Table of Contents
This paper contains background information of oil and gas industry in the United States, challenges facing the industry besides its useful products, problems faced by the management during implementation of rules and policies, mitigation measures brought about as alternatives, methodology used in passing across awareness on safety and the industry’s safety framework.
This is one of the industries in United States considered to be producing most dangerous wastes besides its products of petroleum and natural gas. Therefore, in the United States, strict safety measures as well as programs are undertaken. Various processes carried out within the industries produce chemicals which are highly flammable and end up causing deaths of people once they come in contact with human. It is therefore very important for specialists in safety measures to pass across awareness on control and safety measures that every worker in different sector should adhere to. This would help prevent vital incidences brought about by highly flammable chemicals produced in the industries (Cleveland, 2005)
In the United States, at least a clean and healthy environment among workers is maintained. This has been put in place through various bodies tasked with different agencies. These bodies provide education among people on maintaining health and sustainable environment through minimizing the release of harmful substances to the environment. Creation of awareness is then done through trainings offered by trainers in safety and control measures, seminars and workshops and outreach programs. This equips workers with a level of knowledge on healthy practices in the environment.
Responsible agencies for safety bring up policies, common laws and standards which the industries should meet. These agencies include, United States Environmental agency which works towards maintaining a clean and healthy environment (Colborn et al., 2011).The agency helps in setting standards of safety measures to be looked upon by workers in these industries hence minimizing risks to human health. Health of human beings is therefore protected with the clean environment created courtesy of environment protection agencies.
The problem arises on implementation of laws, regulations and policies put up by different bodies. This is due to ignorance among the administration and workers in the industries as well as weak governing systems and poor partnership programs. Workers in these industries may also fail to adapt to the new system of governance of new regulations regarding safety measures. Slow flow of information from management brings about fragmentation of new ideas and concepts to be taken hence hindering implementation. This lowers the levels at which the release hazardous wastes are minimized in the environment hence increasing risks to human health, (Allred et al., 2015).
Workers in oil and gas industries are therefore required to maintain a clean environment which would favour their working. Studies are done by scholars to identify gaps to be filled or problems to the environment where solutions are to be obtained. A problem therefore arises where the solution brought about by researchers cannot solve a problem in the environment. In other cases, the solution found may also be rejected by the managing bodies due to other factors. This leaves behind pending problems brought about by oil and gas industries hence limiting human beings access to clean environment and threatening the survival of species in the environment.
Climate also determines working environments for workers in these industries. Though climate helps to draw work calendars and design programs for work it also fails to favor workers at the work place at one point. When temperatures are too extreme or drastically drops, it becomes unfavorable for workers. Climate change is therefore brought about either by human activities through deforestation, green houses effect which end up altering the environment or it happens naturally. Climate change results to behavioral change among employees in these industries which lowers their level of performance as they strain to adjust to change of climate.
Researchers and experts in the field of climate bring about solutions to curb the effects brought about by climate change since the effects are at an alarming rate in the United States. Climate change has become a point of focus in the States to reduce risks to human health (Melillo et al 2014). Human beings are therefore advised and asked to reduce human activities that result to change of climate. These anthropogenic activities include greenhouse effect whereby greenhouse gases when released to the atmosphere raises the temperature causing strain to survival of species. Other activities include extreme cut down of trees which alters the hydrological cycle and use of pesticides and fertilizers polluting the environment.
A study that was carried out in Ireland by Garavan &O’Brien (2001) on industrial accidents and injuries indicated that ideas on safe climate were associated with a number of safe behavior. Safe behavior brought about by human beings contributed much to a safe and sustainable climate. Ensuring safe climate is promoted through ensuring no violation of safety rules and securing the environment as well as protecting the environment for future generation. The outcome of this study indicated that specialists in safety measures should consider strategies of security at a larger scale. This to be done through conducting public meetings and communicating on safety measures to be undertaken.
Creation of questionnaires and administering them to employees is one of the ways to evaluate safe climate in most organizations, (Wolak, 2016).Though safety Culture and climate security are commonly used and even termed as one, but climate is regarded as a reflection of attitude and beliefs while culture mirrors norms as well as values in the practices administering security. The level of performance of individuals at work changes as they develop different behaviours at the work place. Complying with the safety precautions, attending safety meetings and voluntary participating in activities concerned with safety.
An instrument was designed by the Environment Protection Agency in 2002 to measure safety climate, the ECLISE which was found to have 85 items in groups of 21 categories with a structure in form of dichotomy which included: meetings on safety conducted, levels of awareness, appropriate employee training and others. After the measurement of safety climate systems of security influencing human behaviour are pointed out. Later a researcher developed methodology of the systems which comprised of developmental models and practices which are safe, (Haggerty et al., 2014).
It’s a mandatory of the industry to compete and meet issues on health environment throughout its activities and operations to protect the natural environment. A framework on safety culture for the industry which was proposed by Reason (1998) is as follows:
When a gap is obtained between safety and production then production pressure comes in due to leadership which may put emphasis on meeting rising demands over budgets already made, instead of putting focus on working safely. Appropriate representation of effective values in the industry may fail to be shown clearly due to leadership qualities. Therefore, this leads to safety margins being disintegrated slowly as a result of pressure yielded between safety and production.
When a belief arises in the organization about all risks to have been worked upon and reduced attention of the organization’s efforts towards risk, complacency is yielded. An impression of an organization being secured as compared to others which seems to have no need of complying with appropriate safety practices and standards of oil and gas industry may be brought out, which is not true. These organizations do not obtain important information from incidents that have once occurred earlier due to reduced efforts in obtaining essential safety data.
In the third part of this framework, deviance is normalized when systems and processes’ deviation is accepted. Deviance normalization occurs when it is generally accepted to draw deviation from systems that are safe, processes and procedures. To avoid defences of safety and rules of getting the job done at time scheduled, systems within the management are not applied throughout a number of operations. These type of organizations do not provide efficient and effective systems of resolving inadequate operations.
This describes the tolerance of resources to use and systems even when they are inadequate. When there is acceptance of working with inadequate systems and resources tolerating becomes a habit. Employees are therefore able to manage them even when in little quantities to ensure the organization runs well. A problem arises when the management fails to change with the current conditions and adapt to unpredicted issues. This leaves unresolved issues of safe culture in oil and gas industry hence hindering its performance. These organizations respond slowly when conditions change hence yielding a gap between a problem that is existing and its solution I issues of safety. However, organizations use approaches in managing safety issues to at least fill gaps and correct errors made.
This describes leadership as far as safety cultural of gas and oil are concerned. By making resources adequately available, leadership becomes genuine. Leaders who happen to be committed to issues related to safety understand objectives and goals accurately hence tackling them accurately by actively and directly participating in managing safe systems. Leaders, being at the top of management, have knowledge about threats hindering performance of an organization as well as hazards involved. Therefore, they take preventive measures against hazards and threats that may have been brought about in the organization. With this system of managing an organization, some level of accuracy and accountability is brought out.
This section entirely describes vigilance which is the ability to maintain attention in performance of an organization. It is done through creation of awareness about safety as well as bringing workers to the understanding of risks related to measures of safety. The organization should also disseminate appropriate ideas regarding safety which include identification of hazards which cause hindrance in the performance of an organization. Those organizations that are vigilant are leading in their performance as they determine proactive operations and every employer becomes responsible in reporting a gap identified or an error made.
This section accounts for accountability and responsibility of employees in an organization. When challenges face an organization, employees become responsible and help the management to account for them hence perfecting its performance. Employees on noticing a threat or hazard, immediate report on the same should be done and any activity that brings about the hazard to be eliminated. Employees of an organization are therefore empowered to be responsible while working and make sustainable operations in care for the future generation. The managing body of every organization further, rewards employees for their active participation in the maintenance of rules, laws, procedures and standards of safety. Through rewards, employees get encouraged and participation maximized.
This entirely describes resilience which is the potential to deal with threats and hazards that have emerged within an organization in an environmental friendly manner and meet the rising demands. Various mechanisms are used to meet the demands and curb threats and hazards. These organizations are able to survive even with fluctuating needs and demands. Organizations that work in this manner respond accurately to conditions that are varied and unpredictable and also they respond to changes on time. When the management of such organizations is well run, its levels of performance is hardly fluctuated.
Oil and gas industry produces natural gas and petroleum products as well as is the leading in the United States. Besides the useful products it serves the community with, it is faced with challenges which are at least mitigated. Employees in this organization should work towards maintaining a sustainable environment through minimizing the risks brought to the environment from activities carried out. In this manner, the environment is protected as well as human life.
Allred, B. W., Smith, W. K., Twidwell, D., Haggerty, J. H., Running, S. W., Naugle, D. E., & Fuhlendorf, S. D. (2015). Ecosystem services lost to oil and gas in North America. Science, 348(6233), 401-402.
Cleveland, C. J. (2005). Net energy from the extraction of oil and gas in the United States. Energy, 30(5), 769-782.
Colborn, T., Kwiatkowski, C., Schultz, K., & Bachran, M. (2011). Natural gas operations from a public health perspective. Human and ecological risk assessment: An International Journal,
Haggerty, J., Gude, P. H., Delorey, M., & Rasker, R. (2014). Long-term effects of income specialization in oil and gas extraction: The US West, 1980–2011. Energy Economics, 45, 186-195.
Gravan H. & O’Brien (2001): Industrial Accidents and Injuries. Cambridge University Press.
Melillo, J. M., Richmond, T. T., & Yohe, G. (2014). Climate change impacts in the United States. Third national climate assessment, 52.
Wolak, F. A. (2016). Assessing the Impact of the Diffusion of Shale Oil and Gas Technology on the Global Coal Market. mimeo, Stanford University.
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