Project Description


Services Supplied: Safety Culture Programme


Despite a committed and resourceful workforce the senior management team of Eastern Region had concerns about poor safety performance. A safety culture survey indicated that whilst there was perceived to be a strong commitment to safety by senior management the message was getting lost. In an arena of conflicting priorities safety sometimes lost. There was a need to establish safety as a core value of the organisation at all levels, to shift the safety culture from reactive to proactive and to establish personal responsibility for safety as the norm.


Step 1: The Safety Rope – establishing the critical mass.
People Positive™ established a programme of 18 x 2.5 day Safety Leadership Workshops – The Safety Rope. This experiential workshop invited participants to explore their personal relationship with safety and reflect on what safety meant to them and to the organisation. Workshop participants were a diagonal slice from senior management to shop floor and across departmental boundaries. Each workshop was kicked off and closed out by a senior member of the management team, which was seen as an essential condition for success. The content of the workshops followed the Step Change safety leadership syllabus. This enabled us to use the OPITO (Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organisation) accreditation to certificate the programmes.

Step 2: The Values Day – checking in with progress.
After the first set of workshops, 60 participants were brought together to check in on progress and explore the safety values of the business.

Step 3: Safety Coach Training – making it theirs.
People Positive™ gathered together 8 participants from the Safety Ropeprogramme and held a 2 day training programme to develop with them a one day workshop. The safety coaches also received training in delivery and coaching skills. They chose to call the programme “The Safety Tonic – a one day safety awareness workshop”. This workshop was clearly branded as Vetco Gray and not People Positive™ in order to ensure that Vetco Gray employees took ownership of the safety culture programme.

Step 4: The Safety Tonic – embedding the values.
A continuing question came through in the review days. “How can we make this training accessible to all employees?”

The answer was to initiate the roll out of a one day safety awareness workshop. It was important at this stage to make this a Vetco initiative so that it truly became embedded and owned. Despite the strong branding of the SLT as The Safety Rope it was still referred to as the People Positive™ programme. To encourage ownership and longevity and to ensure that the changes initiated continued to develop after we had moved on it was important to make the programme the client’s and not ours. We proposed that the one day programme would be presented by Vetco Safety Coaches supported by People Positive facilitators. The safety coaches were selected from across the workforce because of their credibility with their colleagues rather than from necessarily any clear ability to stand up in front of a group and deliver. It was clear that we would need to be there to support them and our intention was always to ensure that their experience was positive and constructive. We had a group of 8 and held a 2 day training course for them. With the assistance of People Positive facilitators the Safety Coaches rolled out 37 x 1 day Safety Tonic workshops to the rest of the workforce.


  • A measurable and sustained improvement in safety performance across the business.
  • Raised personal and interpersonal awareness.
  • Personal changes in attitudes to safety and actions both at work and at home.
  • Increasingly, safety is perceived as each individual’s responsibility.
  • Employees more comfortable in saying “no” and stopping the job on the grounds of safety.
  • An improvement in communication and cooperation across departmental boundaries.
  • A positive shift in the safety culture, and performance culture of the organisation.

Ron Burr of Vetco Gray Aberdeen commented:

The courses were well structured to suit the particular issues identified by Vetco and carried out in a manner that ensured the personnel understood what their involvement in safety would mean to them personally and to the Company as a whole.