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Behaviour programme boosts safety

September 2, 2005, 10:30 CEST

Four out of five Statoil employees believe that the safe behaviour programme has helped to enhance the safety culture in the group and among its contractors, according to a new survey.

Intended to encourage people to accept responsibility for their own safety and that of their colleagues, this exercise represents Statoil’s biggest-ever commitment to safer working.

The Rogaland Research (RF) institute has evaluated the work on behalf of the group by sending a questionnaire to every employee involved in the programme for a year or more.

More than 80 per cent of respondents agree that it has helped to improve the safety culture in Statoil.

Roughly 90 per cent also believe that their immediate superior takes the message of the programme seriously to some, a considerable or a great extent.

The same proportion agree that their manager accepts being corrected and encourages personnel to take more safety initiatives than before.

About half the respondents to the survey say that their behaviour has become safer as a result of the programme, while the other half believes it is unchanged.

While a majority of Statoil’s employees are not afraid to speak out if a colleague takes chances, the findings show that many still find this a challenge. About a third are afraid of a negative response.

“This survey indicates that we’ve had a positive effect on safety, which we find very pleasing,” says Jan-Henry Larsen, project manager for the safe behaviour programme.

“Most of the results are gratifying, but we see that further work is needed to increase the proportion who believe that we’ve improved safety for them and their colleagues.

“It’s important to emphasise that the work of changing behaviour calls for patience.”

The programme starts with a two-day workshop in Stavanger, which is followed up over several years in the various entities.

More than 17,000 personnel from Statoil and its contractors have so far participated in these workshops since they began in 2003.