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5 Minutes With: Karen McDonnell

by Arabian Oil & Gas Staff on Nov 16, 2016


Karen McDonnell is an occupational health and safety policy adviser at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
Karen McDonnell is an occupational health and safety policy adviser at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

0.00: How is RoSPA working to prevent industrial accidents?

Next year represents the charity’s centenary, and in that time it has campaigned to reduce the burden of injury in the UK and globally, by working with companies and organisations through schemes such as the RoSPA Health and Safety Awards. By implementing the systems and processes necessary to be successful in the awards, this good practice is passed on along the supply chain and, ultimately, we achieve fewer life-changing injuries and deaths, and a reduction in ill health caused by work.

1.10: Which organisations comprise RoSPA’s industrial fellowship/clientele, and what is the scope of your work with them?

Some of the RoSPA Health and Safety Award sector winners for 2016 included Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company; Bahrain National Gas Company; Qatar Power Company – Doha, Qatar; and Ras Girtas Power Company.

1.45: How is RoSPA involved with the Middle East’s oil and gas industry?

We have a number of high-achieving entrants to the RoSPA Health and Safety Awards from the sector in the Middle East, and we would always welcome more – registration for 2017’s awards opened at the beginning of October. The region’s industry could also get involved in our Awards Excellence Forum, which brings together a formalised network of higher-performing organisations and acts as a research and reference facility on key health and safety topics and messages. Higher-performing organisations are a reservoir of commitment and expertise that can be harnessed to raise standards across the sector, locally and globally. We also have excellent trainers, who regularly travel to the Middle East.

3.05: What is your opinion of the HSE standards in the regional oil and gas industry?

This sector has risen to the challenge of developing systems and processes to manage the hazards and risks associated with the industry. RoSPA award winners share how they meet standards and seek incremental improvements. As technology advances, the global health and safety community needs to consider new ways of working, identify emerging risks, and share learning.

4.25: What are RoSPA’s recommendations for improving workplace safety, particularly in the oil and gas sector?

The key is to engage, involve and simplify. Utilise straightforward communications processes and, very importantly, listen to your employees and other stakeholders. If you tell people about health and safety then they will know about it, but if you involve them in health and safety then they will understand it. Company’s should review their existing approaches, refine where needed, and make sure to share their success with others, as success breeds success.


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