Tecpetrol's Golden Rules campaign is making great progress. We spoke to Rossmery Maturana and Belén Marquina, who are behind its success, as well as Oscar Blanco, Director of HSE RCN&VM.
We all know Tecpetrol's Golden Rules. And it was against this positive backdrop that Rossmery, a Health & Safety Manager, and Belén, HSE Analyst, decided it was time to underscore their importance throughout the operation and incorporate them into our culture under the motto "Safe habits save lives."
That was the starting point. Rossmery explains that “These are what we at Tecpetrol call Critical Operational Standards (EOCs, in Spanish). They’re basic rules that everyone in the operation must take into account in order to carry out safe work.” For example, they reviewed the rules governing hoisting tasks, confined spaces, road safety, effective blocking, defensive driving and others, which are “like the ABC of safety,” she adds.
As a horizontal initiative, the Golden Rules campaign was designed to reach all employees and contractors in the Neuquén Basin, the aim being to foster greater commitment so that everyone feels part of the initiative. Together with the Communication area, a series of short and high-impact participatory activities were organized at the site each month to remind the over three hundred employees working there of the importance Tecpetrol places on safety.
The campaign pursued three objectives: the first was to reinforce people’s knowledge. The second was to create greater closeness, as it’s a campaign aimed mainly at contractors to encourage them to interact, participate and express themselves. Belén adds that the third objective was to "create a culture where everyone takes care of safety and analyzes it in the same way, within the same frame of reference, so we can change people’s mindset regarding how they value safety."
The campaign was launched with support from the managers of each area, followed by monthly lockout and tagout activities, hoisting, work at height, and more recently road safety. There are four more modules left and the feedback is very positive: “So far, it’s been a success. People liked the activities, which means we proposed something that worked. And now there are some extra challenges around the corner: the next round of topics is more abstract, a little more challenging to convey, so we hope to keep their interest up,” explains Rossmery, and Belén shares her enthusiasm: “There’s been a high degree of participation, the comments have all been good. When people have the room to do this, they speak up and provide feedback. All the effort is worth it when we see the response, the level of participation and the results. When we know the Golden Rules, we can detect unsafe conditions, stop them, and review procedures. The idea is for any employee to have the confidence to suspend a task that they consider unsafe. Although there’s still a long way to go, that’s what the road to safety is like—it never ends!”
It is indeed never-ending—and it’s also everyone's business. Oscar Blanco provides a bit of context: “Tecpetrol, together with other operators in the Neuquén Basin, the Chamber of Service Companies and the regional Union of Private Oil Companies, is a member of the Neuquén Basin Joint Safety Committee. Our campaign, in addition to raising our safety culture standards by bringing training to the work fronts, is aligned with the industry's need to disseminate these Golden Rules as a measure to prevent serious accidents.”