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CHC Safety and Quality Summit Examines How to Build Safety at All Levels of an Organization

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Today marked the beginning of the 14th annual CHC Safety and Quality Summit, which brought together nearly 500 aviation, oil and gas, insurance and safety professionals for a series of conversations around safety. This year’s event is built around the theme “Building Safety at Every Level” and began with a provocative discussion about whether safety is driven from the top of an organization down or built from the bottom up – or somewhere in-between.

The Summit began with opening remarks by Karl Fessenden, President and CEO of CHC Helicopter, who looked at both sides of this issue. He recognized strong safety leadership examples across the industry, including Shell and BP’s supplier safety engagement programs and leadership from key organizations like HeliOffshore and the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP). Fessenden talked about CHC’s Taking Care program, which is focused on CHC’s safety culture. Taking Care reflects a belief and practice that leadership from the top is not enough – it’s essential to seek out and trust front line ideas.

The opening keynote was followed by presentations from Terry Mathis, Founder & CEO of ProAct Safety, Inc., and Graham Braithwaite, Professor and Director of Transport Systems at Cranfield University. Mathis looked at how the average safety program was created by management and handed off to the workers, but the key to buy in is involvement as people are much more likely to support what they help create. Braithwaite spoke about how some warning signs are ignored or underestimated in retrospect of an accident or incident and the importance of encouraging new employees to be proactive and speak up early. These actions all lead to a stronger safety culture and minimized incidents.

In the afternoon, a variety of speakers led twenty breakout sessions, providing every delegate the opportunity to learn about topics ranging from Just Culture to Emotional Intelligence. The Summit will continue with 60 more sessions over the next two days as well as other special events. Keep watching CHC Helicopter’s social channels (using hashtag #CHCSummit18) for additional updates throughout the week.