Safety Culture Workshop 2021 – Group 2 Companies – Summary Report

Listening, Leveraging and Learning from Each Other

November 1, 2021

IntroductionSigns: Environment, Health and Safety

The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) hosted a virtual Safety Culture Workshop on 29 September 2021. This initiative brought representatives from 11 CER regulated (Group 2) companies with CER technical staff and executives to have an open dialogue on safety culture advancement efforts, challenges, and best practices.

The workshop objectives were to:

  • Promote learning and sharing across CER regulated companies;
  • Promote learning and sharing between the CER and regulated companies; and
  • Listen and learn from the actions of others to improve the regulator’s performance.

The workshop encouraged sharing of experiences and learning from one another in a small group environment.

CER Three Year Safety Culture Strategy (2020–2023)

The CER shared information regarding its current three-year safety culture strategy for 2020–23. The strategy is based upon two goals: a focus on system influence or advancing safety culture across industry and a focus on individual company understanding of human and organizational factors. These goals will be achieved through:

  • Development and sharing of additional guidance and tools;
  • Development of analytics to help identify human and organizational factors with risk-informed company outreach activities to discuss findings; and
  • Regulatory collaboration with other members of the North American Regulators Working Group on Safety Culture.

To date, the CER has accomplished the following efforts related to the strategy:

  • Release of an updated Statement on Safety Culture;
  • Development and public release of a Safety Culture Learning Portal, which provides access to materials related to safety culture. The portal will be updated with new content on a regular basis;
  • Release of the CER’s Departmental Results Framework survey results via a letter to all Accountable Officers; and
  • Funding and chairing of a project to draft a Canadian Standards Association Express Document on Human and Organizational Factors, which will include safety culture.

What We Heard from Participants

Participants noted their commitment to advancing safety culture and acknowledged that 2020/2021 presented several challenges to these efforts. The global pandemic was discussed. Its impact limited field level engagement by leaders with personnel and those working on behalf of the companies. Participants also raised cultural challenges associated with shifting workplace demographics (e.g., age and experience levels). Additionally, it was also noted that evaluating and monitoring contractor/sub-contractor safety culture is a significant challenge for Group 2 operating companies.

Representatives shared some of the most impactful steps that they have taken to advance safety culture. Examples of successes included:

  • leveraging the organization’s mission statement to establish and consistently communicate senior leadership’s safety commitment and expectations;
  •  staying vigilant to effectiveness of initiatives and stepping back and adjusting course when desired outcomes are not being achieved; and
  • promoting improved collaboration between traditional occupational health and safety and process (operational) safety management teams to advance harm prevention through a more holistic view of safety.

Participants suggested that the CER could support their safety culture efforts by:

  1. promoting industry-wide sharing, learning, and networking through future outreach, communications, and workshops;
  2. facilitating discussions aimed at the creation of a common vision for the culture of the Canadian energy industry, which would address worker movement across companies and use of contractors/sub-contractors; and
  3. developing more resources that may be used to communicate safety culture across organizational teams and departments.

Next Steps

Participant feedback and evaluation forms noted that regulator-industry safety culture workshops represent valuable opportunities for the exchange of ideas and gathering of feedback. The CER will seek opportunities for ongoing outreach with industry members on safety culture advancement and continue implementing its three-year safety culture strategy.

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