Featured image depicting Implementing an Incident and Injury-Free™ (IIF™) safety culture on a major capital project

Implementing an Incident and Injury-Free™ (IIF™) safety culture on a major capital project

Four golden opportunities provided by implementing Incident and Injury-Free safety into the Front-End Engineering Design phase of a major capital project.

By Andy Mais  |  January 7, 2022

A major capital project involves designing, planning and executing the work. Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) involves the first two of these steps and culminates in a go/no go decision to move into execution. What project sponsors decide is largely determined by whether they believe that the technical scope, time schedule and budget presented to them is realistic. Once a project moves into execution, momentum builds and opportunities to change the design or plan diminish. In the past, clients would only ask JMJ for help when levels of incidents and injuries became unacceptable to them. Committing to an Incident and Injury-Free™ (IIF™) approach at the start of FEED, gives a project team a much higher influence on the success of its project. It creates an opportunity to create a working culture and environment that eliminates problems during construction. By doing this from the outset, IIF safety isn’t viewed as a punitive reaction from management to things going wrong. Rather, it becomes the normal way for designing and planning a project.

Implementing IIF during the FEED phase provides golden opportunities to:

1. Form an effective collaboration between project designers, constructors and operators

These relationships can last for many years so it makes sense to create these partnerships early, welcoming different perspectives on what makes a safe project. Useful lessons from the past can be identified, selected, and adopted before any heavy machinery and lifting starts on site. When parties invest time up front to build relationships, alignment, shared understanding and effective ways to talk with each other, it makes a difference. It’s much easier to have ‘difficult’ conversations when you know people around trust and respect each other, and much better to have such conversations before anyone gets hurt.

2. Assemble a project team that can create the culture you want

Recruiting a project management team takes a long time, and this team sets the tone for the project culture. By adopting IIF safety early in FEED, you can onboard people into a strong set of project values. You can develop their skills so they’re capable of creating IIF safety across the project.

3. Set standards that are personal, relevant, and important to people

The IIF approach helps people evolve their relationship to standards from one of compliance to one of choice. When people can understand why a standard has been set and how meeting a standard creates safety for people they care about, they start to relate to standards in a new way. A standard is no longer a bureaucratic hurdle, but a way to put people in the picture.

4. Engage and hire the 50, 100, or even 200 contract organizations who will build the facility

Projects these days are often large and complex. A quick look down the list of contractors and equipment suppliers will indicate how many client/contractor relationships there are. These relationships can have an unequal quality to them in which clients feel they have to command and control.

It’s often said that projects are over-managed and under-led. By adopting IIF safety during FEED, contract owners are trained to talk about safety with contractors and suppliers in a way that generates a shared commitment to safety, creates partnership, and encourages them to take on the leadership for this in their own organizations.

Measurable results

When you join the dots for someone and show them how what they do today will help someone else down the line to do their job completely and safely, they form a relationship with that person without ever meeting them.
The biggest result in this phase is to help people eliminate risk so what they design can be built safely and operated safely. People create a structure to learn and implement lessons from the past. They shift their relationship to the supply chain from one of controlling information flow, to one of embracing the supply chain as vital partners in the project which helps suppliers shine.

About JMJ

For over three decades, JMJ has been delivering impactful cultural change to help executives, leaders and front-line workers transform safety, sustainability, and business performance. We combine the deep experience of our people with our proprietary Transformation Cloud platform to deliver breakthrough results, making the impossible possible. www.jmj.com

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