Production Pressure And Complacency Cause Work Accidents

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 practices, please contact us.

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