Safety nowadays is just as relevant in the oil and gas industry as it was 10 years ago. And, while the industry continues to make great strides to reduce the amount of job-related injuries, the reality is the same safety policies and procedures that have been in place for years are simply not enough to prevent fatalities. Based on our depth of experience working with oil and gas executives,a common disconnect between safety and operations is often responsible for a hazardous work environment.
Relying on safety alone without integrating it into daily operations can produce incredibly deceptive results. What we mean by this is, people become complacent with safety methods when the frequency of non-fatal injuries is low. It gives them a false sense of security that working conditions are safe, when in fact, they are not. It is for this reason that oil and gas fatalities are now nearly eight times higher than the all-industry rate of 3.2 deaths for every 100,000 workers.
In many cases, the divide between safety and operations is so deeply embedded into the company culture that people begin to accept the possibility of an occasional injury, or even death, in the workplace. This rationale leads to risky behavior, which is the root cause for many accidents we typically see. For example, a three-year analysis of accidents for a major client of ours revealed that 79% of them were caused by misaligned behaviors and/or skill deficiencies.