Workforce engagement “critical” for offshore health and safety
Friday 9th June 2017
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Shane Gorman, Workforce Engagement Coordinator for member-led organisation Step Change in Safety, said when workers are engaged they feel empowered to raise awareness of unsafe situations, preventing themselves and their colleagues from coming to harm.
Shane was speaking at a meeting arranged by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health's (IOSH) Offshore Group.
The discussion was around workforce engagement - a word which is often over used and misunderstood. Shane explained that in his role he talks to 'the workforce', discusses safety issues and matters, and empowers each individual, regardless of job role or title, to feel confident enough to report upon any safety issue.
He told delegates how they can each influence safety in their workplaces, including providing information about how they can become safety representatives.
He said: "Workforce engagement is key, not just to delivering key facts and information about safety systems offshore but to having the workforce chatting to each other, having open discussions about potential hazards and playing their part in the safety of everyone offshore.
"There can be misconceptions about workforce engagement on and offshore. It's not one individual delivering a one-hour talk to a room full of people. It's building confidence, empowering individuals and driving safety messages through intervention."
Shane, an IOSH member, is an experienced safety representative having spent many years working offshore. Step Change in Safety was borne out of the investigation which followed the Piper Alpha disaster, which happened in July 1988, killing 167 offshore workers. Shane had a personal experience with the world's worst oil and gas disaster having lost his dad, David Gorman, on that terrible and tragic night.
Simon Hatson, Chair of IOSH's Offshore Group, said: "The offshore industry is a very hazardous one. It is critical, therefore, that workforces are engaged in the development and maintenance of the health and safety systems.
"Our event was very informative for people working in the sector. Both Shane and Dave are experienced safety representatives and I hope delegates were able to take away some insights to share with their own workforces."
The meeting, held in Aberdeen on Monday 15 May, also heard an account from Dave Thomson, a safety representative and member of Step Change in Safety's G18, who spoke about his role as an offshore safety representative and the challenges he faces.
It is nearly time to play your part in the future of your profession and the body that represents it and cast your vote in the IOSH Council Election. IOSH has this year received a record number of nominations for election to Council, with 29 candidates put forward.On Thursday 22 June, all members will receive details of each of these candidates and their election slips from the Electoral Reform Services. IOSH President Graham Parker has urged all members to take their opportunity to vote.
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