The Natural Gas Exploration & Production industry in Queensland is developing rapidly and the various operating and contracting companies have a common set of risks and hazards. The long-term nature of our field development programmes, which will typically be 30+ years, combined with the very large geographical area in which we operate means many contracting companies need to be engaged in improving and embedding safe work practices.
The industry believes that all workers have a duty to work safely and also have the right to stop work if it is unsafe. This philosophy adds significant challenges in that those workers and work crews often work at remote and diverse work sites away from senior leadership. A key aim of the forum is to ensure that all people involved in the industry support the philosophy, understand their responsibilities and look after their own and their mate’s safety when planning and doing their work.
We operate within a common geographical area in Queensland, which involves many overlaps with communities and regulators. As we use similar technologies with common hazards and risks we believe that in terms of safety we must be seen as one industry and not separate companies. As a result, collaboration on safety is a natural outcome.
As the industry in Queensland matures there is a need to engage senior leaders of both the operating and contracting companies in building a culture to foster continual safety improvements. In November 2013 we held a leadership safety forum attended by senior leaders from all the major operating companies and more than 40 contracting companies, with the outcome being a clear desire by all for a more collaborative approach to developing safety improvements.
The benefits for all the collaborating companies are clear common standards and tools, together with shared expectations of implementation.
Our industry’s ability to shift safety performance is therefore much stronger if we all align on a consistent approach.