Problem: The company was a major player in the energy industry. Their HSE function had become regarded as one of the leaders in its field. The Head of HSE had, however, become concerned that compliance with rules had become a driver of behaviour in the operational units, more than seeking a safer working environment. The role of HSE was seen as police officer, and not one of adding value. Two years before the Networker intervention, a new initiative was implemented to shift the focus from compliance to value-added to the business. The Networker application was designed to establish the degree to which the initiative was successful, and what was needed to complete the shift.
Result: The review identified areas of great success, and a priority listing of areas where more attention was needed. More importantly, the work to complete the process was jointly agreed and set up between HSE and operational people during the Networker workshops - cross-functional programmes, as distinct from HSE acting alone. An important and unexpected side effect, that also developed through the workshops, was a challenge to long-held assumptions about what produced safety in the industry. A new focus on engineering design resulted in a sharp drop in the number of reportable incidents over the next 5 years.