The Safety Management Show
The Safety Management Show

Episode 10 · 11 months ago

System-Based Safety: The Cornerstone of Your Safety Program w/ Jeffrey Citrone


It’s better to fix the systematic root of a safety hazard before you try to fix safety attitudes. That’s why a system-based safety approach, where you fix an issue through system alterations, is the best way to launch a safety program.

In this episode, we talk with Jeffrey Citrone, Manager Healt h and Safety Compliance at KAHUNA Ventures LLC, about how to go a bout implementing a system-based approach to safety. Also, he explains why safety professionals need to do a better job of convincing management of the value of safety.

We discuss:

  • Why system-based safety beats behavior-based safety
  • Making the case to management that safety is cost effective
  • Making contacts in the safety community
  • The growing popularity of the safety field

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You're listening to the Safety Management Show, for safety professional share engaging stories about their time in the trenches and the hard earned lessons they've learned along the way. Let's dig in. Thank you for joining the Safety Management Show. I am one of your host Mike Deane, here with Safety Services Company, and today, folks, it's my pleasure to introduce very special guests. He is a proud husband and father and has over thirty years of experience and industrial hell, safety and environmental compliance. Let me see if I can get this right. He is the administrator of the oil, gas and Mining Practice Specialty for the American Association of Safety Professionals. He is also a certified safety professional and also a certified industrial hygienis. He currently resides in Colorado, where he serves as the manager of health and safety compliance at Calhoun Adventures. Please welcome Jeff CITRONI. Hey Jeff, good morning. How are you today? I'm wonderful. How are you make I'm doing well. Thank you. Thank you for asking. Well, how's the weather out there in Colorado today? Beautiful, seventy degrees and Sonny. Good. Good we're out here in Arizona. We got a little rain, so that's refreshing from this terrible heat we've been experienced and so I'm excited about that carrying us through the weekend. Before we get started it, I like to ask guys are come across from Colorado. Give it to me. Peyton, manny or Zon Elway? You know, that's a tough one. John One two super bowls, Peyton one one here, but I think Peyton is preferable because of John's recent general manager experience here over the last few years. Yeah, now tell me. How did you get started into safety, Jeff, we bought you in the safety. So I have a master's degree in geology out of Lehigh University back in Pennsylvania. Got A job with the oil industry out here in Colorado right off the bat, and after a few years, probably about ten years, they needed somebody to do environmental health and safety and it kind of fell to me and I moved into that field and got more and more involved with that over my career. Nice, Nice, let me ask you this. If you weren't doing safety, what would you be doing? HMM, that's a tough one. I mean, I enjoyed the geology, obviously that's, you know, where I got my degree. I would. In My mind I would be coaching, you know, baseball or something like that. But but most likely I probably working at starbucks. But you know. Now tell us about Calhouna industries and the work you're doing over there. So CAHUNA is an engineering, health and safety and environmental consulting firm that provides services mainly to the midstream oil and gas industry throughout the not only United States, but throughout the world. You know, everything from the wellheads until the delivery systems. We designed it, we help build it and we initialize it and get it running. Okay. So, with that being said, would is what are you directly responsible for with your responsibilities? So, obviously the health and safety of our employees, the CAHUNA employees that might go on to a site during the initial start up where the construction of these facilities. Additionally, I am heavily involved in aiding the clients that we work for in making sure that the facilities will meet all the various environmental, health and safety regulations throughout their operations and at the various locations that we get these things up and running for. Nice. Are you traveling... these different locations or you kind of just working from the office. How does that? Mainly work from the office, but I do occasionally go out to these different locations for things like Prestartup, safety reviews and in various things like that. And do you have a team work? Can, unto you or TV work with or before covid had more of a team, but we're kind of cut down, so we're very slim here. I have I have one person that works with me on the health and safety side and then we have a few others that work on the environmental side. Speaking of Covid, can you talk about a little bit how that affected the business, if any at all? Unfortunately, the oil industry was not only smacked with Covid, but it was smacked with a huge price reduction due to the reduction in demand and the overproduction here in the United States and over supply of oil. So when covid hit us at the beginning of two thousand and twenty, not only do we have that slow down, but we had the price of oil going negative for a few days, which tremendously impacted the industry and shut down a lot of facilities and caused a lot of heartache, layoffs and various things like that in the industry. Have you are we starting to see a turnaround? I believe oil, the price of her bail is going up. Things are starting to look up on in your industry? Yeah, they are. We're getting more and more work, we're getting more and more demand from the clients. Clients are seeming to be more active and, as you said, price is going up a little bit, which helps absolutely and helps. Not Know about it if it helps you, but it helps. Yeah, yeah, we we have certain departments that keep their eye on that real tightly. We have a lot of clients in the oil and petroleum industry as well, so we probably we try to keep a close eye on it. Now let me ask you what is in your opinion and in terms of safety. Frequently he'll belief that you passionately disagree with. So my big thing, and it's probably because of the oil industry, is I believe that system safety should be primary, where I believe that the majority of safety professionals and industries believe that behavior based safety should be primary. So that's that's my big soap box that I would get on Nice Nice. And do you write any any programs yourself as far as behavior base safety or policies or where you kind of drawing those programs from them and some of the things you're going over. For that, many of our clients asked us to prepare those programs for them and you know, as as you probably know, as a safety professional, you you try to copy as much as possible from the past and and not start new. But yeah, I mean I you know, we over the the thirty plus years, I have a lot of basis of programs, etceter that we utilize and of course we utilize ocean standards and industry standards, you know, to build our programs in our policies from that. Once again, I try and push a system safety approach rather than a behavior based approach to start with, because of my belief that if you can minimize the hazards that your employees are exposed to by system engineering or system alterations, it's easier to to then maintain a safety attitude and a safety behavior is employees. You don't risk as much complacency, problems, forgetfulness, various things like that. Okay, and for my listeners that don't know the difference, can you kind of briefly cover the difference between a behavior base safety and system base. Sure a system based safety system...

...will try and follow more the the ocean hierarchy of controls by starting with engineering controls and trying to engineer out the hazards that you have at a sight, at a facility whatever. It's somewhat based upon ocean's process safety management standard, even though the system, the produce process, doesn't have to be an actual mechanical or chemical process. It can be something as simple as driving or or, you know, warehousing or something like that. And once again you start with the engineering controls, moving down to administrative controls and then and getting to and the worker attitudes, etc. Last, once you can, you do everything you can removing the hazards. The behavior based approach is, I think, starts kind of the opposite way, where it looks at making sure your employees have the right attitude, have the right behavior modes and basis to have them avoid the hazards. Okay, and I appreciate you given us that that explanation. I know that you know, in all the years you've been as safety you've seen a lot of things that you may not have agree with. Is there anything you think everyone should stop doing when it comes to safety? Not Really. I mean, I mean everything you do were related to safety is good. I mean, you know you start with a behavior based approach. You know that's still good. I think that there's a common conception that process safetyr or system safety is more complex and more costly and I think people should get rid of that idea because it isn't. You have a lot of flexibility and variability there to start that first and and make make the site safe or safer for the workers. Would were can you speak to maybe some of the challenges you face when you first started out in the safety field? Well, obviously would looking at my gray hair and the thirty plus years a sec you was somewhat new. And on the regulatory side, I mean you know, I started up my my career in seventy eight and and the oceank went and in place in seventy two, so it was relatively knew. So a lot of people didn't know about it and you had the general attitude in the in the various industries that it's just a pain and, you know, we just got to get by and we don't you know, just government's making us to do this and it really doesn't benefit the industry. So it's so we had to overcome some negative attitudes and and get management more aligned with a safety process and a safety thought. Over the years, some industries were harder than others. Oil and gas and you know particularly had a reputation as being a good old boy network, you know, out in the middle of nowhere, where we didn't have to worry about those government folks coming around a whole bunch. So so it took a while. Yeah, yeah, absolutely, I would imagine. Now let me ask you it is. Is there anyone that you know when you feel stuck on something, you know, safety related, that you turn to, or do you have any mentors in the field? You know? Luckily, you know the we talked about the practice specialty in the American society safety professionals, well and gas and mining practice specialty. There's over five hundred people that belong to that and I feel very comfortable if I'm stuck on something, posting a question on that, you know, the society..., the community page, and seeing what answers come from all my other colleagues in the field. So I've I think that's the one of the best resources I have. Obviously I know a lot of people, you know, in the in the field being around so long and you know so, yeah, I mean I talked to a lot of different people. Is there one in particular? Not that I can think of, but you know, can you, and I know you kind of you just talked a little bit about it, but can you give us a little bit more detail on what you all are doing at the the oil, gas and Mining Practice Specialty for American Association? So the American Society Safety Professionals is the largest organization in the world for safety professionals that in various industries, all government whatever. It all through. It has members and chapters, you know, even in India and China and the Middle East and Africa, all over the place. What we do want to practice specialty as we try and concentrate on a specific industry or as a specific service. Are Ours. The oil, gas and mining, you know, kind of concentrates on those industries to try and group those safety professionals from around the world into a more tightly knit, more specialized group so that we can provide education, resources and the network for those people to commingle with, share knowledge with and and rely on for help. Okay, so some of my listeners that may be interested was the process and being a part of the association. So you can look up the American Society of safety professionals, you know, on Google. It will take you to their website. It will tell you how to become a member. In that website you can look up the the various communities and practice specialties. They list them out and you can look up what you know, you is is of particular interest to you. Once you become a society member, I believe it's a very small annual feed to become the community or practice specialty. Remember, I think it's like twenty five a here. Okay, add that on, but then you can participate. Then you automatically get access to that, that community page and the emails and everything else. It sounds like you know in them. And the more I get it to safety, I see that it's a great community. As for our safety and the building a great community, especially with nowadays and you know, trying to differentiate safety and legislation and policies, and you know we practice safety, repreach safety, but a lot of you know, I know a lot of businesses, is about watching the bottom line. So you know these safety associations and communities. That's great. You know, and building that so we all have somebody to lean on, you know, and when it comes to you know, I don't have one mentor, you know, I have a whole community I can get resources from. So I'm behind that a hundred percent. What's can you speak to, if any, any failures that you've experienced that you think many people can be headed for in a safety feel? I mean, I've seen a lot of failures in my career. You know that one of the biggest things, I think that the safety professionals fail out is is making their case to management effect of let on how you know safety is cost effective. You know you might be spending up front money to do something to put an engineering control in place, but the in the long run it really does affect the bottom line in a positive way for that...

...industry in so many different ways, not not only direct cost but indirect costs with, you know, employee happiness and in satisfaction, customer and satisfaction and reliance, you know, various things like that. You know. So I think that that's the biggest failure we have is we don't argue for our profession and our expertise enough. With some steps we can take to argue for it and getting it enough and getting it out there with some things that we can do to kind of alleviate that. In your opinion, there's a lot of you know, once again, use of the society's used to the education that's out there associated with them, use of that community to help you make those cases. I mean, there's a lot of resources out there to provide you ways to argue for yourself and and ways to show management how it is cost effective and and what the bottom line costs are and things like that. So, you know, going back to that big community to help you is the best way that we can learn and get the resources to make those arguments. Agree and kind of alone. That same lie. Anybody that you know wants to get into the safety feel, whether you know it's the oil and you know petroleum industry, construction manufacturing, do you have any tips or advice or kind of where to start if you truly want to become a safety professional? How? I mean, once again, you know the resources that are out there, not only the ASSP but but the National Safety Council, the various industry groups. There's there's a lot of resources out there for somebody starting up and you know, make those contacts, don't you know? Don't just rely on yourself. Make those contacts, get that community going and and people will help you. I mean, we're not we all went through it at one point in time. So we're I think the safety communities are very kind and cooperative community, so so that you know somebody starting new and you know, get out there search things on. I mean we all have that inner web now and you know, search things and make those contacts and make and get in those communities. Yeah, if you could go back to when you first started and till the younger Jeff and safety, if you could give him any advice, what would you tell yourself? If you can go back to the beginning? I mean I would probably take more educational opportunities early on instead of trying to learn in the field. Learning in the fields great, but but having a stronger basis from the classroom I think helps a lot more. Okay, and you know I give varied opinions. Some people are you know, hey, the field experience is key. Then I have some say, you know, education, you know. So I get both sides and I think it is both sides. I mean it can't be one or the other. Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. Now let me ask you this. Is there anything recent that you want may have tried in the company that you were kind of surprised by the result of? I mean the big the big push that I see right now is big data. You know, that's that's something that's that's very prevalent now and you know, the advancement in technology that we have a scene over the past even ten years, you know, allows us to utilize more analytical means and more computer based analytical means to enhance our arguments in our and our trainings and all that kind of stuff and our design and everything. So I even though I'm an old folk that probably is not, you know, as competent on a computer as some of these, you know,...

...newbies coming in, I think it's very important to get get more and more of that technology, computer based resources and involved in your safety programs. Do you see a lot of the younger generation getting involved in a safety field or is it just a US sold timers? Would you you know, unfit depends, you know, I unfortunately. You know, the oil and gas industry in particular has upturns and downturns, and I think during the downturns you see a lot of companies straying away from hiring new people into the into the field and all that. So you run into spans of years where you start getting older and older folks and you get new folks come in. So so I think it's an up and down. It's a wave that goes on, but overall I think it's becoming more prevalent more popular for people get into the safety field, especially through the various colleges that you see more and more colleges offering, you know, safety degrees and safety based degrees. Over the course of your career, have you did any do any trainings, or do you get into that at all? or well, I mean I do provide, you know, industry based trainings. I am a certified trainer and certain topics things like that. I I try and to participate by presenting new ideas, new concepts at various conferences, various things like that. So I mean, I like that, I enjoy it. I have no problem talking. So you know it. I seem to do okay. One thing I like to do with my guests is talk about workplace injuries that they've experienced. Hats an oversee. Can you give us a story that of a work injury it, you know, you had to take care of an address. One in particular sticks in my mind and it was on a construction pipeline, construction site where they're unloading, you know, high pressure steel pipe which you know, comes in sixty foot sections, is extremely heavy and they're unloading it in their prime, trying to stack it up on site, you know, for future use, and and the stack was not stable, that it's a pyramidal stack of pipe and it started to roll and unfortunately a worker thought that they could stop it, stop the pipe from rolling, by putting their foot up against it and and holding it in place. But it was way heavier than they could do. That rolled up there laying crush or leg and and I don't know what happened today. I mean that gentleman no longer worked in that field, in the construction field, but I don't know what happened to them later in life. But looking back at that, you could easily implemented some sort of engineering system like a barrier, concrete barrier, you know, planet pulled something. It could have been engineered to keep that pipe from rolling and it wouldn't have been that difficult or expensive and it would have saved that person's career and leg you know, unfortunately. Yeah, now, what's your first course of action when that, when that accident happens? What's your first course of action? Well, obviously, you know, is to try to it, to stop any further damage from occurring to anybody else and that employee. You know, get you know, medical professionals on site as soon as possible to deal with that and stop work immediately. Its immediately. Stop Work. Okay, can you kind of, and I like to have my guests do this as well, kind of walk us through the steps so you know, dealing with the Osa inspection or Ocean inspector job site injury? Sure, walk us do that so you know, you know, once again, if you have a proper...

...program and policy in place, it's a lot easier. So being prepared for any injury, disaster, anything like that ahead of time is the best thing you can do when an ocean inspection actually occurs, because then you know you can. You know, the first thing is when that ocean inspector shows on site, try to be positive, try to be a cooperative and you know done. They're not out there to get you. They're doing a job to you know, try and react and if you are prepared it's easier to react, it's easier to answer their questions and to be cooperative with them. Then, you know, once again, like I said, don't try to avoid anything. Be Open and honest. You know, if you don't have something immediately available, tell them. You know we have that. It's not right here right now. I can get that to you, you know, in a in a timeframe, and yes, we do you that. So because you know you're not on a site, especially with an injury, you may not have all your training records available, you may not have all your policies immediately available. You know, they might be back in the truck, they might be someplace else. Be Honest, be open and and usually they're they're understanding. Yeah, and I agree with you. I appreciate you sharing that. Given my listeners the tips on dealing with ocean and, you know, possible inspections is there. Before we wrap this thing up, any message you want to leave to the listeners, anything that you really want to draw ve home? And once again I'm going to go back to, you know, my soapbox and say we need to do system safety first. We need to try and get rid of engineer out, isolate the hazards up front as soon as possible. You know, everybody thinks it's complicated and costly, but in the long run it's not. And if you can do that then it's a lot easier and you can show your employees that it's a lot easier to get those employees to understand and cooperate and believe in safety and do that behavior based safety afterward. Okay, Great, great, Jeff, I want to thank you for joining us today. It was a pleasure and given US insight into your safety world as some of the things that you're dealing with and been through. Again, we know it was a pleasure. Building a safety community system safety. I'm with all of it and I agree with it whole heartily. So in it was a pleasure. My Phoenix Sons, we are in the championship. Yeah, yeah, so we're happy out here in Arizona. But again, thank you. Have a good holiday weekend to my listeners out there. Thank you for joining us for another episode of the Safety Management Show. Again, I'm the one of the holes, mightd with Safety Services Company. Jeff, do you want to give any special shot out to anybody before we take those that there's a college of mind down there and in Phoenix area. Tim Page bought off that is a close friend of mine and I've been working with him a long time in the American Society of safety professionals and he's a wonderful person. I want to just say hey, all right, we'll appreciate it, and again everybody. Until the next time, stay safe. Thanks, Mike. In need of a blueprint for workplace safety and compliance, Safety Services Company is North America's leading provider of Safety Training and compliant solutions. We supply custom safety manuals and policies and onsite and online training solutions that will enhance the safety of your workplace, and our compliance services will save you time and resources, guaranteeing peace of mind. With eighteen years in the industry, we...

...have a proven track record of helping customers achieve better safety outcomes by providing customized solutions that fit the unique needs of each business. To learn more, had to safety services companycom thanks for listening to the Safety Management Show. To hear more stories from safety leaders, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you enjoyed the show, leave us a rating. Until next time, stay safe.

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