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In recent years, sharp rise in the trends of industrialization and globalization in third world countries raised new challenges to the safety and security of workplaces. According to Duijm et al (2008), both developed and underdeveloped regions are facing the consequences to the massive workforce. The establishment of safety culture is one of the major challenges due to the complexity and influence of multiple environmental factors. However, a secure and healthy environment is one of the prime needs of the workforce in large and small industries, as only healthy individuals can serve the larger purpose to the industry and society. In this context, Zohar and Luria, (2005) argued that the rapid increase on the hazards and accidents at the occupation sites raise a serious concern to the authorities to establish and monitor the safety of environment and monitoring of standard working practices.
In theory, the definition of occupational accidents is considered as the occurrence of fatal or non-fatal injury during the course of work at a certain organization (ILO,1997). The lack of attention to this important issue can have multiple reasons such as exploitation of labour rights, local governments’ insensitivity, safety measures insufficiency, lack of workforce awareness and proper educational contribution (Powell, 2007). Also, occupational accidents occurrence is also high in workplaces due to lack of training, knowledge, supervision, and rules implementation. In addition, Tharaldsen et al (2010) pointed out that variety of human errors due to negligence, carelessness, and lack of monitoring creates more occupational accidents. Hence, the impact of these factors is significant in establishment of safety culture to reduce occupational hazards.
Moreover, it is important to evaluate the significance of imperative factors’ contribution the occupational hazards in various industries. Oil and gas industry is one of the largest and important industries globally. The industry caters large number of workers and complex working and operating conditions. In oil rich countries, this industry is not only important to bring in foreign exchange but also as a provider of major source of employment and necessary infrastructure to the country.
As a major oil producing country, Iraq, which has been selected as focus of this study, has a large oil and gas industry. Blanchard (2009) stated that oil and gas industry economic performance is very prominent in Iraq, however it is also a large contributor of occupational accidents. In Iraq, oil and gas sector contribution is 90% in state revenues and 74% in GDP, along with the status of largest employment provider of the country (Blanchard 2009; Khdair et al 2011). Further, Mearns and Yule (2009) and Kane (2010) argued that this sector possesses high risk in workplace safety and important parameters to establish safety culture is required severely.
The Iraqi Congress document (2008), indicates that the oil and gas accidents prompts through negative technological know-how, employee misbehavior towards protection regulation ,insufficient instruments, lack of precautions, negative organizational management, lack of sufficient services, and inadequate training. However, Al-Moumen, (2009), contends that the due to global sanctions imposed on Iraq and the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, entire infrastructure has been damaged and oil and gas accidents appear inevitable. The safety quandary within the oil and fuel enterprise in Iraq is very main when Iraq’s dependence on oil production and exports is considered, whilst such outside explanations are largely authentic. Furthermore, one hundred fifteen billion barrels of established oil reserves has been possessed by Iraq (Jaffe 2006). Thus, after Saudi Arabia, it ranks 2nd in oil inventories worldwide. It is indicated by the Iraqi Congress document that in the oil sector it is presently working with a production potential of 45% and continued incidents in the production of oil and gas are the justified with this considerable production (Kalha 2009). The question that arises here is that whether the government of Iraq and the oil organizations are equipped to manage safety effectively and be able to diminish occupational accidents?
Therefore Iraq can be considered as an important case study for evaluating occupational/industrial accidents selected in this research. The motivation of this research comes from the fact that since Oil and Gas industry is the source of the major revenue for the residents of this community, how can the health and safety concerns of this industry could be enhanced, especially given the troubles this part of the world has been going through for the last many years. Review of current conditions, analyzing the details, comparing with safety standards accomplished across the globe, and providing key factual based recommendation is the focus of this research.
The aim of this study is to evaluate the safety measure taken by the oil and gas industry in Iraq to assure safety culture in organizations in Iraq and how these occupational health and safety systems can be improved. The aim also includes the consideration of workers safety outside the company premises due to vulnerable law and order conditions of Iraq.
The primary objectives of the proposed study include:
Following research question provide summary of above aim and objectives:
What are the safety measures taken by the oil and gas industry to assure safety culture in organizations in Iraq, and how these occupational health and safety systems can be improved?
The occupational safety issues are found to be of critical importance in recent western literature for the workers in countries such as UK (Tharaldsen et al 2010; Kane 2010), US, and other European countries (Mearns and Yule 2009). On the other hand, the literature is scarce about workers safety issues in third world Asian countries (Ali et al 2009; Khdair et al 2011). The literature found is based on the analysis of various internal and external factors responsible for the establishment of safety culture at workplace. In this section of the paper, literature related to occupational health and safety of oil and gas industry will be critically reviewed, with the primary focus on the developing countries such as Iraq. This method will develop an extensive understanding of the safety systems, best practices and the related legislations, which will then be utilized to complete the later sections of this paper.
Safety culture in organization is important to manage occupational hazards and safety issues for workers and equipment. According to Sukadarin et al. 2012, safety culture isa viable method of for directing worker’s beliefs, approaches, and performances regarding organizational safety. Another definition by Ritcher and Koch (2004) stated that the safety culture stands for the collective and knowledgeable implication, experiences and understanding of job and safety, and also includes peoples’ guidance. This culture also includes shared values and beliefs which interact with structure and control systems of an organization to yield social standards (Fitzgerald, 2005). As per Terry (2003), there are three causes of UN safe behavior at work (1) physical surroundings, (2) the social setting and (3) experience of an employee within these. In the meantime, the safety triangle demonstrates the link amongst the unsafe working environment and damages, which has an effect on safety situation in any industry. Safety not only endeavors to focus on bottom employees but it also impacts the degree of responsibility of higher authority such as managers to ensure safety at workplace.
To develop a culture of safety in acknowledgment to dispositions and practices of workers are the most import motivational elements and it provides the basics to workers’ state of mind and their conduct at work. As indicated by the European Process Safety Center (1994) legislative issues, association, administration hones, systems, observing and reviewing of activities are the imperative components incorporated in basic wellbeing of administration. Vredenburgh, (2002) in his study indicated that; to make safety culture in organization numerous administration practices must be taken into consideration. These administration practices are comprised trainings, assessments, and various administration obligation. From the literature published in the last many years, it has been indicated by experts that safety performance is influenced by these administrative practices.
Agency theory holds risk management in large industries such as oil and gas sectors as a conflict of interest between shareholders interest and management practices (Vredenburgh, 2002). Like other industries, consumers trust is also important in oil and gas industry, however, this trust is affected by the financial risks and the corporate risk such asprojects cost over runs, as they lead to increase in expected costs. Furthermore, stakeholder's theory also provides a rationale to the control of risk management (RM). In this regard, the map proposed by Hall (1997) to control and manage risk is still applicable in oil and gas industry. The stages described in the model presented by Hall (1997) are:
Table 1; Risk stages and Descriptions (source: Source: Hall, 1997)
Negative risk identification, lack of communication and coordination, and Crisis management
Shift from crisis to risk management, awareness of risks but no systematic address, uncertainty to communicate risks.
solely a manager's and a team activity, transactional stage from avoidance to recognition and eradication of risks root cause
Transition of subjective to quantitative RM, metrics use to anticipate malfunction, ability to learn, adopt, and proactive approach to RM.
Positive aspect of RM, risks are taken as opportunity to restructure, improving the environment, and better administration.
The above model was argued by Petts (1998) and added a communication and monitoring stage to the above mentioned stages. Furthermore, Shrivastava, (1995) argued that the incidents and hazards in the oil and gas sector should also be treated through risk management procedure. Shrivastava (1995) proposed two alternatives in this sector risk management, industrial ecosystems considers harmful by-products of operations as potential useful input products and eco-centric administration, focuses on better organization alignment with natural environment.
As indicated by Khdairet al(2011), Safety requires a huge measure of effort to be employed within a workplace because it’s a difficult and problematic phenomenon. Therefore, it is very challenging to achieve safety performance crosswise the industry. It is a delicate and difficult approach to deal with the performance of safety because there is a risk of life of people working at the place and also for the person who is supervising the system. Financial losses are the second reason for which implementation of an operative management system for of health and safety is crucial (Bakriet al, 2006).
A well-being and safety management system recognized to deal with the work-related safety and well-being issues, known as Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS-18001), is a worldwide acknowledged standard for the organizational safety usually challenged by employees at workplace (Zeng et al 2010). The structure of OHSAS is a certification inclusive, which can be transformed and modified according to organizational needs, business or specific desires of regions (Remmen et al 2005). It consists of an agenda that spots, alleviate and diminish the dangers associated workplace and health and safety. OHSAS implies specifications for wellbeing and management method for safety at organization, for facilitating a service provider in limiting safety issues and enhance effectiveness of the work. It does not give comprehensive necessities for the designing the management method nor it specify the efficiency standards. Alternatively, it is used to experiment the administration approach for safety and assess effectiveness of workplace safety and to ensure that the administration process meets legal and coverage requirements. As indicated by Zeng et al (2010) Management system should be validated in step with the directions of the recognized normal and it can be carried out with OHSAS-18001. The major cause behind using it is that it cut down the safety issues and risks associated in the workplace that in return enriches the manufacturer productiveness and reduces production cost (Singh, 2009).
As indicated by Philips et al (2003), thirteen major commerce bodies, accreditation councils and worldwide requisites had headquartered this system to support a gap where no independent body certifiable specification endures. Around 25,000 corporations of eighty two international locations were certified to OHSAS, by 2006. This approach empowers companies to admire their hazards, verify the loop holes of their management procedure, and confirm those dangers that aren't tolerable and needs to be delimited (Smith, 2008). Rather of being reactive, this process is a proactive process, as it is in a position of assessing danger and analyses hazard previous to the prevalence of any mishap. Inspectors advocate control measures, after assessing dangers. These control measure can be either technical or administrative or both. For this method, thorough identification of dangers and evaluation of likelihood of expertise harm prevalence are fundamentals.
The workplace safety is a difficult phenomenon therefore, there are numerous explanations influencing the performance of safety, and the subject of safety efficiency is even more difficult to understand in the oil and gas industry. Given below are the various causes that have effects on the safety performance. These causes are human factors, economic elements, behaviors, psychological explanations, organizational reasons character and social aspect and environmental elements. These factors are discussed below.
According to Bellamy et al (2008), the ‘human factor’ impact is considered as versatile and complex that can influence the safety measures, organizational discipline, working environments and many different characteristics of safety culture. In oil and gas sector, management and staff reliance for workers safety is still not achieved, as professional advancement with time showed behavioral differences in crisis situations (Subramaniam 2004). Behavior factors can have an influential effect on safety, especially with respect to involvement of workers in form of groups for complex and regular tasks. Cox et al, (2004) discussed that safety oriented programs encourage workers in changing their behavior and attitude in pursuit of safe actions (Sawacha et al 1999). Another important contribution was of psychological factor, which showed a major relationship with safety performance of employees (Cigularov et al 2010). The other important factors are organizational and economic factors that are responsible for the designing and implementation of employment and hiring policies.
The behavioral factor impact on employee’s safety and security refers to the constraints in behaviour that obstruct employees motivation and security-culture development. According to Cox et al (2004), assessment of behaviour factors assist in understanding the employees behaviour that may lead to any accident, rather than relying on the hazardous prospective of the activities/processes only. Hence, reduction in the behaviours associated with risks such as mishandling, carelessness, and/or inappropriate modes of working can help to reduce the chances of occupational accidents and security failures. As discussed by Krause and Russell (1994), the employees’ riskier conduct has been found in most safety risk situations that affect the people present at that place. In another study, Krause and Russell (1999), stated that behaviour based workplace security problems mostly occur in the presence of group of people when human interactions create mal-functioning, conflicts and disputes. These researches further suggested that proper risk behaviour trainings for workers can facilitate the reduction of such risks.
In the context of safety enactment, the organizational factors are the aspects giving rise to mishaps. From the previous researches, the link between workplace safety, behavior of workers and consequences of safety has been discovered. These may include incidents, damages, and misfortunes (Reid et al 2008). Additionally, Remmen et al (2005) argued that a number of occupational factors that can influence prediction of organizational safety, the past researches have focused on the elements that can avoid possible accidents. Alternatively, Vredenburgh (2002) asserted that external factors such as financial factors, socio-technical situation and general culture also influence the organizational factors. As a result, in different geographical location, the occupational factors differ in terms of creating distinct effects on performance of safety. In this aspect, Tharaldsen et al (2010) declared that the production firms, in the recent era of globalization, are assisting their business programs of foreign companies. These firms should efficiently deliberate transformation of organizational characteristic and their encouragement mechanisms for safety enactment in different states.
However, the financial justifications are foremost and have high contribution on performance of safety. The financial cause offers in time period of financial values, that are related to protection equivalent to, hazard pay. Osha (2012) stated that compensation base on the accident is important. In most of the instances cash can by no means compensate the life of any worker who misplaced his life but can best quickly remedy the ache of one who had losses one. Also, Vinodkumar, MN, &Bhasi, (2010) asserted that the economic factor may just differ from company to organization and depends upon the organizational polices. The economic component can also fortify the occupational security by using supplying right equipment and other critical safety prevention tools. The worker psychology is the colossal factor to make contributions to safety efficiency that is famous for Crocker, (1995), who observed that the worker's safety depends upon his physiological state and he concluded that workers can work more safely with a someone who respects their staff and their contribution, and who is stimulated by means of a targeted enterprise policy on safety. When employees work safely, they are able to also expect operatives to react positively.
In review of previous studies, Boardbent (2004); Lu and Yang, (2010); Vinodkumar and Bhasi (2010), it is discovered that safety participation and safety behavior compliance are two important dimensions in measuring safety performance at workplace. Also, the study of Griffin and Neal (2000) already explained these two factors in Australian industrial sector research. The result s of these studies confirmed that positive safety compliance and safety participation of both workers and management play a vital role in establishing a safety culture and influencing the safety performance with moderator as safety knowledge. Furthermore, the studies of Cabrera et al (2007) and Ali et al (2009) elaborated that management practices are important to prevent occupational accidents, as a useful element in control and taking precautionary measures to avoid workplace accidents. Additionally, study of Geldart et al, (2010), on workplace safety measures and role of management practices in various industries, and suggested that administrative policies; management practices and employees’ attitudes impact positively on workplace safety.
Managing of Safety behavior operative organization and its control are dealt under organizational factors. In order to attain high valued performance within organization, exercises for managing safety in organization are very significant. In the perspective of business the term of safety performance is indicated as the capability of tackling with the risks in the organization in order to evade mishaps and damages (Jiang et al 2010). The organizational and management factors define the measure of success of safety performance within organization. Safety self-efficacy, sentience of safety, and behavior of safety are the three integrated factors included in individual safety. Self-efficacy can be defined as the belief of Employee that is their training competence and this affects safety control perceived by the worker, a facilitator role amongst safety environment and self-reported accidents.
Though, consciousness of safety replicates the risk issue occurring at working environment. The safety behavior can be defined as the risk-taking performance and acquiescence to procedures and rules of safety by the employee. As discussed by Neal and Griffin (2002), the safety behaviors in an organization are influenced by the organizational factors (like understanding management and diligence), while appraised by the employee compliance and contribution. The safety risk dealing with hazardous and safe practices relies on upon the subjective inclinations connected with the safety of workers who are confronting dangers, predisposition in the view of safety risk which happens in a rational, however this is an impractical assessment of risk, which causes a higher level of danger as a consequences.
To avert hazards at work sites, practices for management of risks are expected to work, which deals with controlling the working environment mishaps. Fundamentally, session based management practices have been established by some authors, Ali et al (2009), and their study indicated that the work place accidents and damages are affected by the management practices and these accidents can also be diminished by management practices. Geldart et al, (2010), conducted research over workplace well-being, organizational practices, and safety. The study included 312 employees from Canadian industrial organizations (Geldart et al, 2010). From the study it was discovered that the employee safety in workplace is directly influenced by the managerial policies; behaviors and practices. It was also found that the managers and more skilled and experienced workers have lesser encounters with accidents and injuries. The rate of injuries and accidents can be reduced by the official policies and rules by allowing them to take part in discussions, inspiring them to consider necessities of safety, giving rewards and incentives. The administrative practices are briefly defined below:
Training of workers assumes most contributing part in disclosing administration practices to enhance safety execution. Workers take choices in light of safety concerns, these choice are not being practice by the entire association as these insurances are structure workers as opposed to administration (Ali, et al, 2009). As the safety code of standards and regulation are not been upheld by the administration, there is nearly less effect on the workers. Their discoveries additionally propose that the inadequacy of worker’s training of safety are not effective in reducing lessen the mishaps and wounds (Cabrera et al 2007).
Training of workers lessens and holds risks and enhances the ability to handle the safety issues. Training of workers and safety relies on upon the level of danger that is brought about and notices and circumspectly assumes critical part to keep from those perils . Vredenburgh and Cohen (1995) suggested that the level of observed risk expands the consistence to notices and directions; in this way, it is important to prepare the whole workforce for distinguishing and responding against the dangers related with their working environment. With the assistance of software engineers the association can set and accomplish objectives, development and change, and, enhance specialized and proficient abilities. With the assistance of worker’ training, the workers get educated about adherence to safety standards and techniques, and in the meantime identifying training of worker’s needs, creating changes in work strategies and reconsidering work objectives, in order to make the work more secure .
Hazards at work place can also be reduced by giving inducements and rewards to employees who motivate them to avoid risks. The way workers behave with their inspiration is a way that reward lead to craved results. Workers need to move as indicated by the social standards in order to produce the alluring result. The culture and practices of reward system is found through actions and results. The hierarchical culture happens at a work place that has various lines and strengthening operators, changing an association draws in to recognize the different fortifying gentlemen with a specific end goal to decide their impacts on the change process (Thompson and Luthans, 1990).
Then again, the motivating force project based on reward system reinforces the reporting of mishaps and any dangerous demonstration prompting a mischance. The employee motivating projects are needed to be an arrangement of packages that can be employed in parallel to their safety and training. It is important to include precision of mishaps in the organization, in place of giving retribution after occurrence of accidents. Though, informational opinion, self-assessment and social elements play an important role in motivating the employees, these may include praise acknowledgment, and perceptible highlights for example compensating through bonus and trading stamps. Fernaud & D´ıaz, (2007); Bentley, Haslam (2001), in their study indicates motivational outlines which are used in the organizations in order to apply fundamental rewards and remunerations, associated to job, and, extrinsic rewards. These outlines are associated with collective recognition and economic remunerations.
The research methodology is based on the positivist philosophy and descriptive methods. The secondary data will be collected to understand the health and safety concerns oil and gas industry, with the focus on Iraq, from relevant and credible resources such journal articles, industry reports, labour legislations and online database. Primary research activity is the second phase of data collection. The primary data collection model includes qualitative and quantitative data in the form of survey and interviews. An e-mail based and personally administered survey from 50 random employees will be conducted, from up to 5 leading oil and gas companies in Iraq. The main elements to be considered in survey questionnaire and interviews from managers are as follows (these key factor will be considered for drafting the questionnaire)
(More point will be added after undertaking a comprehensive review of literature in this area of research)
The analysis tools for quantitative data collected from survey will be regression and correlation and the findings will further discussed in line with the reviewed literature. The interviews will be analyzed with the help of thematic analysis to portray the important themes for further discussion. The issues of reliability and validity will also be discussed along with ethical considerations.
This chapter comprises the detailed quantitative survey data and interviews analyses with the help of selected statistical tools and thematic analysis techniques. Also, the results of the survey and interviews will be discussed in comparison with the reviewed literature.
This chapter contains the conclusion and recommendations in order to answer the research questions in view of the analysed data. The future implications and limitations of this study will also be a component of this chapter.
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