Safety Culture

Safety Culture [PDF 541 KB]

The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) puts safety and environmental protection at the forefront of its responsibilities in protecting Canadians. We are committed to strengthening and improving industry wide performance and awareness of the role that Safety Culture plays in building defenses against incidents.

Culture influences what people see, hear, feel, and say. It influences the decisions and actions of people in an organization, and these behaviors ultimately drive performance. Safety Culture is a facet of organizational culture that relates to collective attitudes, values, norms and beliefs regarding safety and risk.

Open trench with new pipe

Regulators have a critical role in influencing industry’s awareness and understanding of the threats that a poor safety culture pose.

We are a part of the North American Working Group on Safety Culture, a collaborative group of regulators from across Canada and the United States that works together to research and study regulatory best practice in driving safety culture.

The CER expects that:

  • Companies are aware of and understand the role that culture plays in preventing organizational accidents
  • Organizations build and sustain a positive safety culture while continually scrutinizing their organizations for potential cultural threats
  • Leaders establish and foster a healthy safety culture through their actions and decisions

Citation: Mearns, K., Flin, R., Gordon, R. & Fleming, M. (1998). Measuring safety culture in the offshore oil industry. Work and Stress, 12(3), 238-254. “Safety” includes safety of workers and the public, process safety, operational safety, facility integrity, security and environmental protection.

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