Case Studies

Hearts and Minds has been used by hundreds of organisations in a large range of industries, including energy, chemical, aviation, rail, marine, pharmaceutical, health care, defence and security, and manufacturing.

Click the links below for case studies on how Hearts and Minds has been used in a selection of organisations.

Case studies

Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex

Project: Construction of an ethylene cracker complex (ECC), a mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) plant, and modifications/additions to the Shell Pulau Bukom refinery.

Singapore generally has a good reputation for mostly classroom led safety training. However, this project required a workforce of around 15,000 people representing a wide range of cultures and construction experience.  The Hearts and Minds tools were used from the beginning of the project particularly for the contractor training programme and the Shell-sponsored Trainee Safety Advisor programme. This resulted in record breaking safety figures for a Shell project of this scale and for the managing contractor Foster Wheeler, with a total recordable lost time incident (LTI) frequency of 0.6 per million man-hours. Read this case study for information about how the Hearts and Minds tools were implemented in a young and diverse workforce.

Sakhalin Energy, Sakhalin Island - North Pacific Ocean

Project: Drilling, transportation and construction on offshore and onshore hydrocarbon facilities.

The predominant safety culture on Sakhalin Island at the time of Sakhalin Energy's arrival included frequent occurrences of working without fall protection at height, driving without a seatbelt, and entering confined spaces without a gas test. If someone was hurt, the team foreman was likely dismissed and management paid a small fine.  With leadership goals of no harm and no leaks 'Goal Zero', the Hearts and Minds and Tripod Beta (accident investigation) tools were used among other methods to transform the safety culture of Sakhalin Energy's operations. Read this case study for information on how the different tools were applied, and how many constituent companies and contractors with differing safety culture levels were successfully targeted.

Interview with Dr Robin Bryden

Dr Robin Bryden talks about how Shell has used Hearts and Minds, drawing upon his time at Sakhalin Energy.

DONG Energy

Presentation delivered at 2017 Hearts and Minds user day.

Research and development

Hearts and Minds is based off of academic theory and research and the profits generated by the sale of the Hearts and Minds toolkit are used to update and extend it by funding research and development, aimed at helping companies improve their HSE performance.

Bibliography: Click for a list of papers and doctoral theses. These document the theory behind Hearts and Minds, or have been produced as a result of Hearts and Minds funding.

Completed research

Learning from incidents and implementing action

Researchers from the Open University researched into how to measure learning, how learning spreads in the organisation, and reflective learning.

Learning from incidents: A social approach to reducing incidents in the workplace

This research project was carried out by the Caledonian Academy, Glasgow Caledonian University in collaboration with the Energy Institute (EI) and Shell International BV. It is based on three real-life testbeds in Shell, BP and ConocoPhillips.  Click here for further information.

Safety leadership in the energy industry: The development and testing of a framework outlining key behaviours of senior managers

This research program was carried out in coordination with the Energy Institute and Shell. Completed in 2013. Click here for further information.

The paradox of safety: Challenging the current paradigms of organisation and leadership in the prevention of disasters from high hazard technologies.

A Cranfield University School of Management Project sponsored by the Energy Institute, this project builds on previous Hearts and Minds research by providing an insight into management practices at a company with an excellent record of safe operations. It considers the seemingly paradoxical need for an organisation to be simultaneously hierarchical - with a strict command and control style leadership - and flexible with adaptive leadership.

Research in progress

The issues of bias from the top to the frontline: Combating confirmation bias and risk normalisation to improve safety

Researchers at the University of the University of Aberdeen are exploring the role of risk normalisation and bias in safety in the energy sector.


Hearts and Minds research has directly and indirectly influenced the development of several key outputs:

Literature review: The relationship between psychological safety, human performance and HSE performance

Learning from incidents

Measuring learning video and workshop

Reflective learning videos

EI Toolbox platform