Imagine a loved one is going to work in an industry that has been known historically to be dangerous, like mining, forestry, law enforcement, or commercial fishing. What kind of advice could you give them that would be meaningful?
“Keep your head on a swivel.”
“Don’t smash your fingers.”
Sure, all these pieces of advice would be applicable to most any workplace, but do they help the worker? Not really. These “watch outs” are too vague and do not help direct the worker’s attention to specific exposures.
What if the company wrote down all the exposures in a manual and handed that to each worker? This is done daily in the oilfield. These manuals are thorough, and generally easy to read and understand, but there’s still a problem. They’re hundreds of pages and could take a lifetime to memorize. Not to mention, they’re constantly changing.
So, what’s the answer? This is the question Helmerich & Payne faced several years ago.
Back to Basics
H&P had set the industry standard for safety as measured by Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) for almost 20 years. Unfortunately, we continued to experience Serious Injury or Fatality (SIF). So, how do we simplify identifying life-altering or fatal exposures?
One of the answers to that question is LifeBelts. As other industries recognize “life-saving rules,” the term LifeBelts was chosen in honor of our former Vice President of HSE, Warren Hubler. He referred to the seatbelt in your vehicle as a lifebelt. In most cases, events with the highest potential to take someone’s life would be prevented by adhering to at least one of these 10 H&P LifeBelts.
What Really Matters
These 10 “Rules to Live By” were all a part of our core safety programs for years prior, but sometimes were lost among the seemingly endless pages of safety standards. Branded as LifeBelts and plastered on nearly every available surface at both field and corporate work locations, employees could begin to focus their attention on controlling and removing those exposures with the greatest risk.
Now, again imagine sending your loved one off to work. Wouldn’t you feel better knowing they were going to a place where everyone was focused on actively controlling those exposures that could seriously injure or kill them?