Violations are common...So don't be surprised when people break rules

"An online survey drawing on 50 key offshore companies saw 34% of respondents saying their company needed to offer additional operational and technical training. Worryingly, 50% found it difficult to say ‘no’ to a client or senior staff demanding actions that might compromise safety. Some 78% of respondents believed that commercial pressures could influence safety." - Original Article referring to OSV and Workboat, 2015,

"78% of the study population [offshore workers] have either reported violating or will have no problem with violation when the time comes. Only 22.5% remain with a reasonable guarantee that they have not or will not bend the rules." - Hudson et al, (1998). Bending the rules: Managing violation in the workplace.

Given the above, it should come as no surprise that people break rules in the workplace. Humans are creative, and in the main, want to get work done as efficiently as possible, which means they sometimes circumvent the safety measures or rules in...

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Teaching on Old Dog New Tricks - Why it is so hard to unlearn bad practices!

human factors oil and gas Dec 22, 2015

This week I delivered a training and coaching course whilst working for Critical Team Performance on an offshore oil rig. Every week the safety team run a one hour long safety meeting for each crew to update them on new safety information, discuss any specific safety conversation cards submitted and have a presentation about a specific subject.

Following a video I found online this week, I thought I would address a major challenge facing the industry, getting crews to change their old habits, habits that were formed in a time when safety wasn't the main concern, to ones which improve personal and process safety, and ones that lead to improved performance and subsequent reduced downtime.

Unfortunately there are still large numbers of minor incidents which could have been prevented by changing these habits and adopting new ones like the trailing-hand technique or wearing ear protection all the time when they are outside the accommodation blocks. However, what has become apparent is...

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Considering the Cultural Portability of Intervention Methods

Delivering training and coaching programmes in multi-cultural environments has demonstrated that culture has a large impact on the viability of an intervention developed in one culture and its applicability and effectiveness in another, especially when considering aspects such as communications, teamwork and leadership & followership. Whilst this may appear to be common sense, making statements like "Everyone must step up to be a safety champion” is bound to fail when such actions are alien to the cultures that are being trained and coached. Even in well established environments such as aviation, failure to deliver an intervention effectively due to cultural differences can still happen. For example, Helmreich (1999) identified that

"The situation was much worse when [CRM] training from the U.S. was delivered in other nations. In many cases, the concepts presented were incongruent with the national culture of the pilots...High Power Distance cultures, such as China and many Latin...
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