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Title: Safety leadership in the energy industry : the development and testing of a framework outlining key behaviours of senior managers
Author: Roger, Isabella
ISNI:       0000 0004 2745 9030
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2013
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Managing safety in the energy industry requires continuous assessment of the factors with potential to contribute to accidents. Investigations into major incidents across highhazard industries have repeatedly highlighted the critical role of management factors in relation to safety performance. As leadership from site-level managers has been identified as a key non-technical skill with potential to measurably affect safety variables, this thesis investigates how the concept of ‘safety leadership,’ a term commonly used in the energy industry, might be applied at the level of senior management. After a review of the empirical literature revealed minimal consistency across existing work on this topic, four studies were conducted to support the operationalisation of the term ‘safety leadership’ in language relevant to practicing managers. In the first study (Study 1) semistructured interviews with subject matter experts (19 senior managers, 3 health and safety professionals) supported the identification of a set of behavioural ‘elements’ of safety leadership. In Study 2, a second set of interviews with contractors (n=11) and regulators (n=11) facilitated the refinement of the element set, and a preliminary safety leadership framework was proposed wherein behavioural elements were organised into broader categories. In Study 3, a documentary analysis study, data from published incident reports from the energy industry were used to test the preliminary safety leadership framework and assess the framework’s capacity to encompass senior-level behaviours that have been implicated in major investigations. Finally, Study 4 used structured interviews with experienced senior managers (n=15) to assess the face and content validity of the framework. This research informed the development of a behavioural framework, labelled the safety leadership framework (SLF), that includes three categories (Maintaining risk awareness, Leads by example, Setting and managing safety standards) encompassing seven safety leadership elements (Promotes continuous exchange of safety information, Monitors the reality of operations, Incorporates safety into decision-making, Acts as a safety role model, Provides direction, Reinforces with rewards and consequences, Supports and motivates)
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Energy Institute
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychology ; Industrial ; Energy industries ; Industrial safety