Improving safety through collaboration, learning and sharing experience
Industry collaboration to improve workplace safety
Since 1997, Step Change in Safety has worked in partnership with the oil and gas industry, trade unions and regulators to improve workplace safety. Our aim is to make the UK the safest oil and gas province in the world in which to work.
Achieving that requires collaboration and the involvement of workers across the industry. We facilitate that through the twelve workgroups which we operate. Each works to raise safety standards, share good practice and communicate facts. By doing so the aim is to ensure nobody becomes complacent about staying safe.
Every member of Step Change in Safety has the opportunity to join a workgroup, giving them and their company a chance to contribute to raising safety in the UK oil and gas industry.
Safe Working Essentials
E-OBS online observation tool
E-OBS is a web-based application that allows the workforce to record and receive feedback on their safety observations using a PC, tablet or phone
Workforce Engagement (WEST)
Eye Safety Campaign
The Eye Safety campaign is an industry-wide initiative that addresses the importance of the awareness of eye safety and eye injury prevention techniques.
Major Accident Hazards Understanding
Own Your Barrier films and engagement packs
Produced by the Managing Accident Hazards Understanding workgroup, the films and packs aim to improve the understanding of Major Accident Hazards
LIfting Forum and Workgroup
The Lifting and Mechanical Handling Guidelines 2019
Aimed at anyone involved in lifting and mechanical handling operations, the guidelines - updated in 2019 - give guidance on lift planning and risk assessment.
Human Factors Online Assessment Tool
It is designed to explore individual's current relationship with human factors to understand where their strengths lie and identify areas for improvement
COVID-19: Impact on Safety
Step Change in Safety has produced a range of resources to support the industry to respond to the challenges brought by COVID-19 and adapt to the 'new normal'
Our workgroups are:Major Accident Hazard Understanding, Safe Working Essentials, Helicopter Safety, Workforce Engagement (WEST), Safety Alerts and Moments, Competence, Human Factors, OIM Network, Joined-Up Thinking, Elected Safety Representatives (ESR) and the Lifting Forum.
Our workgroups work tirelessly to develop a range of engaging educational resources that members can share with colleagues in their organisations in order to improve safety. This includes videos, presentations, toolkits, guidance documents and posters that are designed to share best practice, act as learning opportunities and provide topics for discussion with the workforce.
Visit the dedicated workgroup pages to discover more about the work being undertaken by each group and its members in order to improve workplace safety.
Developing and implementing industry-wide training and competence standards
Offshore Safety reps were in place prior to the Piper Alpha tragedy however, their roles and responsibilities were different as were any actual powers they had.
Working to improve safety and strengthen confidence in helicopter travel
Supporting individuals to improve their safety performance
Helping the workforce to better understand worksite hazards
Creating safer workplaces during lifting and mechanical handling operations
Educating industry on preventing Major Accident Hazards
Step Change in Safety is committed to raising and promoting awareness of mental health among the onshore and offshore workforce.
The purpose of the OIM Network is to support and influence the Step Change in Safety agenda.
Standardising and simplifying tasks to benefit safety and efficiency.
Engaging the workforce to improve worksite safety
Alerts and Moments:
- Callum Chesshire
- Senior HSE Advisor
Callum has worked in the Oil & Gas Industry for 10 years, starting out in engineering and construction safety, he is now part of the Petrofac installation operator HSE Team. Callum has a passion for sharing and learning, he has led the Alerts & Moments Workgroup in the role of co-chair since 2019.
- Karen Bowman
- Senior Consultant, SSU (Safety & Sustainability)
From 2006, Karen Bowman was employed as Police officer with Grampian Police and then Police Scotland with a broad range of experience within response policing, intelligence handling and as a Detective Constable within the PUBLIC Protection unit working to investigate serious sexual offences against children and vulnerable members of the public. In 2013, following an injury Karen took the difficult decision to leave behind her career in Policing and commenced studies into Health and safety.
With a clear passion for working with and ensuring the safety of members of the public , the transition from a policing role into health and safety seemed a natural career path to progress, diversify and build upon the unique skillset gained from her Police Service. Securing a position at Aker Solutions as a Health and Safety Advisor providing health and safety support to the subsea division and onshore workshops.
Thereafter an HSEQ position with Stork which enabled her to gain a broad spectrum of knowledge and understanding relating to various aspects of the offshore oil and gas industry, including but not limited to, scaffolding, rope access, confined space entry HVAC, NDT, painter blasting, asbestos and TAR campaigns, with work pack preparation for major Operators within the Stork portfolio.
From 2015, Karen secured a position as a Safety and sustainability Performance advisor with the Norwegian Operator Statoil, before progressing into a Senior Consultant role supporting the project Huc and Operational phases of the Equinor-operated Mariner field and currently supports the Operations teams for the Mariner field. Karen's main passion in regards to health and safety relates to ensuring the sharing and learning of incidents to prevent recurrence in particular the prevention of major accidents and major accident hazards.
- Allan Errington
- HSEQ Manager
Allan is a dedicated HSEQ professional for the last 8 years, with a further 18 years of experience in various global operational roles and a total of 32 years of experience in the offshore catering and facilities sector; a committed manager, with a successful background in the management of applied Health& Safety, developing and training effective teams, with a keen focus on developing and maintaining a strong safety culture.:
Over the last 10 years:
- Co-Chair of the competence workgroup Step Change for Safety delivering industry wide guidance on competence management systems
- Successfully transitioned our ESS Management System to ISO 9001: 2015, ISO 14001: 2015 and ISO 45001: 2018
- Graduate Member of IOSH
- Step Change in Safety Focal Point, incorporating the Human Factors Online Toolkit and Safe Working Essentials into our management system
- Developed Mental Health and Mindfullness programmes for our offshore employees.
- Became a Mental Health First Aider
- Worked for an extended time in Brazil, as International Key Account Operations Manager, mentoring and developing the local team, improving compliance to international standards, both in terms of operations and applied Health and Safety.
- Mike Meen
- Add Energy
Mike is a skilled and knowledgeable professional with a proven track record of establishing the root causes of an organisations issues and delivering solutions. He has implemented value adding programmes across cultures and in a variety of different industries on behalf of his customers.
Over the past 10years:
• co-Chair of the competence workgroup Step Change for Safety delivering industry wide guidance on competence management systems
• Mentoring and Support for MBA, MSc and DBA postgraduates at Robert Gordon University.
• Creation of Operational Assurance Capability in a Tier 1 contractor. Delivering innovative risk based solutions, benchmarking and creating improvement opportunities.
• Designed and delivered an integration and start-up capability to improve delivery performance. (2015 CMI Business Excellence award)
• Delivered client facing learning content for a global mid-level management blended learning curriculum supporting a drive for operational excellence (Shell Learning)
• Delivered customer programme management capability in Inspection, Maintenance and Repair. Driving improvements in asset availability (Shell Upstream International Total Reliability, >100 asset portfolio)
• Delivered a global Inspection Management Solution - Ivara CIMS. To optimise cross asset data utilisation.
• Authored a customer Late Life and Decommissioning strategy. Facilitated Delivery of a multifunctional plan to reduce life of field expenditure.
• Developed and delivered a company Competence Assurance Standard, improving safety and reducing costs. (2017 ECITB collaboration award)
ELECTED SAFETY REPRESENTATIVES (ESR) NETWORK:
- Adele Basset
- PTW Co-ordinator
- Spirit Energy
Adele has been in the industry for nearly 10 years, beginning as an instrument apprentice and then working her way into a specialist fiscal metering position. Adele now works as a Permit to Work co-ordinator, championing control of work at the Spirit Energy onshore Barrow terminals. Adele has been a safety rep at Spirit Energy for nearly 5 years and is very passionate about it.
- Lamberto Nonno
- Global Health, Safety and Environment Leader
- Baker Hughes
Lamberto is Global Health, Safety and Environment Leader at Baker Hughes, looking after the HSE culture and performance for the Drilling Services product line, across the globe.
He has more than 15 years of experience in functional and operational roles in the Oil and Gas industry, including responsibilities as Europe HSE Leader and earlier as HSE Manager in various countries and jurisdictions in Europe; his career at Baker Hughes includes field experience as well as various international roles throughout Europe and North Africa.
- Steve Murphy
- Senior HSE Advisor
- TAQA Bratani
- Derek Donald
- Senior HSSEA Manager - UK Operations
- Wood Plc
Derek embarked on his HSE career a little differently from most. He started within local authorities in the early 90s before moving into the training environment in 2001 as an Instructor with RGiT Montrose (latterly Petrofac Training) delivering training solutions to the Oil, gas and renewables sectors in the UK and Trinidad before transferring to mainstream Petrofac in 2008 as an HSE Advisor on their Duty Holder projects. During this time he also spent 11 years ‘on call’ with HM Coastguards local Search & Rescue team conducting shore based SAR operations.
Derek joined Wood in 2013 and is part of Wood’s EMEA HSSE&S leadership team managing the HSE team in the Operated Assets business within the UKCS. He leads a team focused on delivering safe and sustainable operations to support facilities and producing assets across multiple clients.
He is an IOSH chartered Safety Practitioner with 30 years multi sector/ industry HSE experience providing a comprehensive and varied knowledge of the industry.
- Joanne Wilkinson
- Senior Operational Safety Advisor
- Serica Energy (UK) Limited
I started my working career in the British Army as a Combat Medical Technician with 23 Parachute Field Ambulance, in my 8 years of service, I undertook tours in Rwanda, Bosnia and Kosovo. I started my health and safety journey whilst in the military undertaking risk and COSHH assessments, when I left, I completed my NEBOSH Certificate and quickly secured a HSEQ Advisor role with Carillion working in construction and highways predominantly on the M25 motorway, big eye opener to risk perception and mitigation, with cones and piece of string to protect us. After 5 years, I moved to Scotland and worked briefly with the local authority before working with Swire Oilfield Services, where I was introduced to COMAH and major accident hazards, I spent 5 years at Swire and moved onto Fergusons, where I travelled internationally developing safety and quality management systems as well as taking on the role of HSE Manager manufacturing in Inverurie.
Aspiring to have a roll as an operational safety advisor within the exploration and production side of the oil and gas industry I joined Petrofac as HSE Advisor and then quickly transitioned into a Duty Holder Advisor position on the Kittiwake, where I spent the next 5 years before taking a leap into my own business and working for Aker Solutions in the projects and engineering department and most recently TOTAL in corporate HSE department for the past 2 years.
- Kenny Lawtie
- Lifting Technical Authority / Head of Lifting
- Wood Plc
Kenny started his working life in the merchant navy before moving over to fishing. He soon decided that fishing was not for him however, and he then started as a rigger improver at McDermotts Ardesier oil rig fabrication yard where he served his time and became a fully qualified rigger.
He then worked between offshore, onshore and overseas, rising up through the ranks to Rigging General Foreman/Superintendent before moving into an onshore support role in 2006.
In 2009, Kenny became Shell's Hoisting and Lifting SME - a role which he currently holds along with being Wood's Lifting Technical Authority and Head of Lifting. Kenny has been a member of the Step Change in Safety Lifting Forum since 2014 and is also a member of the OPITO industry-wide lifting and hoisting workgroup. He says: "My aim is to walk away from this industry at some point in the future being able to truthfully say 'I helped to make a difference.'"
- Chris Stuart
- Lifting TA & LOLER Competent Person Lead
Chris has more than 25 years' experience within the energy sector having begun his career 'on the tools' and progressing into management positions. He has a comprehensive knowledge of rigging and lifting operations from technical aspects, competence requirements and project management.
MAJOR ACCIDENT HAZARD (MAH) UNDERSTANDING:
- Fiona Fitzgerald
- Evolve Consulting (Scotland) Ltd
Fiona FitzGerald entered the oil & gas industry as an undergraduate where she offered business support to a range of clients. During this time, she discovered a passion for safety and has been working to help organizations manage risk for more than 25 years.
Fiona has worked extensively across Europe, Africa, Russia and the United States with Baker Hughes. Prior to that, she worked as Facilities Manager in Equatorial Guinea. During her recent 10-year career as Principal Consultant with DNV, Fiona launched the OPITO accredited Elected Safety Representatives’ Development Training.
In October 2021, Fiona established Evolve Consulting (Scotland) Ltd to deliver quality, safety, environmental risk management services to the oil & gas and renewables industries.
Fiona is a Fellow of the Institute of Training & Occupational Learning, and she is currently pursuing studies in human factors and organisational psychology.
- Stuart Taylor
- CNS Production Manager
Stuart has more than three decades of experience in the energy industry working both onshore and offshore in front line operation management, operational improvement, maintenance and project roles.
Stuart started his career with BP in 1990 within the technician apprenticeship scheme and quickly moved into a supervisory role before progressing to become an Operations Engineer then Offshore Installation Manager where he gained significant experience, including the Forties Regeneration Project and Beryl field / SAGE acquisition with Apache North Sea.
Onshore, Stuart has also held the roles of Mechanical Engineer, Operations Efficiency Manager, Project Manager, Maintenance Manager and Production Manager. His current role is Forties Area Operations Manager where he is responsible for safe, reliable and efficient operations.
- Shaun Carr
- CNOOC Limited
- Dale Checksfield LL.M, Master Mariner, PG.Dip
- Harbour Energy
- Doug Seivwright IEng MIMechE
- Ineos FPS
SAFE WORKING ESSENTIALS (SWE):
- Gary Begg
- Operations HSE Manager
Gary trained in IT analysis & design, gaining significant experience in the oil & gas industry with Mobil North Sea in Procurement & Contracts, later moving offshore into a Logistics position. Progressed into HSE role for several years offshore, returning onshore to provide HSE support for UK NNS, SNS & Norwegian assets, later being appointed into his first HSE Lead position.
He continued to gain broader HSE experience with Talisman Energy, where he was seconded to lead the Production Loss Elimination team to ‘reboot’ the process including a full redesign, software enhancement and development & delivery of training with the offshore teams. Returned to HSE with mandate to develop strategies & plans to prevent hydrocarbon leaks, taking on his first Co-Chair role for the Step Change HCR Prevention Workgroup. Moved to the HSE Assurance Manager role to improve the audit program, ensure value adding execution and promotion of a learning culture. His final role with Talisman (Repsol Sinopec) was leading a redesign of the SMS to eliminate silo activity, develop a new software solution and establish an integrated approach across the business to remove redundant or conflicting elements.
Gary returned to front line HS&E support with EnQuest, developing improvements on Regulatory engagement and internal process development. Moved to Superintendent role leading both the on and offshore HSE team, including extensive redefinition of the support model and individual role to better support the business and work with our Regulators. Gary is currently EnQuest’s Operations HSE Manager, leading his team across three Directorates and continuing to provide advice to both the site teams and leadership onshore.
Gary has a significant level of experience leading teams, dealing with Regulators and Senior Management within all organisations. Very focused on delivery of value, both in his own work and for the processes that his teams follow. He's a firm believer in producing work and content that delivers, removing low value activity to improve efficiency and better motivate my teams in their day to day approach.
- Derek Thomson
- Operations Director
WORKFORCE ENGAGEMENT (WEST):
- Afolabi Banu
- Senior Operational HSEQ Adviser
- Harbour Energy
- Bob Egan
- Workforce Engagement Specialist
- Health and Safety Executive
Bob's working life has been in the Construction Industry, Petrochemical Industry, Offshore Industry and now for the Health and Safety Executive.
Throughout his working life he has had a keen interest in improving workers health and safety and by working in different industries and going offshore since 1992 he has gained a lot of insights into the different working practices between companies and Duty Holders.
Bob became involved with Step Change in Safety as an Elected Safety Rep back in 2010 and has remained part of a group focused on the health and safety of the offshore workforce. Bob says there have been many high points when playing his part in Step Change in Safety and also low points when tragedies have happened in the industry. But feeling that together we can all help prevent another and progress workers safety is the goal we all have.
- Stuart Mann
- BP Clair Ridge HVAC Tech
- BP Exploration
Stuart Mann, a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technician and ESR on BP’s Clair Ridge platform in the North Sea. He became a Safety Rep in 2004 and has been an active participant in the promotion of and commitment to the safety agenda within the oil and gas industry since then. Over the years his passion for safety and the people involved with it has grown and grown. He's been involved with not only BP’s UK Safety Reps Forum, but also Step Change in Safety’s ESR Network and has witnessed first-hand how effective a group can be in promoting, sharing, and demonstrating positive HSSE behaviours and culture in the workplace.
Stuart believes that by positively influencing others and by being an active participant in the effectiveness, communication, and endorsement of safety in the oil and gas industry, we can produce results.
- Steph Sunley
- Logistics Supervisor
- Aramark Ltd
Steph Sunley has been an offshore logistics Supervisor on the AP1 for Spirit Energy for the last 8 years and has worked offshore for a further two years.
She’s been a safety rep for more than 3 years and elected to serve on the Step Change in Safety Leadership team. She’s also a member of the Major Accident Hazards Understanding workgroup.
Events and webinars
To support the oil and gas industry in improving safety we hold a number of events and webinars each year. Visit our events page for an up to date list.