Intersec conference: Developing strategies toward ‘Vision Zero’

Rajeevan Gopinathan

Rajeevan Gopinathan, HSE Manager, Baker Hughes, South Arabian Gulf Geomarket, will speak on the topic Developing strategies toward ‘Vision Zero’: Is it a far cry from reality? during the Occupational Safety Conference at Intersec 2015. Discover more about the topic ahead of the conference in the short interview below.

Tell us a little about ‘Vision Zero’ and its key objectives?

Vision Zero is intended to achieve an incident free workplace. We all know that people go to their workplaces to give themselves and their families an acceptable standard of living. However, the current reality is that there are people who go to work and never have the chance to return home.

Around the world, a worker dies from a work-related accident or disease and 160 workers have a work related accident every 15 seconds. Oil & Gas industry like any other responsible industries implemented many initiatives, but the reality is that we are far from achieving Zero Incidents/injuries in our workplaces.

Fundamentally, Vision Zero is the belief that no loss of life or ill health arising from work is acceptable and that all workplace incidents are preventable. Baker Hughes’s Vision Zero is built on the a Perfect HSE Day programme, A Perfect HSE Day means all employees go home safely to their families and the environment is not harmed.

  • No recordable injuries/illnesses
  • No motor vehicle accidents
  • No serious environmental spills/releases

This is very simple initiative, intended to align personal and company goals for achieving a breakthrough result. The Perfect HSE Day generates greater awareness as to how every employee can impact their own safety, the safety of their co-workers and the company’s performance.

Where does the Middle East region stand in relation to achieving ‘Vision Zero’?

The success of this programme is reflected on our 2014 HSE performance, Baker Hughes worldwide operations achieved 91 Perfect HSE days in 2014, means 60,000+ employees along with our contract partners achieved zero workplace incidents worldwide on 91 days, this is a breakthrough performance (around 80% improvement on our 2013 HSE performance of 52 Perfect HSE days).

In Middle East Asia Pacific Region, we achieved around 20% improvement in Perfect HSE days compared to 2013. In fact the Perfect HSE days programme was instrumental to achieve better HSE performance in MEAP region in 2013 as this programme was first initiated in MEAP as a pilot project

Is ‘Vision Zero’ a far cry from reality in this region?

The HSE statistics across our industry shows that ‘Vision Zero’ a far cry from reality, this assessment is not limited to MEAP, can be said about all regions. The HSE statistics shows that most of the lagging indicators especially the more severe lost-time injuries were remaining essentially flat since last few years.

Even the improvement seen in some areas are very minimal and are not adequate to achieve our Zero vision anytime in near future.

What more should companies do in the region to contribute to a “Vision Zero’ future?

I think most of our companies have excellent HSE programmes, many of them also have excellent HSE leadership initiatives but the main gap is in getting the workforce aligned with company objectives of Zero incidents.

The Perfect HSE Day simplifies the way employees are informed about their contribution to their team’s performance and the overall performance of the company. The industry’s present and traditional key performance indicators (KPIs) and terminology are too statistical for most employees, and can be difficult to understand and personalize.

Tracking and reporting such performance statistics, such as Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) or Motor Vehicle Accident Rate (MVAR) as finitely as two decimal places, may mean something for benchmark comparison of performance in the industry, but is essentially meaningless as to how well an individual or a work crew are performing.

The Perfect HSE Day however is something each employee and work crew can directly relate to. It is personally engaging. Either the day is HSE perfect or it is not. There is no need to spend time trying to understand if a TRIR of 0.10 is good or bad, or figure out how to improve their team and company HSE statistics.

Each employee can see clearly how he or she plays a role in creating a Perfect HSE Day for their teams, regions and the enterprise. It starts and finishes with each employee’s day, and starts all over the next day. This allows each employee and work crew to start each day anew to the ultimate goal of zero incidents.

Finally, how significant is it for you to be speaking at the Intersec Occupational Safety Conference?

I truly believe that Safety is all about sharing and caring and see this as another opportunity to share some of the best practices for the benefit of all. I am also looking forward to interact with the leaders from our region and outside and learn from their experience. On a personal front, I see this conference as another opportunity to improve my networking.

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