Catching chronic unease

Tick the safety box and move on to the story. I’ve been writing about safety for over a decade. Each trade article had to mention safety, especially those for the oil and gas sector. And I understood the logic. Greater awareness means fewer incidents. But I confess that my attitude could have been better. Although I started meetings with safety moments and aimed to achieve my monthly reporting quotas, I was mostly box ticking. The attitude in my team, which I condoned, was that writers and designers don’t do dangerous jobs, so many safety processes doesn’t really apply to us. However, over many years, my attitude has changed.

Yesterday, I found myself presenting to our Group leadership team on effective safety leadership using the HSE culture ladder model. I was doing this on behalf of our safety director, who was detained elsewhere. I found myself not just going through the motions, but believing in chronic unease. This phrase neatly describes the generative rung of the ladder where we believe that, despite our best efforts, minor issues are bound to happen and that these can quickly escalate.

Our Group is holding a series of Safety Days across all its businesses over the next two weeks. This initiative will help us to continue to improve our safety culture at all levels.