West Virginia University Safety & Health Extension, through an OSHA Susan Harwood Training Grant has developed another outstanding training course titled “Fundamentals of Safety Leadership for the Oil & Gas Industry”. This training is a 3-hour course.

Safety leadership is everyone on the team, crew, site. There is a distinct difference between leadership and management. Everyone can be a safety leader regardless of their job title. Safety leaders are the rig hands, equipment operators, technicians, truck drivers, swampers, roustabouts, short-service employees, and other workers. You do not have to have the title of crew leader, foreman, Supervisor, or Manager to be a safety leader. In fact, the more workers that practice the safety leadership skills, the better the safety climate of the jobsite and the companies on the jobsite. This would be a very good course to provide to current and newly promoted crew leaders, foremen, Supervisors and Managers as part of their professional development training.

“Safety Leadership is any person that has the courage to demonstrate that they value safety by working and communicating with team members to identify and limit hazardous situations even in the presence of other job pressures such as scheduling and costs”. A safety leader accepts responsibility for their own personal safety and that of their coworkers.

The five safety leadership skills are:
Lead by Example
Engages and empowers team members
Actively listens and practices three-way communication
Develops team members through teaching, coaching, & feedback
Recognizes team members for a job well done.

Thinking about the five safety leadership skills, the benefits of everyone using these skills would improve communication, increase teamwork, foster a positive the safety climate, improve productivity, incorporate safer work practices, as well as reduce hazards, injuries, and fatalities.

The training course involves reviewing each the safety leadership skills discussing how a safety leader can put into practice the specific skill. This begins the part of the training where the skill is actually practiced in the safe space of the class before trying it in the field. The practical application during the class involves small groups watching a video of an oil & gas industry-specific situation such as using confined space entry, rigging equipment inspection, and using the right tool. A video of an incident is viewed by the small groups, then two outcomes (good or bad) are viewed one at a time with discussions within the small groups of each outcome and what the characters in the videos could do better or did correctly to get the outcome or change the outcome. Then the opportunity is provided for each small group to develop their own scenario, consider the outcomes (good and bad), and then determine what can be done to influence the outcomes. The application part of the class is very hands-on, interactive, and allows for participants to practice the safety leadership skills.

The WVU training was developed using the CPWR’s “Fundamentals of Safety Leadership” which was initially developed for the Construction Industry and can be used by OSHA-Authorized Outreach Instructors as an elective for the 30-hour Outreach training. The CPWR’s training is a 4-hour module.

RJR Safety Inc.’s Wayne Vanderhoof is an Instructor for this “Safety Leadership in the O&G Industry” course. If you are interested in having your workers trained, contact Wayne Vanderhoof. You can always contact Tiffany Rice at WVU S&H Extension for more information.

For more information and/or assistance, contact:
Wayne Vanderhoof CSP, CIT
Sr. Consultant/President
RJR Safety Inc.

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