2011 CEOs Who 'Get It'
Dr. Mohamed Al Khalifa
Bahrain National Gas Co.
Bahrain National Gas Co. operates LPG plant facilities to recover propane, butane and naphtha from associated gas (from oil wells) and refinery off-gas. Banagas has 462 employees.
Why is safety a core value at your company?
At Banagas, environmental, safety and health excellence is one of our corporate objectives. Our employees are considered our most valuable asset. We believe that if we need to produce a world-class product, we will need our best and most experienced employees on the job. We need them trained, fit, alert and working safely.
How do you instill a sense of safety in your employees on an ongoing basis?
We continuously build and reinforce a culture of safety from the very top with a clear corporate mission on safety. The executive managers demonstrate a positive leadership and visibility in safety at the site. This is done by being a role model. For this reason, executive managers are evaluated and coached on how well they engage safety in their performance appraisals, and their success is tracked and measured.
At Banagas, we promote effective communications in health and safety internally, between industries, and to the employees’ families via various systems and procedures. We have an open-door policy with regards to health and safety. The spirit of "working as a family" is clearly sensed in the company atmosphere at all levels. In addition, we continually consult with employees and the labor union on matters related to health and safety. They are involved in the decision-making process through committees, meetings and team briefings.
What is the biggest obstacle to safety in your workplace, and how do you work to overcome it?
As we enforce safety as one of the company's fundamental core business items and aim toward continual improvement, we think that the biggest obstacle to safety is attitude. Our employees have a great attitude about their job and the company, but for safety, it has to be taken personally; it has to be something you start your day and stay alert with until you sleep. This is the challenge. As the management are continuously demonstrating safety to their employees with more visibility and engagement through "walk the talk" consistent with the desired culture, we can build the right attitude in our atmosphere.
How does safety "pay" at your company?
We believe that safety is its own reward, as it results in improved productivity and employee morale, reduced absenteeism, avoidance of noncompliance to regulations, lower health care insurance costs, and reduced workers' compensation costs. We are currently enjoying more than 6 million work hours without any lost-time accidents, which is a clear indication of a competitive advantage.
How do you measure safety? What are the leading indicators that show you how safe you are, and where do you see room for improvement?
We use safety performance indicators to monitor, review and develop corporate objectives, utilizing the necessary organizational resources such as money and manpower to meet or exceed safety standards. As a result, zero fatal accidents were recorded for the past 30 years, and the company was recognized locally and internationally by achieving prestigious health and safety awards from entities such as the National Safety Council, Gas Processors Association and Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
How important is off-the-job safety to your company's overall safety program? What types of off-the-job safety programs does your company offer to employees?
Oftentimes, off-the-job accidents are more serious and costly because employees tend to be more complacent about safety when they leave work. It is very important for the company to encourage employees and their families to implement safety practices at all times through communicating with them frequently using the monthly safety bulletin and through involving them in safety competitions.