Q3 2021 safety theme update: Major Accident Hazard Understanding (MAH)

Hi ,

Step Change in Safety is committed to continually improving safety within our sector by preventing predictable incidents, working with our colleagues in the industry to achieve that. With that in mind, in 2021 we have introduced quarterly safety themes which will focus on a different topic every three months.

In July, August and September, we are focussed on Major Accident Hazard Understanding, building on previous campaigns in order to reduce the likelihood of such events.

🔺 Reinforce MAH understanding

🔺 Increase awareness of individuals' responsibility for MAH prevention

🔺 Identify site specific MAH risks

Browse our new, revised and relevant resources, films, documents and interactive tools on our website (link below).

All our resources are FREE to download for all employees of our member companies. Charges apply to non-members.

If you have any queries about any aspect of our Q3 2021 MAH Safety theme, please get in touch with us.

General email: info@stepchangeinsafety.net


Gillian Simpson, MAH Programme Delivery Manager: gillian@stepchangeinsafety.net


Kirstin Gove, Head of Communications: kirstin@stepchangeinsafety.net


All new, revised and relevant resources have been published on the main Major Accident Hazard Understanding workgroup page and in the resource area.

New resources will also be highlighted on social media throughout the quarter.

Interactive bowtie
Interactive bowtie

Our new interactive bowtie contains a wealth of information. Hover over a barrier to see a descriptor and click on the barrier to open a dedicated page containing resources to help people understand the importance of that barrier and the part they play in maintaining the barrier.

MAH Awareness (Induction film)
MAH Awareness (Induction film)

This MAH Awareness film describes how an MAH is identified; introduces the bowtie model as a way of visualising the barriers and describes how these barriers are maintained to remain fit for purpose and what everyone can do to prevent a major accident.

Major Accident Hexagons
Major Accident Hexagons

The interactive ‘Blockbusters’ style game, Major Accident Hexagons is designed to provide training material that can be used to educate the workforce on MAHs and process safety and the vital role understanding MAHs plays in supporting safe operations.

MAH Awareness Mini Safety Alerts pack
MAH Awareness Mini Safety Alerts pack

This pack contains learnings from both oil & gas and other industries' major accidents. Each mini alert describes the circumstances, what went wrong and includes discussion points relating to the 7Cs of Safety.

MAH Vlogs
MAH Vlogs

We'll be releasing a series of MAH vlogs throughout Q3 featuring industry workers, representatives and experts who'll be discussing topics such as situation awareness, management of change, well integrity, barrier health, and structural integrity.

Barrier Bingo
Barrier Bingo

This pack aims to involve the audience by getting everyone to think about the MAHs that surround them as they undertake their work tasks, and if the barriers that are in place to protect them from these hazards are in working order and are fit-for purpose.

Above is a selection of our MAH resources. Please check out our full range available to download and view on our website:

E-learning for onshore staff

How good is your MAH understanding - gap analysis tool

Understanding barriers and bowties - interactive presentation

Hudson River plane ditching - major accident presentation

Remembering Piper - the night that changed our world

Major Accident Hexagons

Texas City - could this happen again?


Major Accident Hazard workgroup:


Fiona Fitzgerald, Director, Evolve Consulting

Stuart Taylor, CNS Production Manager, Apache

Step Change in Safety programme delivery manager: Gillian Simpson


Energy Institute Awards: In 2019, the Step Change in Safety MAH workgroup won the EI Health and Safety Award for "the inspirational Own Your Barrier educational programme." The series of short animated films and presentations aim to educate the oil and gas industry on major accident hazards.

Pictured (L-R): MAH workgroup members Gillian Taylor (Stork), Gillian Simpson (Step Change in Safety) and Fiona Fitzgerald (Evolve Consulting).

The entire 'MAH: Own Your Barrier' series is available to download from our website. Click below to watch the trailer.

Click to download the award-winning MAH 'Own Your Barrier' series:

Pack 1: Major Accident Hazard identification and risk analysis

Pack 2: Bowties and Safety and Environmental Critical Elements

Pack 3: Barrier maintenance, assurance and verification

Pack 4: Own Your Barrier

Note: FREE to all our member companies (a charge applies for non-members)