Why I’m a Safety Rep is simple. I don’t see why people should go to work and not go home. Or get injured. The effects that these events can have not only the person but their family and friends is devastating. So I have to do my bit to try and stop this.
Working offshore, safety is always talked about and highlighted to you as soon as you get there, and the importance of doing your job Safely
But we are working on a Petrochemical Plant in the middle of the North Sea and accidents and incidents are still happening. There are still Hydrocarbon Leaks. Couldsomething like the Piper Alpha disaster happen again or another Deep Water Horizon? Of course it could and we would be kidding ourselves if we thought not.
So what can we do to prevent it? We all have to do our bit – or as Step Change in Safety say “Play our Part”. Being an Elected Safety Rep that’s what I do my best to do. By communicating with my work mates on safety and being the person they can confidentially approach with concerns or safety issues, then raising them with the right people, getting answers or solutions and feeding them back to the guys and girls.
I try to have regular Safety meetings with my constituents as I feel this is the best way to engage with everyone and give them the opportunity to highlight concerns and give ideas on how to improve.
The best thing is when idea has came through a meeting or from one of the guys and is implemented. We will never know if we have prevented something but knowing we have tried to make things better and help.
But don’t kid yourself that it’s all good being a safety rep. What we do should be welcomed by all, but we are all human beings and not all the same, and not everything we do is. So you have to be strong enough to stand up to your convictions. As a safety rep you are the link between the tea shack and the management – which is not always easy – and it does take time to build up trust. But you must also know that can be easily lost so I try to always be consistent and honest.
All industries need active Safety Reps and a safe workplace. Safety should not only be talked about but demonstrated and led by the workforce. I’m a great believer that a safe workplace is a profitable workplace and the cost of the other way is unthinkable!