LAUNCH OF AMCHAM T&T’s Pre-CONFERENCE WEBINARS
Pre-Conference WEBINAR – Human & Organizational Performance (HOP) in Practice
WELCOME REMARKS by NIRAD TEWARIE – CEO of AMCHAM T&T
Good morning everyone!
I am Nirad Tewarie, CEO of AMCHAM T&T and it is indeed a pleasure for me to welcome you to our first “PRE HSSE Conference Webinar” series.
Let me thank our Conference sponsors - Atlantic- title sponsor and platinum sponsors- NGC, BPTT and Shell.
Today we have a dynamic speaker who is here to address Human and Organisational Performance (HOP) principles that are human-centred – and can improve reliability, performance and safety culture.
As many of you will know, AMCHAM T&T believes it is important that companies create a strong safety culture in their business operations which is the reason why we have championed the promotion of HSSE as best practice to our membership and the wider national community for many years.
When we had to adjust to this new normal, what was very evident is that safety is of paramount importance not only for our business to succeed, but it is necessary to be able to protect our lives. COVID-19 made it very obvious to most, if not all of us, that we must protect our employees and even more importantly, we must each take responsibility and protect ourselves.
Many times, when accidents occur, we often blame it on human error or the failure to do the right thing when something bad happens. So, our focus is always meant on “fixing” the worker when they make an error after an incident occurs as opposed to “fixing the system” in which the error occurred.
Or, as Dr. Todd Conklin writes in his book “Pre-Accident Investigations: An Introduction to Organizational Safety”: “Fixing the worker gives the impression of an immediate solution to the problem, but it probably fixes the wrong thing. Punishing the worker is a fast and easy way to “solve” the problem, with the only issue being that it unquestionably fixes nothing at all, not even the worker in question. Because the whole failure will inevitably happen again with a different worker…. (However) fixing the system…will fix the right problem, and will ensure that the facility [doesn’t experience the same problem again].”
This is why we wanted to highlight the approach of Human and Organizational Performance, also known as HOP. We felt it was important, particularly in this time of COVID, to continue to adopt new approaches, new designs, new philosophies to protect employees in the workplace while redefining what the safety culture should look like. And that’s what today’s session will be focused on.
We know that humans will fail i.e. make errors and break rules with a known frequency that is affected by known influencing factors. But if we appreciate this proven fact, we can design better systems i.e. better rules, and better methods of discipline to solve a problem. That is why we say HOP is not just a program, it is an entire philosophy, which when adopted in the right way, we can establish a local safety culture change in business and in our society.
This philosophy will call for management and CEOs to change their attitudes and challenge their biases when it comes to adopting the right safety measures for their businesses. It is the difference between asking the right questions to find a better solution and being stuck in our biases towards error and blame. It teaches us how we ask questions, how we create rules, how we react to failure, how we treat people. It will directly impact our business performance in the future and result in better system designs that rewrite the rules of how we do business with each other and even how we interact in our personal lives.
When errors occur - and they will occur - we learn how the error was made or why a rule was broken. And we understand that a similar error or broken rule could have happened if we were doing the same job. So how do we fix that problem? Well fixing the problem comes with acknowledging that the failure will inevitably be repeated unless we improve. Once we are able to do that our working relationships with our staff and our ability to solve problems improves.
So that’s what we are hoping to gain from today’s session. Given the changes that COVID has presented us, we have recognised that our role in the national community is even more important, and we must be open to new changes, new teachings and practices that will help us mitigate some of the impact of this pandemic. We hope to use technology to facilitate much of this change which is why we were able to secure Kym, who is joining us today from Australia, something that would have been logistically difficult under different circumstances.
We hope that what she says here today will challenge some of your biases and attitudes to adopt a safety philosophy that builds relationships and facilitate meaningful conversations between those that do the work and those that design the work to share operational intelligence and improve system design.
We have been working on a very exciting Conference agenda and have finalised about 50% of our speakers. This year we are taking the Conference and Exhibition - virtual. I look forward to you all participating.
I also need to thank the very hard working HSE Committee, who very quickly mobilised when we had the stay-at-home orders and brought us Webinars to assist companies in retooling their operations to adjust to the current situation. The committee also worked on the Conference agenda and the National HSE Awards- which incorporates a new category this year for companies – a Pandemic Award. I am advised that the deadline for submission is Monday - so those of you who would like to submit - there is some time to fill out your screening forms on our website.
Thank you to our HSE Committee members who are online this morning, and of course a special thank you to the committee chair Ms Cindi Nandlal.
In closing, I want to reiterate, AMCHAM is here to support you. We are open to initiatives and ideas from you, so just simply reach out to us. If you have suggestions for webinars, topics or speakers, please let us know.
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