Safety culture on the cards

In 2013, IOGP published IOGP 452, Shaping safety culture through safety leadership. The aim was to raise awareness among senior figures in the oil and gas industry of the way their behaviours shape ‘safety culture’. It explained the meaning of that concept, described what leadership characteristics can influence others and proved to be one of IOGP’s most downloaded publications.

Today, it has found a new lease of life, in Australia, as a set of ‘Safety Moment’ cards.

Seán O’Donnell, of Safer Together, a member-led organization of operating companies and contractor companies that works to improve gas E&P industry safety in Queensland, Australia, visited IOGP offices recently.  He  showed how his organization used the key concepts outlined in the IOGP publication to inspire better safety discussions. It is an example of how IOGP’s guidance materials can be packaged to increase implementation of its concepts.

In 2014, Safer Together developed a set of 52 Safety Moments cards to help its members promote safety leadership within their organizations. These cards are broadly based on the safety leadership characteristics and behaviours defined in IOGP 452. They cover seven themes – accountability, vision, action orientation, collaboration, feedback and recognition, communications and credibility.

“Rather than create a set of definitions regarding safety leadership, we decided to adopt the concepts outlined in the IOGP publication,” said Seán.

Each card provides a conversation prompt. For example, one communication themed card reads:

“Describe why it is essential to always report safety issues and near misses.”

Typically, the cards are used during five-minute safety discussions at all levels of a company – at board meetings, team meetings and even on management ‘walkabouts.’

To initiate the conversation, the discussion leader picks a card, reads it out and asks one of the attendees to respond or comment.

“People say it provides structure and efficiency to their safety discussions,” said Seán. “They require no preparation and ensure that the messaging is consistent over time. Standardization is one of the primary goals of Safer Together. So most importantly, the cards enable a wide range of member companies, across various different industry sectors, to develop an aligned understanding of the characteristics and behaviours of good safety leadership.”

Download IOGP 452, Shaping safety culture through safety leadership from the publications library.

The Safety Moment cards can be ordered through the Safer Together website at

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