Step Change in Safety is a member-led organisation that aims to make the UK the safest place to work in the worldwide oil and gas industry.  We believe that by collaborating, sharing and adopting best practices we will improve the safety of the UKCS.

ESS are an active member of Step Change in Safety and utilise a number of the material on human factors, joined up thinking, competency framework guidance and human factors, to name but a few. 


Step Change in Safety is a not-for-profit, member-led organisation which aims to make the UK the safety oil province in the world to work in.

Safety cannot be left to C-suite executives alone.  It requires collaboration from everyone.  This is why Step Change in Safety brings together operators and contractors, trade unions, regulators and the onshore and offshore workforce

Through the four Step Change in Safety Steering Groups, workgroups and growing support team, Step Change in Safety works relentlessly to raise safety standards, share good practice and communicate facts so that no-one becomes complacent about staying safe. 

Human Factors

Human action plays a key role in incidents.  Understanding human factors and how to manage them varies widely across the industry.  This document establishes key concepts and a way for people to recognise human factor issues in their workplace.  The document describes how human factors can impact the barriers that we rely on to stay safe, and shows the human factor issues most closely associated with the oil and gas industry.

Human Factors Online Toolkit

The Human Factors Toolkit was launched in June 2014 to help companies gauge their relationship between human action and safety performance.  The online questionnaire is a health check for individuals, teams, worksites and organisations, which has been specifically designed to prompt discussions and lead to better practices and policies.  The Human Factors Toolkit can be accessed via the Step Change in Safety website

Once on the home page of the website, click on the logo shown below:

Within the ESS Offshore HSE Activity plan you will find the Human Factor themes for each quarter.  

Utilise the tool with your teams each quarter, ensuring that all participate in the question sets within each category.

Analysis of the results, along with any findings and recommendations from the HSEQ department will be fed back to the business throughout the year, utilising the information gathered to plan for next year's activity plan. 

Safe Working Essentials

The Simplification Steering Group was established to identify and eliminate unnecessary duplication on systems, to ensure consistent and efficient safety processes both onshore and offshore.

The Steering Group worked to determine processes that could benefit from being streamlined, including common approaches to Toolbox Talks, Dynamic Risk Assessments and Behavioural Safety Observation Cards.

Once the Simplification project was agreed in December 2015, phase one – The Pilot – was rolled out across six sites to trial the Safe Working Essentials Tool in April 2016.

Phase one was completed across all six sites by mid-June 2016 with phase two – the adoption phase -  now underway with each operator continuing the trial on their current sites and extending it to another site, bringing the total to 12. A further six new sites joined the project within the year - a total of 23 sites were piloting the Safe Working Essentials Tool by November 2016.

The Simplification Steering Group continued to closely monitor to assess how well the tool is working and whether further communication is needed to ensure its success, as well as meets its overall aim – to standardise three common processes to enhance productivity and safety in the oil and gas industry. The Deployment phase began in January 2017 where all Step Change members are welcome to trial the tool and the group will continue to monitor success.

ESS have incorporated the Safe Work Essentials booklet, Tool Box Talk form and associated guidance into the management system as part of the Offshore Operating Manual, where further instruction can be found.


The group have created a Guidance document for the use of Safe Working Essentials - you can download it by clicking on the adjacent image. 

For access to all of the information available via Step Change In Safety, visit their website.


For further information on Quality, Health, Safety & Environmental matters associated with ESS Offshore activities, send an e-mail in the first instance to;

Your contact for Quality, Health, Safety and Environmental issues is;

Allan Errington
HSEQ Manager Energy
ESS, Suite D
Pavillion 7
Kingshill Park 
Venture Drive
Arnhall Business Park
AB32 6FL
Telephone: 01224 623634