Safety professionals periodically rely on the use of employee perception surveys to monitor and gauge safety performance in the workplace. When appropriately developed and assessed, these tools can provide invaluable information. Because of the proliferation in use of perception surveys over the years in the safety profession, this article will address the accepted practices of perception survey development, analysis and interpretation.
Use of Surveys in the Workplace by Safety Professionals
Surveys can play a vital role in safety program management. Perception surveys have been used to assess employee perceptions of the safety culture, safety climate, perceptions of the leading indicator effectiveness, incident risk perceptions and measurement of safety management system components. Surveys can also be a useful component of safety management systems. “Continuous improvement process as part of a safety management system relies on data collection” (Herrera, 2018). Surveys can play an integral part in this data collection. They can be used to determine employee needs and services that should be included as part of a wellness program (Rosen & Spaulding, 2009). Employee surveys are also a useful tool as part of a VPP program for obtaining opinion data pertaining to an organization’s safety culture (OSHA, 2008).
A literature review using the Science Direct search engine identified an increase in published research studies utilizing perception surveys from three published articles in 2000 to more than 30 in 2018. Most notably, perception surveys assessing safety culture and safety climate have accounted for a large number of the published research articles during this period.
Fruchtnicht, Erich (Texas A&M University) | Eaker, Nancy (Texas A&M University) | Fellers, John (Texas A&M University) | Urbanczyk, Brad (Texas A&M University) | Robertson, Christina (Texas A&M University) | Dhakal, Merina (Spelman College) | Colman, Stephanie (Texas A&M University) | Freas-Lutz, Diana (Radford University) | Patterson, Hiram (Texas A&M University) | Bazan, Cristina (Texas A&M University) | Giles, Crystal (Texas A&M University)
THE TEXAS A&M HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER (TAMHSC) and Texas A&M University (TAMU) Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) departments are responsible for ensuring the safety of not only all faculty, staff, students and visitors to geographically dispersed campuses across the state of Texas, but also the public surrounding those campuses. Because the university is a state entity, the preferred disposition route for all university assets is public auction administered by the Surplus department. Each research or academic department within the university determines which of its assets are no longer needed and schedules a pickup through its embedded property management team member. The removal of all unwanted assets is performed either by university personnel or by a private moving company. Although EHS had a policy in place for the decontamination of equipment prior to its release to Surplus, the process of equipment being sent to Surplus itself did not directly include EHS.
Production and drilling activities in offshore installation are one of the most necessary activities of human society. To drill a subsea well and raise the crude oil to a platform, by itself, presents a series of risks. Associated with this activity, when the crude oil reaches the topside of the platform, there are a number of operations that prepare the oil and gas to be exported to land by pipelines or oil tanker vessels, which involves equipment and process that take high temperatures, high pressure and high flow rates. Understanding the dynamics of the factors that can affect the interaction of operators with all these offshore complex systems is critical, because the loss of control of these systems can cause serious accidents, resulting in injuries to workers, environmental damage, loss of production and geopolitical crises. Accidents in the oil and gas offshore installations, such as drilling rigs and FPSOs, can have tragic consequences and all efforts should be targeted to prevent its recurrence. Therefore, from the perspective of current technological developments, it is essential to consider the influence of Human Factors in the risk management of offshore industrial plants.
Eustes III, Alfred W. (Colorado School of Mines) | McKenna, Kirtland I. (Colorado School of Mines) | Zody, Zach J. (Colorado School of Mines) | Healy, Carl (Colorado School of Mines) | Lang, Camden (XTO) | Joshi, Deep (Colorado School of Mines) | Yow, Stephen (Chevron) | McGowen, Kyle (Shell)
Drilling education must evolve continuously to keep up with the changes in the drilling industry. Part of that evolution includes the addition of data analytics in drilling operations. In addition, having a "hands on" experience of actual drilling operations is an important part of the drilling engineering educational process. At the Colorado School of Mines, both goals are achieved using a new coring rig equipped with a high-frequency data acquisition system.
A Sandvik DE 130 Diamond Coring Rig was acquired by the school through a grant from Apache Corporation that has proven to be an excellent analog to full-scale petroleum rigs. It has all drilling subsystems such as rotary, hoisting, power, and circulation. A data acquisition system has been added that tracks accelerations as well as various drilling operational parameters. During experiments, each student has an opportunity to operate the driller's controls and experience the complexities associated with drilling operations including the occasional error. The retrieved core helps the student correlate the formation with drilling data.
The inclusion of the drilling experience in the curriculum has benefited the students in several aspects. This experience has helped students visualize drilling operations and understand complexities and challenges associated with drilling. During the drilling operations, if any problems arise, the students have a chance to troubleshoot those problems in real-time and apply their theoretical knowledge. Operational safety and stop work authority are also a focus and demonstrated by students. This is likely to be the first experience most students have with high-frequency drilling data analysis. Monitoring, collecting, and handling real high-volume data gives a first glimpse into the complexities of data analytics. Noisy realtime data and errors are real and observed by the students. They also learn to handle and analyze high- frequency drilling data identifying normal trends and abnormalities. This coring rig has enhanced the drilling engineering education and data analysis skills of our students.
This work outlines a novel teaching methodology that combines the practical understanding of drilling and the application of data analytics. Getting out to the field and actually drilling rock has enhanced our drilling curriculum to align it with the latest industry practice and to educate future drilling engineers.
In order to improve HSE performance many companies have implemented voluntary (i.e. non-regulation driven) programs designed to engage supervisors and employees and reduce injuries and incidents. Over the years these programs have had significant effect in improving performance and making the workplace safer. While done with the best intentions, most programs introduce an element of administrative burden on the organization and sites. The cumulative impact on a supervisor's daily activities can be substantial and result in excessive time spent in front of a computer, rather than with their teams. This means less opportunity to provide leadership on safety and consequently, undermine efforts to improve.
In 2017, based on a combination of employee surveys and safety stand downs Dyno Nobel North America (‘DNA’ or the company), a global explosives manufacturer and service provider, identified the need to evaluate the burden on the organization of safety programs to rationalize and improve them as appropriate. One of the main concerns of this effort was how to remove or modify these programs to be less of a burden, yet not increase the risk. It can be related to the game Jenga®, where players remove blocks from a stack without destabilizing the structure.
DNA engaged a consultant, The Jonah Group, to build a risk model based on the principles of process safety management interwoven with the understanding of human factors and performance. Once the model was built, it was piloted at three of the company's field sites to ensure efficacy and adjust as necessary. Afterwards, the model was used at nine field locations. The evaluation included a review of equipment, process and procedure, and centered around interviews with supervisors and front-line employees. Surveys were conducted with supervisors to complete the view of where they spend their time.
Results and recommendations were summarized in a report. One of the key findings was that while there were opportunities to improve certain elements of the voluntary safety programs, there were more significant opportunities with regards to management of change, process safety and risk awareness, site safety leadership, communication, and process efficiency. The recommendations will help the company improve organizational effectiveness and free up supervisors to better oversee, and lead, site safety.
What would you do to drive better performance and gain industry alignment in the health, safety, security, and environmental (HSSE) sphere? The industry is often judged by regulators, the public, and governments, on the basis of its lowest performers. Is there a way to build a more consistent and collaborative culture across the industry so that everyone shares the same objectives of reducing safety incidents to zero and protecting the environment? These were some of the issues of the first young professionals (YP) session at the 2011 SPE Americas E&P Health, Safety, Security, and Environmental (HSSE) Conference held 21–23 March in Houston. The session, organized by a YP committee of the Gulf Coast Section, included presentations from industry experts on some of the challenges the industry faces in aligning HSSE performance expectations among organizations and personnel.
The Simplified Series, one of the most successful programs of the SPE Aberdeen Section young professionals (YPs) kicked off in September after a summer break with a presentation on Big Data and how to make sense of information and analytics in the oil and gas industry. Instead of focusing on revenue enhancement, Steven Rossiter, managing director at AgileTek focused his presentation on giving useful insights on how big data can be used in the industry to improve the safety, quality control, and the ability to forecast and move to evidence-supported decision-making instead of relying on the intuition of individuals. The event was organized and hosted by the SPE Aberdeen Section YP Committee and enjoyed a large turnover of 77 professionals. It took place during the SPE ENGenious Symposium–SPE's new global symposium and exhibition aimed at driving radical digital and technological change across the upstream oil and gas industry. The YPs had the opportunity to meet the 2018 SPE President Darcy Spady and SPE South, Central East Europe Director Jean-Marc Dumas.
This paper will focus on the application of lithium-ion energy storage solutions (ESS) for offshore oil and gas (O&G) installations. It will discuss the benefits that can be achieved by integrating energy storage in hybrid power plants, using the West Mira semisubmersible installation in the North Sea as a representative case study. West Mira will be the world's first modern drilling rig to operate a low-emission hybrid (dieselelectric) power plant using lithium-ion batteries. The integration of energy storage with the power supply and distribution system of a drilling rig represents an important step towards improving the environmental sustainability of the offshore oil and gas industry by reducing emissions and paving the way to harnessing clean but intermittent renewables, such as offshore wind. Offshore rigs have highly variable power consumption for drilling and dynamic positioning. By incorporating energy storage, it is possible to reduce the runtime of combustion engines and also keep them operating on an optimized combustion level. The installation of an ESS on West Mira will result in an estimated 42% reduction in the runtime of on-platform diesel engines, reducing CO2 emissions by 15 percent and NOx emissions by 12 percent, which is equivalent to annual emissions from approximately 10,000 automobiles. The batteries on West Mira will be charged from the rig's diesel-electric generators and used for supplying power during peak load times. In addition, they will serve as backup to prevent blackout situations and provide power to the thrusters in the unlikely event of loss of all running machinery.
Offshore oil and gas installations are (by their nature) located in remote locations that are both difficult and costly to access. While such challenges exist, the operate & maintain requirements associated with such assets are consistent and must be addressed, requiring operators to identify the most efficient form of service to reduce staffing levels, risk and cost.
Offshore hydrocarbon production assets commonly incorporate equipment and processes that can lead to significant (fugitive) gas emissions. The consequences are both economic and social (environmental) in nature, requiring operators to perform emissions surveys with the objective of leak identification and remediation within the shortest possible timeframe. The frequency of this activity is naturally limited and must be balanced with the staffing and operating needs of the broader facility, which in-turn can lead to sub-optimal leak detection to fix timing and reliability.
Addressing the three key challenges of access productivity, detection reliability and results quantification, Worley has developed a remote sensing platform that incorporates the use of productive remote access equipment such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and in-situ monitoring, with machine based emissions detection and algorithmic quantification to provide a solution that allows the operator to increase survey frequency, obtain more reliable results at lower cost, and perform the work in a manner consistent with safe and low-risk operations.
In both testing and field deployments, the results have provided for significant reductions in both false positive and negatives and have produced datasets that allow for accurate indications of greenhouse gas reduction via comparison of volumetric emissions before and after leak repair activity has taken place.
The technology is largely mathematical, utilizing coded routines for machine learning to perform gas detection under (initially) supervised modeling conditions, and algorithmic gas dispersion models for further emission quantification. The performance of the survey is typically carried out through the integration of existing, proven manufactured sensing equipment across several types of UAV or in-situ monitors which collect field data for transmission to a cloud-based portal which further processes the results.
The approach has been shown effective in accessing hard or costly to reach areas, improving survey productivities, while the data processing and quantification allows the operator to benefit from improved measurability and prioritize leak repair accordingly.
The Health and Safety Executive's analysis shows poor hazard identification and risk analysis is a causal factor in 12 out of 14 recent major hydrocarbon releases, demonstrating that major accidents could be prevented if workers had a better understanding of major accident hazards (MAHs). Therefore, it is proposed that improving awareness of MAHs across the workforce, both onshore and offshore, would lead to better MAH management and a reduction in major accidents.
Once the domain of process engineers, major accident hazard management has been largely overlooked by much of industry. It was acknowledged as a problem but ignored in the hope that specialists had it under control.
Step Change in Safety's Major Accident Hazard Understanding workgroup responded to this by identifying different job roles (onshore and offshore), evaluating the resources to develop MAH understanding already available and creating a suite of resources to fill the gaps.
These resources include an e-learning tool for onshore (office-based) personnel, bowtie lunch and learn sessions, gap analysis tools to identify training requirements of offshore jobs, senior leaders' workshops and a MAH Awareness programme. The MAH Awareness programme, consisting of short films and presentations which can be customised to suit specific worksites and job roles. Each of the four packs explores different aspects of major accident management including MAH identification and analysis, bowties and safety and environmental critical elements, barrier maintenance, assurance and verification and the importance of taking responsibility of ‘owning’ your barrier.
Analysis of questionnaires completed before and after exposure to the programme demonstrates that knowledge of MAH management increased by approximately 30%. Additionally, the data demonstrates that elected safety representatives have a greater base knowledge of MAHs than the general offshore workforce, as do technical staff compared to non-technical and those employed by operators compared to contractor employees.
Whether this increased knowledge gained through taking part in the MAH Awareness programme is retained or impacts the number of major accidents has not yet been analysed but data such as the number of major accidents, including hydrocarbon releases, will be examined over forthcoming years to evaluate the effectiveness of the resources developed.