Understand your culture

In order to improve you should first determine where you are, and why improvement is needed.  

The Understanding your culture booklet or Understanding your culture online survey will help you identify the local level of HSE cultural maturity and help formulate your way forward.  Knowing where you are will challenge your aspirations and allow you to think about what you personally and as team will need to do to achieve these.

Are there specific problems?

A lot of information is available in incident investigation reports, audits, reviews, field inspections and observations of what is happening.  Typical issues can include rule breaking, incorrect risk assessments, supervisors who are technically competent but short on personal management skills, and ineffective contractor HSE management.  

If you already know what your issues are then you can begin setting objectives and designing your change programme.  Focus on the obvious or most pressing issues.  The Energy Institute has some useful resources to help you get the most out of audits, investigations etc.:

The issues you identify will help you develop objectives and design your change programme.

Developing objectives – where do you want to be?

Once you have discovered where you are you should develop SMARTer objectives:


These are the short/medium terms goals that the organsiation will work to.  Rather than ambiguous goals such as ‘improve culture’ or ‘work safely’, develop specific goals that are measurable, for example:

  • Increase/improve reporting of incidents;
  • Reduce road accidents;
  • Increase the use of procedures.