Safe change management


August 25-28, Safetec will once again participate at the oil exhibition of the year; ONS. The main theme of this year’s event is Changes. Safetec’s Jens C. Rolfsen highlights how structured approaches to change management can greatly improve organisational performance and safety culture.

Technological developments as well as changing market conditions are constantly giving the oil and gas industry new safety and risk management challenges. According to Jens C. Rolfsen, specialist adviser and organisational psychologist in Safetec, safety culture is closely tied to solid change management.

–  For safety requirements to keep up with the technological development, changes must be implemented to the organisation in a structured way, he explains.

Challenge the habits
The importance of ability to change is not a new insight, but by reflecting upon how the company should change, one can achieve much more in terms of cost-effective and long term solutions. Jens C. Rolfsen says that organisations tend to change in ways they are familiar with, but need to challenge their habits.

–  New and improved procedures are often the answer to the safety issue that occur, but how many times are you going to change the procedure before you realize that there is something more fundamental that needs to be changed?, he asks.

Depending on human factors
The oil and gas industry has never been more complex and comprehensive, and this leads to extensive leadership responsibilities.

–  Technology in itself does not change the business, nor  will changing market conditions. Change happens through people. In order for companies to cope with increasing demands for rapid change, the organisation must consider “ability to change” as an integrated part of their organisational culture, Rolfsen says.

It is impossible to predict all the changes that will affect the industry in the years to come, but with proper change management and a solid safety culture a business will be better prepared for the changes of the future.

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