Column: "It Takes Leadership To Improve Safety"—Parallels Between F1 and Oil and Gas

The parallels between offshore oil and gas and Formula 1 might not be immediately apparent to all. As a sport, Formula 1 has always been a passion of mine.

As an offshore installation manager (OIM), the oil and gas industry is a professional passion.

Both involve crews working in often hazardous conditions to deliver time-critical and high-value activities, the smell of exhaust in the morning, headline budgets that would make most people weep, and an army of supporting personnel who contribute in their unique, but equally important, ways.

One common factor that doesn’t readily jump from the page is the matter of accountability. In both F1 and offshore, one person is held accountable for the success or failure of the team. Accountable under law, responsible to the team offshore for keeping them safe, and accountable to management for ensuring the business delivers, accountability sits solely on the shoulders of the OIM.

If a final link between motorsport and offshore is needed, Jackie Stewart, the “Flying Scot” of F1 fame, is quoted as saying: “It takes leadership to improve safety.”

I often describe the role of an OIM as one that sits in an organizational void—not entirely integrated into the offshore workforce, not entirely integrated into the onshore management. Despite this, the role of an OIM is a privileged one. As a community, we are uniquely positioned to make a real impact in our industry and, specifically, in the safety arena.

Read the full story here.

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