Workshop safety culture and transformation in Antwerp

Paul van de Griendt

Exploring safety awareness. A question often asked is: “How do we make people more aware on safety”. Last week we were in Antwerp for a workshop on transformation. The context of the workshop was a Safety culture transformation program. Knowing that the Belgian energy production industry is facing tough times with most of the nuclear facilities offline and the winter coming.

Exploration and paradigms
What happens when we begin to think about a subject? Our experience, our upbringing form the basis for the thoughts that come up initially. How you ever asked yourself, how many of my thoughts is original? How do I know if a thought is original? I.e. not based on any prior event, circumstance, incident, or trigger. On the morning on the second day, one person asked himself this question out loud. The whole group was pondering on this for quite a while, including us, the facilitators. What a great question! It opened up a whole range of possibilities in my thinking.

Taking accountability
During the closing of the workshop, people shared their insights in the group. Many people realised that taking accountability for their reactions in difficult situations would be beneficial for everyone. Instead of blaming, complaining, or giving someone the silent treatment.

Mastering life
The process of growth in life was another subject people found useful in the workshop. Many people were amazed to become aware of the different stages we all go through when we learn something new. Remember the first time when you learnt how to drive a car? And, driving alone, when you just had your license? Or, the first time you had a relationship that was a little bit more than having drinks together?

Global transformation
At the end of the workshop we had a conversation with the site leader. Shifting the paradigm from which we look at safety and continuous improvement was the most important principle of the workshop. Not doing more of the same, but truly transformational.


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