Growing a successful small business can be tricky to manage – hiring the right people…maintaining company culture…building new work teams…more reliance on systems and processes – these are just a few of the challenges involved. But being part of Safer Together can help – just ask new member company JPS Management & Execution (JPS) and they’d be happy to tell you how.
Established in 2018, JPS is a young organisation comprised of a small team of experienced, high-performing individuals with more than 300 years of combined oil and gas industry experience. The JPS team offers technical and management solutions through all facets of the project life cycle – from planning, design and construction through to commissioning, start-up, shutdowns/turnarounds, and maintenance. LNG integrated shutdown support is a core part of their business.
As a small company with an increasingly high demand for its services, JPS is time-poor and has limited resources. Unlike large organisations, there is no in-house HSE Department that they can call on for safety expertise, or to find out what the latest thinking is on safety management, or to build safety tools from scratch.
In the early days, JPS could lean heavily on the extensive experience of its small team of people to maintain a safe workplace. But as the company grows and new, less experienced people are recruited into the team, reliance on this approach is unsustainable. The need for more systematic and robust controls for managing safety becomes increasingly apparent.
As a small contractor who specialises in integrating their people into client teams on the client’s facilities, JPS doesn’t always have direct control of the safety performance and standards that their team members are exposed to. This vulnerability left the JPS leaders lRight column.ooking for a better way to engage their workforce about safety and ultimately keep them safe at work.
- It’s all about building a community of safety leaders, both at a company-level and also within each member company - at all levels of each organisation. It provides unparalleled access to the thinking of the best safety leaders in the country.
- It’s industry-led (Operators and Contractors working together), not Operator-led.
- It gives smaller companies “a voice at the table”, and confidence in knowing that their voice will be heard and listened to.
- It’s driven by the senior line leaders of each participating company, not led by the HSE function.
- It’s action oriented and focused on results, not a talkfest.
- The more engaged a participating company chooses to be, the more value their people will get out of it.
- Clear common standards and tools, together with shared expectations of implementation, benefits everyone in the workforce because our industry’s ability to shift safety performance is much stronger if all parties align on a consistent approach.
JPS joined Safer Together as a member company in June 2022. Within one week of joining, the leadership team seized the opportunity to immediately get actively engaged.
JPS realised that joining Safer Together gave them instant access to a vast range of safety improvement tools and events, but the difficulty is knowing where to start – at first glance, the volume of materials and workshops available can be overwhelming to the uninitiated.
The JPS leadership team wanted to “hit the ground running” and maximise the value of their membership as quickly and efficiently as possible. So when they were offered a Safer Together Onboarding Session, they didn’t hesitate to accept the invitation.
Even at the height of a busy shutdown season, the two most senior people in the JPS Operations team took time out from their work schedule to participate in a face-to-face onboarding session held in Gladstone, QLD.
Using a screening tool provided during the Onboarding, and based on the company’s activities, risk profile and strategic safety improvement plan, one of the outcomes of the session was that they were able to quickly identify a short-list of Safer Together initiatives to prioritise for implementation.
The JPS leadership team understood that the Onboarding Session was just the first step on the path of getting engaged. There’s no practical benefit in simply keeping the company’s involvement in Safer Together as a closely guarded secret within the management team.
The next step was to get the front line engaged. Each team member was individually briefed on what Safer Together is all about and why JPS has become a member. They were encouraged to register with the website, subscribe to the monthly bulletin, and follow Safer Together on social media as the first step in them finding out for themselves what Safer Together is all about.
Following this, the JPS leadership team looked at the schedule of Safer Together events and selected individuals from their locally based work teams to attend so that they could see for themselves and make their own judgement about the benefits of JPS being engaged in Safer Together, and also them personally being engaged.
JPS recognises the opportunity that being a member of Safer Together presents to ‘absorb’ information and utilise tools to benefit their organisation. They are conscious of the relationship not being ‘all take’ though and are certainly up for being a contributor wherever possible. As such, JPS leapt at the opportunity to present at the Industry Safety Forum in Darwin in October 2022.
“There’s huge value in being engaged in an industry community that has a common safety thread, whereby we can tap on the shoulder other companies we work with and say “Hey, you’re a member of Safer Together and so are we – we’re struggling with this safety issue, how did you resolve it?” (Operations Manager)
“Joining Safer Together is a demonstration of care for the front line. It represents an investment and a commitment to continuously improve HSE culture and performance, not only for our organisation, but for the industry as a whole” (Senior Operations Advisor)
“Knowing my management team are serious about my safety is an important comfort to me. By joining Safer Together, JPS have demonstrated their commitment to my personal safety and to the safety of my crew” (LNG Operations Specialist)
“Having worked on multiple oil and gas sites throughout my career, it would be great to be able to share safety lessons learnt on an industry forum. I feel that by joining Safety Together, JPS have given me that opportunity to share my learnt knowledge to make the oil and gas industry a safer one.” (LNG Operations Specialist)
“In our industry we immerse ourselves in many different variables, processes and volatile environments. We are very lucky to have such a diverse community, with different backgrounds and experiences, and collectively a wealth of industry knowledge. Safer Together advocates for the development of a community safety culture, creating relationships and looking out for one another. There is a great quote "An incident is just the tip of the iceberg, a sign of a much larger problem is below the surface." It all starts with us, our own choices and the culture we want to be a part of. Safer Together connects the people who believe we can make a safe workplace a reality.” (LNG Operations Specialist)
Take Up the Offer – When you are offered a Safer Together Onboarding, seize the opportunity. It will be a good investment of your time and will fast-track you being able to maximise the value of your company’s membership.
Leaders Must Lead – Leaders must take ownership and accountability of safety - their actions (or inaction) make all the difference. So don’t delegate your Safety Advisor to attend the Onboarding instead of you.
Leverage the Networks – You’re part of a safety community now, so go out and talk to other members. Also look for opportunities to get representatives from your line workforce involved in Safer Together Working Groups, activities, and events.
Download the Case Study Poster here
For more information about JPS Management & Execution click here
To request a Member Onboarding Session click here.