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Health, Safety and Environment

HSE Leadership Foundations

“It is about culture and about us as leaders engaging our employees about the tasks we do every day. We learn how to generate good HSE behaviors through open discussion which includes revealing the undesired consequences that can happen without adequate controls.”

Katarzyna Przybylowicz
Engineering Manager - Europe


“The HSE Leadership Foundations program helped me understand what my role in HSE needed to be as a plant manager, and how the fundamentals and Stop Work Authority are the cornerstones to an interdependent and accountable HSE culture.”

Federico Medina
Senior Plant Manager - Mexico

Achieving Our Perfect HSE Day

Our Perfect HSE Day remains the cornerstone of our health, safety and environmental (HSE) efforts, and we celebrate every work day we complete with no injuries, accidents or harm to the environment.1 We achieved 153 Perfect HSE Days in 2018, a 20% increase from the prior year. We also improved in all HSE performance metrics, including an employee injury rate of less than half of our rate from just five years ago.

Despite these performance improvements, we were saddened by the tragic loss of a contract driver in India during a vehicle accident caused when another vehicle crossed the centerline. The incident confirmed our recognition of driving as our highest HSE risk, renewed our emphasis on road journey management and prompted us to find new ways to mitigate this risk.

Engaging and Leading

We know that leadership is the most critical factor in continuing our cultural journey, centered on zero incidents as an expectation, and not a vision or goal. Our HSE Leadership Foundations learning series has evolved over the last few years and is now a cornerstone for how we continue to build leadership skills. Across the globe, 3,331 leaders completed the HSE Leadership Foundation series facilitated by 165 trained HSE professionals.

The two-day interactive session is designed to raise awareness, create alignment and gain commitment to HSE principles among our people leaders. Leaders have the chance to learn from each other what works, and the activities equip them with the knowledge and tools to ensure HSE is part of their day-to-day focus and activities.

Leadership engagements with employees have proven to be the single most effective means to enhance our HSE culture and performance. By engaging with employees one-on-one or in groups, leaders can have candid conversations with their teams to explore and address challenges and opportunities for continual improvement. The more employees feel heard and are engaged, the more equipped and empowered they are to identify and proactively reduce everyday HSE risks. During 2018, there were more than 39,000 leader engagements across the company. 

Focusing on Human Performance

No effort to improve HSE performance can be complete without a focus on the human element. Human performance is about what people do and how they do it. It is informed by a company’s culture and applies not only to HSE, but also to every choice we make. What people do is influenced by a range of process, social, organizational and psychological factors. We have developed strategies to reduce human error through increased awareness and enhanced process design, building on the following efforts over the last few years:

  • New Thinking series for functional leaders that pairs knowledge of brain science with an understanding of human error influences
  • Use of What Lies Beneath series, a Human Factors and Human Performance Assessment toolkit to identify precursors of incidents
  • Integration of performance modes into the design of procedures to reduce inherent system precursors of human error
  • Application of human factors into process safety through barrier verifications and threat response drills

Moving forward, we will expand our work to integrate human factors into error prevention tools through our HSE Management Systems and incorporate human performance skills into our competency programs. This will enable leaders to see human error and non-compliance as a symptom of underlying issues and take actions that systematically reduce the potential for error.

Driving Safety

Driving is one of the highest risks our employees face every day. To eradicate fatalities caused by vehicle accidents, we made a formal commitment in October 2018 to select 5-Star Safety rated vehicles, where available, for our global light-duty fleet. The 5-Star Safety designation is the top rating government gives through New Car Assessment Programs (NCAP). By obtaining the safest vehicle designs, we help protect our employees while driving and in any potential accident. This is crucial since not every accident is preventable by our employee drivers.

This improved safety standard aligns with International Oil and Gas Producer’s Association standards for our industry and will also benefit our local communities. Typically, company vehicles are replaced after three to five years of use. With an average vehicle lifespan of 20 years, as an industry we can benefit our communities by only adding NCAP 5-Star Safety rated vehicles to the second-hand local markets.

At the time of our comprehensive review benchmark review last fall, we found that 85% of our BHGE fleet already meets this top safety rating. Since then, we have added 434 NCAP 5-Star Safety rated vehicles to our North American fleet. We anticipate reaching 100% in the next three to five years globally as we replace older vehicles with 5-Star Safety models.

We are also expanding our use of In Vehicle Monitoring Systems, which enables precise monitoring of driving performance, such as harsh acceleration, speeding and harsh breaking. These performance indicators provide our leaders with the ability to offer timely coaching on driving habits and behaviors and focus on building safe drivers.

Maintaining HSE Industry Leadership

We are proud of our tradition of safety leadership and committed to sharing our successful innovations broadly throughout our industry. We received more than 55 industry recognitions in 2018, including the Center for Offshore Safety’s coveted Safety Leadership Award. This prestigious award was bestowed on BHGE for our Threat Response Drills program, an innovative approach to reduce process safety risks.

BHGE’s threat response drills engage an entire work crew to self-test its ability to detect and avert the early warning signals that could lead to an unplanned and/or uncontrolled well release or loss of well control. Our unique approach focuses on the proactive and preventative side of risk assessment, as opposed to reactive response to an event. Ensuring that crews are adept in recognizing, understanding and responding to weak signals and critical risks, drives safety assurance and operational readiness at the wellsite. This, in turn, optimizes crew response capability and minimizes human error.

Since the initial program launch two years ago, we have demonstrated tangible benefits in operational and HSE performance, including no well control incidents at locations where these drills have been performed. This clearly shows the benefit of threat response drills to the industry. BHGE has shared its Threat Response Drills program globally with major industry customers, inclusive of those in hydrocarbon processing, transportation and refining sectors.

BHGE Safety Awards:

2018, Center for Offshore Safety’s Safety Leadership Award for Threat Response Drills program designed to detect and avert unplanned and/or uncontrolled well releases

2017, Center for Offshore Safety’s Safety Leadership Award for What Lies Beneath program designed to identify human factors known as common precursors of incidents