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Focus on Individual Decision Making Drives Safety Journey

Topics: Safety/health

The complete paper discusses ExxonMobil’s focus on the next phase of its safety journey through advancement of individual awareness and decision making to help drive breakthroughs in the operator’s vision of safety. This methodology empowers and enables safe decision making at all levels of an organization by providing new knowledge and techniques, and links these to current behavioral-based safety practices. In particular, a program called Safe Choice, first developed for the ExxonMobil Hebron Project integration, hookup, and commissioning construction (IHUC) site in Newfoundland, Canada, is detailed. The paper also covers the implementation-blueprint process the operator has used to enable each business unit to adapt and further the codevelopment process for local needs while maintaining core principles.

Introduction

For many years, the energy industry has understood both the moral and business imperatives for providing effective safety-management systems to keep employees, contractors, the communities in which they operate, and the environment safe. In pursuing its safety program entitled “Nobody Gets Hurt,” ExxonMobil seeks performance breakthroughs that will eliminate not only fatalities and higher-consequence injuries and outcomes, but all hurts, including those of lower severity. The company has focused its efforts on operations-integrity management systems, process safety, transformational leadership, safety culture, and human factors that affect its systems and processes.

Considerable study of human factors has led to a number of innovations, including classification of incidents on the basis of both hurt and potential-hurt levels. A detailed study of upstream events in 2015 found that although decisions made in the moment affected some incidents, many had resulted from decisions made sometimes days, months, or even years earlier. From this analysis, the company identified some higher-priority areas of focus for its safety-management systems, and, most importantly, identified a need for enhancing decision-making knowledge and awareness as a step toward conscious, safer decision making. Understanding the human factors behind decision making was critical to unlocking a breakthrough in performance.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Judy Feder, contains highlights of paper SPE 191514, “Safe Choice—Operationalizing Human Performance Science in Decision-Making,” by Carla Santamaria, Jim K. Flood, Paul C. Schuberth, SPE, Jorge J. Morell, Jaime R. Hinojosa, and Justin Haddock, ExxonMobil, and Hugh O’Donnell, Eric Sandelands, Mel Cowan, and Alan Higgins, Ingenium, prepared for the 2018 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Dallas, 24–26 September. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Focus on Individual Decision Making Drives Safety Journey

01 August 2019

Volume: 71 | Issue: 8

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