When there is an imbalance between production and safety, production pressure
may lead to
work accidents in the Bakken. This situation happens when leaders pay more attention
to meeting work demands, budgets and schedules than to working safely.
The company’s goals and performance measures have to do with commercial
and production results rather than protection and safety.
Because there is pressure to produce, leaders’ decision-making reflects
short-term business objectives without consideration for the long-term
effect on safety outcomes. Leaders are unable to see how their actions
erode safety as an organizational value. For example, the continuing tension
between producing and safety gradually degrades safety margins and leaders
are not as strict about following procedures when work falls behind schedule.
Bakken project deadlines arise from overly optimistic assumptions causing
workload pressures due to leaders allocating insufficient time or resources.
To meet the unrealistic deadlines, shortcuts are necessary and incentives
and rewards for production goals override safety recognitions.
In an oil field site like the Bakken, complacency can crop up when the
company believes they have controlled all possible hazards and are not
paying sufficient attention to risk. Viewing itself as having better
safety than others, the organization sees no reason to follow industry standards.
Company leaders may rely too heavily on occupational injury data giving
them the false belief that they are not at risk for a major work accident.
In this work environment, safety data collection is inadequate and may
focus on a limited or mistaken set of safety statistics. Performance management,
incentives and rewards are non-existent or relate to limited number of
safety indicators such as occupational injury rates. Supervisors infrequently
check to confirm that workers and contractors are following safety protocols.
The complacent Bakken organization is not interested in learning from other
industries or organizations. Rather than admitting that their system has
shortfalls, they blame failures on bad workers. Instead of trying to understand
a worker’s safety concerns, they try to explain it away. If your
Bakken work accident was the result of shortcomings in the company safety