Yousra 307x210In advance of the HSE Oman Forum, taking place online from 22-23 June, Yousra Kindi, Snr. Behavioural Safety Adviser, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), discusses PDO’s IHTIMAM programme and its impact on safety performance throughout PDO and its contractor companies

Behaviour-based safety, when implemented correctly and sustained, can improve safety performance by raising awareness and the ability to recognise hazards among the workforce, reinforce positive safe behaviour, promote intervention, encourage proactiveness to eliminate hazards in the workplace, improve communication and ultimately improve the safety culture,” explains Ms Kindi.

IHTIMAM (Care), is a highly targeted behaviour-based safety system to cater for the safety requirements of the oil and gas sector and other industries. Launched in 2018, IHTIMAM has already led to a step change in safety culture at the company, exemplified by significant improvements in safety metrics including Lost Time Injury and Total Recordable Case Frequencies. It assists in the identification of the root causes of unsafe behaviour, enabling the system’s users to develop targeted solutions before an incident occurs.

“The basic principle of IHTIMAM is that all injuries and occupational illnesses can be prevented. The main objective of the IHTIMAM programme is to train each member of the line organisation to eliminate incidents and injuries by skillfully observing people as they work, talking with them to correct their unsafe acts, and encouraging them to follow safe work practices.”

Using digital technologies, the IHTIMAM BBS system allows users to observe and report safe/unsafe behaviour remotely; monitor activities and trends to ensure they fall in line with corporate safety principles; turn statistical data into actionable insights; and analyse the data periodically for areas of improvement.

Ms Kindi says there has been a major business impact of implementing IHTIMAM, both in terms of costs benefits, and in terms of safety performance. Its major impact on safety leadership and safety performance can be confirmed from the companies that have piloted IHTIMAM since January 2017. One particular company which had a Lost Time Injury Frequency of six per million man hours recorded a massive drop in LTIF to zero after implementing IHTIMAM.

As the programme is developed in-house, it has resulted in total cost savings of over US$2,189,332 per annum, when compared to the costs of using BBS consulting services, she adds.

“The implementation of IHTIMAM has been completed in 74 companies, with the training of around 34,000 employees,” continues Ms Kindi. “We are currently working to increase the BBS maturity level of enrolled contractors.”

Ms Kindi stresses that there is a strong focus on maintaining the sustainability of the system, through sustainability reviews conducted through a data deep dive to review progress and identify any gaps within the implementation process.

Discussing the impact of the pandemic on the BBS safety programme and standards, Ms Kindi says that the main challenge has been with training, which has been tackled with a shift to the use of virtual tools. Virtual site visits and virtual meetings have taken the place of in-person visits and meetings.

“Despite the challenges, we successfully progressed in our implementation process with new users, introducing IHTIMAM to 32 new contractor companies as part of the 2021 Implementation Plan,” she adds.

Turning to the HSE Oman Forum, Ms Kindi comments, “I am looking forward to learning about the latest innovations and insights in HSE, as well as to gain and share new ideas and best practices. It is also a great opportunity to make our PDO BBS system visible at this important gathering.”

Yousra Kindi will present on this topic at the HSE Oman Forum, which takes place virtually from 22-23 June. To register, go to https://www.hse-forum.com/oman-2021/register. The full version of this interview will be included in the upcoming issue of Health, Safety & Security Review Middle East magazine.