An interview with Stacey Lucas, Vice President of Health, Safety and Environment at Arsenal Resources

An interview with Stacey Lucas, Vice President of Health, Safety and Environment at Arsenal Resources

Ahead of the HSE for Unconventional Oil & Gas 2019, we spoke with  Stacey Lucas, Vice President of Health, Safety and Environment at
Arsenal Resources about turning conventional continuous improvement processes upside-down through positive work.

You are speaking on the transition of Arsenal Resources’ continuous improvement processes by implementing a program based around positive experiences, what was the driving factor for you and your team to break traditional safety models?  
Our approach to HSE has been unconventional since day 1 (2016).  This starts with dropping our focus on OSHA recordables and 0 incidents, and focusing on what matters the most, prevention of serious events and fatal injuries.  We measure HSE performance based on risk, severity, probability, success, trust and competence.  Our +Project Program is one of the metrics that ties back to success, trust and competence.  We basically seek our successful work, analyze why there was success with the project team to determine specific actions we can take to repeat what we already do well by choice, not chance.

Were there any setbacks? Yes.  Trying to root cause success vs failure has been and continues to be very challenging.  We are getting much better though. I know other’s are exploring these concepts and hopefully together we can develop tools that increase the consistency and efficiency in the process.

What were some of the initial challenges that you experienced? We did not really define the +Project program until 2018, and even then it was weak and not widely understood, therefore we have seen few project nominations.  This is clearly a focus for 2019.  Without a steady stream of these types of projects, new programs like this will die on the vine.  We recognize this.  

How are you attempting to overcome these challenges to create a more functional process?  Lunch and learns, department-specific “did you know” sessions, broadening +Project’s beyond Operations, and pre-work onboarding sessions with business partners.

You mentioned that you are now measuring HSE differently, focusing more on trust, learning and competence. Yes, and it’s amazing. It’s partly on how we measure HSE, but it’s more so that we’ve spent 3-years educating, empowering, and collaborating with our leader’s and the entire workforce (which includes 100’s of people from 3rd party companies) to own HSE. This is a massive shift for our entire team. It means we’ve had to let go of processes we’ve typically owned and developed and influence other’s to own them. Then we need to sit back and recognize and elevate their success, it’s not our credit to take. 

How has this worked for Arsenal?  
This is a couple of quotes from our front-line. ”We are always bragging on you guys, you work with us to solve problems, instead of making a rule so to speak that doesn’t really fit or makes us feel bad”. “Even at the top there is sincere appreciation and respect at all levels and this shows in the feedback, concerns and improvement ideas that keep getting raised, and mostly from our contractors.” Our workforce dynamics are changing rapidly, we have a significant portion of millennials now, who want to be asked their opinion, they care and what to help make life/work/the environment better. We think our approach around HSE is just an evolution of what today’s generation and the future generations need. If we want to win the war on talent, we’ve got to truly engage and empower people to attract them and keep them.

What are the pros and cons (if any)? It’s a constant struggle for us as HSE “to ask, not tell” people how to plan and work safely, myself included! We’ve also had to spend extensive time/money making technical applications fit this thinking. Many of the off-the-shelf systems are designed and priced for HSE to own HSE. And of course, talking non-HSE people into owning HSE is always a struggle, part of the solution is building HSE into what they already do, with them, not to them. But they can still feel like you are shirking your responsibility off to them and that needs managed.

What is your background? 
 It’s a mix of environmental, safety science and business (with an emphasis in organizational development).  I’ve spent more than half of my career helping senior leader’s transform their culture post tragic events, and in a couple of less common cases helping senior leader’s change their culture though HSE processes as a business differentiator.

How have you gotten to where you are at in your career?  Asking for feedback, asking to be mentored (especially in operational areas), having a broad network of peers and listening generously when they provide advice, which can be brutal.  By nature, I am inquisitive and driven to change, but also empathetic, trusting, and care deeply about people, probably to a fault.

What would you like to achieve by attending the HSE for Unconventional Oil & Gas 2019? Develop further friends in the industry who I can lean on for support/advice and vice versa. 

For registration pricing and multiple attendee discounts, please contact:

Melini Hadjitheori  melinih@marcusevanscy.com

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