New and improved behaviour can be taught

August 26, 2002, 01:00 CEST

All Hydro employees working in the Norwegian offshore sector and a number of onshore personnel - totalling 1,600 - are being required to take a special behavioural training course. The company has already invested NOK 10 million into the project this year.

The behavioural training program focuses on influencing attitudes within Hydro’s safety culture. Culture builiding through proficiency training is one of the key components of a plan initiated last fall to achieve better safety.

The behavioural training is directed at groups who work together on a daily basis, so it is easier for them to continue training after the course is through. The two-day long course is exclusively developed by and for Hydro in cooperation with Nutec and the Administrative Research Fund at the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration in Bergen, Norway.

Before the course starts, everyone gets homework that asks them to define their values and visions. This is intended to generate self-awareness, and help participants see how to do things differently and bring about desired behaviour in an everyday context. The course includes group discussions and work to determine solutions for relevant situations. Towards the end of the course, the groups summarize their progress, set goals for the future and discuss how to achieve targets.

During the training, individual participants are asked to reflect on their own situation and/or behaviour and recommend areas for concrete improvement. The program also entails having individuals enter into a contract with their leader on how they can improve and train to attain optimal results.


"More difficult than it sounds"
”This is more difficult than it sounds,” Helge Schjøtt, whose daily job entails completion work on the drilling rig “West Vanguard.” He took the behavioural training course in Bergen at the start of April with 24 others from rig projects on the Troll field, including drilling operations managers.

”One thing is to sharpen up and abide by the platform’s rules and regulations. But what if one of the bosses takes a short cut? Or one of the most experienced on the shift? Dare we say something? What if we think the rules are dumb? That they’re not practical? What does it mean that safety comes before everything else? Or, if we get the blame for a near-miss, are we secure enough to report ourselves? 

“It’s when it begins to cost you something directly that it gets difficult. Then we must have a culture that extends security and openness in the group and in the organization,” Schjøtt comments.

”The behaviour training stimulated good discussion. We used real-life examples that all of us could relate to and trained with alternative ways of handling them. This is a kind of personal development too. You scrutinize yourself… it’s exciting!”  


Clear safety goal

  • Safety is a KPI ("Key Performance Indicator") number one for management in Operations and Production, Norway. No goal is more important than this.
  • Seven work groups in Hydro toiled all last winter and spring to come up with new recommendations for improving safety on the company’s offshore installations. Over 50 people were involved in the task. Some 200 suggestions were sown together into one complete package
  • The most important measure is to systematically strive towards improving the organization’s safety culture through dedicated training to bring about behavioural change.
  • In 2000, Hydro had an average of 10 serious incidents per month - reported to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. In 2001, this was reduced to seven. The goal is to continue reducing serious incidents by 10 percent each year. The ultimate goal is zero.
  • The H-value, which reveals lost-time injuries (TRI) per million hours worked during the past 12 months will be lower than two.
  • The H2-value, which shows total recordable injuries (excluding minor first-aid and leisure-time incidents) during the past 12 months, will be lower than 8.5.