When developing or strengthening a culture of safety in an organization, the word “culture” should bear as much emphasis as “safety.” Without organizational dedication, safety protocols or procedures can risk seeming ancillary to the operation’s shared objective, when ultimately safety must be a core value of any operation dealing with potentially hazardous gases. Buy-in from all levels helps avoid weak links where a serious lapse in safety might occur. Safety protects not only the practitioner of safety but that employee’s coworkers and others as well. Upstream and downstream oil and gas operations, along with power plants and other industrial facilities, should partner with technology providers that emphasize safety.
For example, FLIR, designer and producer of thermal imaging cameras and sensors, is determined to be “The World’s Sixth Sense,” a goal explicitly rooted in bringing about a safer future. Organizations that work with gas that can cause injury should seek to integrate effective and efficient technologies that ensure safe operational practices. Recent advancements in Optical Gas Imaging technology offers companies in a number of industries the opportunity to improve safety and bolster a culture of safety throughout the organization.
Implications of Safety Equipment for Culture
Many common safety practices depend upon safety equipment that operates solely within an area of relative unsafety. The wearable gas monitor plays an important function in protecting workers, but it only warns of a danger once the person wearing it is standing in a cloud of gas. There are several other technologies that allow operators to find an unsafe condition within a piece of equipment, but few of these operate until the user is within that unsafe condition. This holds true for low-tech but prevalent safety tools: namely, the common soap bubble. In sum, these technologies and their results could send a cultural message that some risk is acceptable and perhaps inevitable, contradicting the message of safety.