Safety perceptions on productivity in the petrochemical industry
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The safety slogan for many Petro-Chemical organisation year in year out is “Zero is possible", and the commitment to drive towards high performance culture. The safety intervention that comes with the new way of looking at the risk doesn't seem to eliminate injuries and fatalities completely. There is something missing from the industry that is dominated by the advances of high quality technologies, and automated plant systems, occupational health and safety incidents and fatalities continue to devastate thousands of lives each year. A piece of puzzle to completely eliminate incident in the workplace is needed. The organisations with world's highest safety standards are battling to understand why injuries still happen in spite of all the precautions, procedures and methods to prevent them. The philosophy of it all lies with the behaviour of the employees when operating the machinery systems. The most injuries occur as a result of the interface of the maintenance and operators with the plant machinery. Significantly there has been a noticeable improvement in the reduction of health and safety incident rates across the South African petrochemical environment. There seems to be no confidence to sustainably achieve zero serious injuries and fatality. The most disturbing injuries happen when the organisation is doing so well in tnbnberms of injuries statistics, and brings the whole celebrations to a standstill. The DuPont way of arriving at the empowered accountability in terms of safety lies with an interdependent safety culture in which safety is omnipresent and embedded in the hearts of all employees. The Interdependence state can be reached by following this fundamental logic, there must be a high- level understanding of the concept of organisational culture and safety culture which is very critical. Essentially the safety culture shapes the way the organisation behaves towards safety, and the productivity priorities shouldn't be ignored. The values of a high-performance culture is the pillar of commitment by management and employee together and pledging commitment to health and safety, accountability and involvement, communication and trust, risk awareness and compliance, competency and learning and finally recognition. The DuPont model suggests that in most organisations the reactive safety culture exist and of course safety is merely a natural instinct with no real perceived value for the individual or organisation. The organisations refer to only do something about safety only when something has gone terribly wrong. The literally display of a dependent safety culture is when employees start to value safety but only, so they do not get caught. The independent safety culture is categorised by empowered accountability of individuals who value safety, and the understanding of the consequence. The most employees that value safety under independent are either have witnessed serious incidents in their career life or have been injured before, they might even know the reality check that goes with it. The final part of the Du Pont model tries to bring to life the ideal world where there is interdependency when it comes to safety culture, employees embrace safety as a personal virtue not only for their own safety but also in contribution to the safety of their peers. In this ideal world the culture is such that its employees' desire to do things safely so that no-one gets injured. The final fact that the study tried to undertake was the element of behaviour based safety, and it strides towards high performance culture. The initiative is one of the best since the study of employees at risk behaviour observation, but still requires fine tuning in terms of its key performance indicators, and what the organisation can do with the data of the system.