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Building a strong safety leadership culture

Published by
World Pipelines,

Within every culture, there are accepted and expected attitudes, beliefs, values and behaviours about safety. Safety has always been an important topic, but now the pipeline industry recognises the need to do more than ‘check the boxes’ to fulfil policies, procedures and safety activities. This is because while those steps are important, they do not mean success by themselves. In order to build beyond the safety basics, a change in attitude and the way we address important safety issues must take place. For years this has been an industry goal, but the path to cultural excellence was elusive. Now, with a new approach to training that focuses on affecting attitudes and behaviours, leaders have a road map for engaging employees in a system of accountability that results in safe operations.

Taking pipeline safety to the next level

In February 2012, Caterpillar Safety Services began working with a group of pipeline industry leading companies that had the common goal of developing a first-of-its-kind training course produced specifically for pipeliners. With a focus on personal accountability for safety and incident prevention, the programme would support the industry as it shifts from traditional to world-class safety management.Caterpillar Safety Services brought to the table its best practices and proven processes to help elevate customers to the next level on their safety journey. This contributed greatly to programme development, with over 20 years of data and research from the company that reinforced the methodology around changing culture in an industry. The partnering contractors and owning companies pulled in real life examples, ideas and strategies from every angle of the pipeline jobsite environment. This collaborative approach, from flushing out concepts to designing individual elements of the sessions, makes this training programme genuinely unique.

While building this programme, the partnership stayed focused on safety culture taking place industry wide, creating together this purpose statement and allowing it to guide them through the entire process.

Programme content

Early on, an outline was created for content and development, and tailored to reflect the specific challenges and risks inherent in pipeline industry work. Within each module, or subject, are sessions that dive deeper into the methodology of that safety topic.

Proven methods for building a culture of safety are explained through scenarios, imagery and testimonials drawn from the environments in which participants work every day. Videos were produced on actual jobsites and some featured interviews with real pipeliners, driving home the point of discussion. The educational content is derived from decades of Caterpillar research and development of effective safety management strategies.

Elements of a session

The pipeline safety leadership training programme is instructor-led and interactive so as to have the attention of the attendees for the entire 30 - 45 min. session. The interactive element of the sessions is packed with real life examples shown through the engaging videos, role-play exercises and activities to promote discussion. After each session the foreman is given a call to action. The contractor’s trainer/facilitator receives detailed instructions and a slide-by-slide guide that follows this formula for each session:

  • Key take-away.
  • Training content focused on one element of the module subject matter.
  • Interactive elements (may contain one or more): scenario-based and Interview-driven video, group discussion elements, photo-based discussion, small group break-out work, role-plays.
  • Call to action.

There are a total of 24 sessions that are approximately 30 - 45 mins each. What this means is a contractor can choose to train their foremen using one session a week or month. The programme was designed with this flexibility to suit the needs and time of each contractor.

Pipeline safety leadership training

This groundbreaking training programme comes with a license to use it. All of the content is copyrighted to ensure that the information stays valuable, not diluted because of passing on training to non-licensed users, which is prohibited. The purchased license includes:

  • 10 training facilitator instruction kits (all contained in a large 3-ring binder).
  • USB flash drive containing all training materials and videos.
  • ‘Train the Trainer’ by Caterpillar Safety Services. This is required with the licensed product. This means that you send your designated trainers to a Train the Trainer workshop so that they can learn how to train your foreman to go forward.

Impact on a sustainable safety culture

The pipeline safety leadership training programme is designed to enhance the safety protocols and culture that already exists within an organisation. The trainers designated will be trained in, not the just the programme itself, but on how to teach the programme.

Since its release in January 2016, the pipeline safety leadership training programme has already influenced foremen from over a dozen companies to take the lead in exhibiting and mentoring safe behaviour. The global implication means a decrease in jobsite incidents now and an injury-free future for your organisation.

Written by Dawn Rivera and edited from published article by Stephanie Roker.

To read the full version of this article, please download a copy of the June 2016 issue of World Pipelines.

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