Learning from normal work

IOGP Report 642

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Interested in safety?

IOGP promotes the integration of safety into every aspect of exploration and production operations and provides the benchmarks against which to measure improving safety performance.

Visit our Safety webpage to learn more.

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Incidents happen, and when they do, the causes are investigated, and the findings used to drive continuous improvement in safe operations. The procedures and methods for incident investigation and implementation of corrective actions are highly developed and widely practiced. However, this approach remains a reactive one, working to find and implement areas for improvement only after something has gone wrong. We do not need to wait for an incident to occur to learn lessons, improve our safety, and prevent future incidents. Each day, workers in the oil and gas industry go to work, perform their regular duties, and encounter challenges to which they adapt and overcome, all without incident. Valuable and actionable lessons about safety can be found in the everyday work, and these lessons can be used to develop more effective safety controls and reduce risks. We can and should learn from ‘normal work’.

This guidance is intended to support operational and corporate leaders in improving learning and extracting actionable lessons from everyday operations. The tools and approaches here can also help to improve efficiency, reduce nonproductive time, and support operational and corporate leaders in engaging people at all levels in an organization to ensure consistently safe workplaces.