnick, Division Vice President, Human Resources, Weir Oil & Gas, opened by sharing highlights from the roundtable that was held in Houston, providing best practices and challenges in the onboarding/safety space from the companies who presented: Atlas Sand, Oil States International and Weatherford.

Francisco Cruz, Human Resources Director, NOV, then provided a case study on NOV’s Safety 24/7 Program. He explained the evolution of the program as employees go through the onboarding process and stressed criticality of buy-in from all employees to sustain a commitment to safety.

“Ownership across the different levels of the organization is a victory for us,” Cruz said.

Image13NOV’s approach has been identifying employee experiences and tying them to HSE. This process shows employees the organization cares about them and demonstrates a culture of safety that carries on throughout the entire day, not just a workday.

Cruz also touched upon the challenges of building and incorporating a safety culture, noting employees often don’t want to be bothered, believe they already perform 100% safely, fear there will be retaliation or think that it’s simply not their job to report unsafe actions. Breaking down those walls required management explaining the importance of “Stop Work” and how being safe at work impacts those around you as well as at home.

Onboarding sessions and continuous trainings for all employees helped NOV establish a successful safety program by creating personal touchpoints, listening to employee experiences, and building in safety competency modules into overall onboarding training.

During the question-and-answer session, participants discussed what they are doing to gauge their own employee experiences and how the different organizations work the HSE message into their cultures.

If you have interest in the Human Resources or Health & Safety Committees in either the U.S. or the Middle East Chapter, please contact Director Membership Services Peggy Helfert.

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