Background

Established in 2009, Stand Together for Safety was originally a ‘stop work’ for safety event held annually across the Australian oil and gas industry, aimed at:

  • Reinforcing that safety always comes before any other consideration
  • Providing an opportunity for people to step away from their jobs and have a structured discussion about improving safety
  • Facilitating engagement on safety issues between senior managers and the workforce.

The event was held throughout May each year, giving the industry enough time to rotate through crew shifts so that everyone could be involved.

All companies across the Australian oil and gas industry, including producers, explorers, contractors and sub-contractors, were encouraged to participate. Personnel in all areas, including office staff, were actively involved.

This was not the only time throughout the year that individual companies participated in these kinds of activities. But Stand Together for Safety was unique in that it was the one time in the year where the entire Australian oil and gas industry participated in a stop work for safety event to work together on industry goals.

For many companies this ‘time out’ and structured discussion is now firmly embedded, allowing Stand Together for Safety to take a new direction from 2014.

History

2009
The industry’s first Stand Together for Safety was held in May 2009 with operators, contractors and frontline workforce all taking time out to discuss safety.

2010
In May 2010, 23,404 people from companies across the Australian oil and gas industry participated in the second Stand Together for Safety event. The theme was Safety for Generations, encapsulating key messages of ownership, accountability, competency and leadership. Senior managers visiting sites across Australia reinforced the message that safety leadership must be demonstrated at all levels within an organisation.

2011
About 26,000 workers from operators and contractors across the Australian oil and gas industry participated in Stand Together for Safety in 2011. The theme From the boardroom to the frontline reinforced the key message that safety is everyone’s responsibility.

2012
Over 38,000 employees participated in the ‘stop work’ safety events held throughout May 2012, using the opportunity to discuss how safety can be improved in their workplaces. The theme Keeping it contained: What’s your responsibility? triggered discussions about each person’s role in maintaining process safety barriers and preventing a major loss of containment.

2013
More than 36,500 employees participated in Stand Together for Safety events held at onshore and offshore sites, and as far afield as Singapore and Pakistan. The theme for 2013 – Protecting your team: Who are you responsible for? – encouraged the identification of many different types of teams working in our operations and provided scope for increased engagement with contractors and service providers.

2014
The focus for 2014 and 2015 was on process safety and preventing major accident events. A video Process Safety – Who’s Responsible received widespread acclaim for breaking down much of the mystique about process safety and emphasising that everyone in an organisation has a role in preventing major accident events. The video has been translated into several languages and used around the world.

2015
Process safety-themed playing cards released. Each card has a process safety related question to initiate discussion at a safety share or toolbox talk. These cards can be obtained from APPEA’s Brisbane and Perth offices.

2016

Process Safety – A Good Practice Guide was released in April. This document uses proven successes from personal safety management approachesto define “Golden Rules” for process safety and the behaviours associated with them.  This concept has been taken further by including benchmarks of “what good looks like” in process safety, and providing a series of assurance questions to direct effective barrier verification discussions across the industry.