What would you say are the most important aspects of your job?
My main task, the way I see it, is going out in the field and talking to people. As an HSE resource, my job is to ensure that everyone works safely and complies with expectations, rules and guidelines. One key aspect of my job is therefore to help correct any non-conformities. That is best done by speaking with people, not to them.
It’s important to show the operators that the management is there for them and that together we can make each other better. To achieve this, we have to spend a lot of time in the field and also take the lead as role models. That has a knock-on effect down the line. I therefore choose to spend as much time as I can together with our operators in order to build good relationships.
In my ten years at Beerenberg I’ve found that simple things such as acknowledging a job done well means that things that are less good are automatically tackled in a positive way. In other words, every one of our employees seeks validation and wants more of it. For me it’s about being curious about what our people do without making them think I’m looking for faults. At the same time we need to be clear about our expectations in terms of health and safety.
We are currently in the early stages of the Johan Sverdrup P2 topside project at the Aibel yard in Haugesund. The project will last until December 2021. Activity levels will be stepped up this autumn, and the main project starts next year. Personally, I enjoy being part of the start of a project like this and helping to implement the robust HSE culture that Beerenberg is known for.
What is a typical day at work for you?
My day starts early with a chat with my colleagues in the office. Apart from drawing up a plan for the day, it’s also good with some light-hearted banter before we get stuck in. Well-being is important in any workplace, and it’s a key factor in everything from reducing absenteeism, increased production to feeling able to speak up when something is not right. Next I accompany the client rep on our daily tour. These tours are a great opportunity for me to start to build relationships at an early stage. I feel that we’ve already got good chemistry and speak the same language.
In between various meetings I try to spend as much time as possible on site. For me it’s about being where the action is and offering support to everyone working in the field. In this phase of the project there is obviously a lot of paperwork such as the project handbook, introductions and presentations,
HSE and toolbox meetings etc. The list goes on, but I’m getting a lot of support from the HSEQ department in Bergen.
What particular challenges do you tend to encounter in your job?
One thing that I always bear in mind is that people often have different ideas about what constitutes a risk. Again, it’s important to work closely with all employees and pick up on any such discrepancies in what they deem safe and what may represent a risk before making the necessary adjustments. My philosophy is that everyone will accept being corrected when it’s done in the right way. It’s also important to make everyone aware that it’s okay to stop and ask if they’re unsure about something. At Beerenberg no job is so urgent that it can’t be done safely and properly. In this respect it’s vital that we have good foremen and health and safety officers. When the foremen and health and safety officers take ownership of their respective roles we know the project is well on its way. We’re all role models in one way or another, and we expect each and every one of us to be a good and not a bad role model.
It’s also important both to Beerenberg and to the client that we constantly focus on simple things like keeping the workplace clean and tidy. This makes the workplace safer and us more efficient.
What would be your dream day at work?
It doesn't take much for me to have a dream day at work. Just knowing that I help keep people safe makes me happy and gives me energy. I love going to work and spending time with my good colleagues.
Why did you choose this job?
I've always been interested in working with people, and it warms a tired soul to know that I can have a positive impact on those around me. We often read about accidents at home and at work, and it saddens me as I know that it’s often just a case of making small adjustments in order to stay safe. The work I do is therefore very meaningful to me.
I've had the pleasure of working on numerous Beerenberg projects both onshore and offshore, but a few years ago I moved into building and construction to try to make a difference. I feel I succeeded. Incidentally, the construction industry has been copying oil and gas. In the past, health and safety were often just words on a poster, but luckily those days are now long gone in most places. Health and safety is always top of the agenda, closely followed by quality. I’m glad to be back at Beerenberg and once again be able help develop the company’s good HSE culture.