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The Importance of Workforce Engagement for the Regulator. Steve Walker Head of HSE’s Offshore Division. Introduction. Thanks for the invite! My role Why is the Regulator interested in workforce engagement? Its effective! It’s the law!. It is Just Common Sense.

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the importance of workforce engagement for the regulator

The Importance of Workforce Engagement for the Regulator

Steve Walker

Head of HSE’s Offshore Division

introduction
Introduction
  • Thanks for the invite!
  • My role
  • Why is the Regulator interested in workforce engagement?
      • Its effective!
      • It’s the law!
it is just common sense
It is Just Common Sense

Engaging the workforce should be just common business sense to everyone. By doing so:

  • The workforce becomes involved, motivated and enthusiastic about their work
  • A sense of joint purpose with their employer
  • Makes for better communication
  • Improves performance and contributes to fulfilling potential
  • Effective, efficient and driven working environment with overall performance enhanced
but does workforce engagement lead to a safer workplace
….But does workforce engagement lead to a safer workplace?
  • Workers are in direct contact with work hazards and understand what the problems are at first hand
  • Workers are more likely to work safely when involved in worksite planning
  • Workforce engagement helps create a collaborative safety culture and commitment to safety at all levels

Note: Lord Cullen stated; “the whole workforce must be committed to safe working practices”

without good engagement things can go wrong
Without good engagement things can go wrong!
  • Numerous examples of major incidents which could have been prevented if there had been better communication and collaboration within the organisations
  • Common themes are poor communication, shift handovers, hazard identification, risk assessment, managements of over-rides etc
without good engagement things can go wrong1
Without good engagement things can go wrong

Piper Alpha

Bhopal

Flixborough

Texas City

Chernobyl

but also a legal requirement
But also a legal requirement
  • Employers cannot meet statutory obligations without the input of the workforce
  • Offshore, this is captured by the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (Management and Administration) Regulations (MAR), Reg 8:

“Safety requires co-operation between everyone who has a contribution to make to ensure Health and Safety on the offshore installation”

  • Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974:

“Every employee has a duty, while at work: to co-operate with the employer so far as is necessary to enable the employer or any other person to comply with a duty or requirement imposed by health and safety law” (Section 7)

offshore installations safety reps and safety committees regulations 1989
Offshore Installations (Safety Reps and Safety Committees) Regulations 1989

SI 971 provides a full suite of legal requirements about the roles/involvement of offshore elected safety representatives.

For example, SI 971 requires duty holders to consult with safety representatives when reviewing a safety case:

“this is a good opportunity for the wider workforce to contribute their experience and knowledge to the review process through their representatives”

“The summary of the consultation should include an outline of how Safety Representatives were consulted and what procedures were used to encourage them to offer their views. Sufficient time should be allowed for Safety Representatives to discuss matters with the workforce.”

how does hse work support workforce involvement offshore
How does HSE work support workforce involvement offshore?
  • Commitment to dialogue with safety reps
    • Always meet with reps offshore
    • Active support for safety committees
    • Involvement at annual company reviews
  • Looking for evidence of their effective involvement – e.g. safety cases, thorough reviews, follow-ups from incidents
  • Act on information from reps
  • OIAC cross-industry Workforce involvement Group (WIG)
  • HSE’s ‘Play your part!’ document covers the importance of workforce engagement
how effective is workforce engagement in the offshore industry
How effective is workforce engagement in the offshore industry?
  • Lessons from the SI 971 Inspection Project Report http://www.hse.gov.uk/aboutus/meetings/iacs/oiac/wig/projects.htm
  • The report concluded there is room for improvement and scope to adopt/share many of the good practices identified
good practices
Good Practices

The SI 971 Inspection Project identified many examples of good practice including:

  • Bespoke company safety representative courses and training matrices
  • Safety Representatives starter packs and safety representatives charters supported by senior management
  • Duty Holders paying directly for contractors/safety representatives training
  • Safety Representatives inspecting against major accident hazards in the safety case – fed into safety case review process
  • Internal safety representatives websites
  • Workforce led behavioural programmes
step change toolkit
Step Change Toolkit
  • HSE welcomes this initiative
  • Visible commitment from the industry to deliver world class safety performance through good workforce engagement
  • See it as a positive contribution towards continuous improvement – a driver for change
  • Objective of developing a recognised industry workforce engagement benchmark is a worthy one