Changes in worker perceptions of health and safety during the BG Tanzania drilling campaign (2011-2016)

Mayne, Rachael (2019) Changes in worker perceptions of health and safety during the BG Tanzania drilling campaign (2011-2016). Masters thesis, Middlesex University. [Thesis]

PDF - Final accepted version (with author's formatting)
Download (1MB) | Preview


Research studies on the implementation of global health and safety standards mostly concentrate on the safety perceptions of workers (Gao et al., 2016) and safety culture (Lu and Yang, 2009). Most of the studies are medium to large scale in nature and are heavily reliant on quantitative data.

Very few studies have attempted to capture personal perspectives using qualitative techniques from individuals who are working within new venture environments regarding the implementation of global health and safety standards. In addition, no studies of this nature which had been completed by insider researchers were identified within the literature reviews for this research project.

This project was completed by an insider researcher who worked for BG Group/Shell during an extended gas exploration drilling campaign in Tanzania between 2011 and 2016. The research focuses on a cross section of local and expatriate workers from the Mtwara Supply Base facility in Tanzania. Participants included frontline and supervisory roles from within the operational team at the supply base.

The intent of the research was to complete a qualitative review of the impacts of implementing global health and safety standards at the Mtwara Supply Base over the five-year period between 2011 and 2016.

The mixed method data collection for the research involved the completion of 16 semi-structured interviews with expatriate and local staff and the completion of 55 multiple-choice questionnaire surveys by local staff, plus an analysis of the health and safety incident data for the Mtwara operational sites during that time.

The research findings confirmed that 15 out of 16 of the interview participants acknowledged changes in their perception of health and safety during their time working at the Mtwara Supply Base. These changes mainly involved positive personal impacts in terms of learning and personal development as a result of working on the project and in some cases changes to safe working outside of the working environment. Participants also commented on the transfer of best practice from the project into the local community and to third party contractor organisations who supplied services to the drilling project.

The survey data indicated that the majority of survey participants perceived an improvement in their own health and safety awareness which increased with their length of service at the Mtwara Supply Base. Survey participants also confirmed that in their opinion there were tangible indicators of improvements in relation to the Mtwara Supply Base HSSE performance during the lifecycle of the project. Examples included: a reduction in the number of injuries to personnel and increased numbers of health and safety interventions taking place (to stop unsafe behaviours/improve unsafe conditions which had been observed).

A review of the incident data for the Mtwara operational sites also revealed performance improvements at the supply base, with a reduced severity of incident rates as the drilling campaign continued.

Six emergent themes which were developed from the coding analysis of the qualitative data from the survey questionnaires and interviews:

1. Impacts of the implementation of HSSE standards on individuals
2. Impacts of the implementation of HSSE standards on the wider community
3. What worked well and why – organisational factors and HSSE improvements
4. BG/Shell Lessons Learned from the drilling campaign
5. Ideas for Shell to consider in future drilling campaigns
6. Ideas for improving occupational health and safety within Tanzania

From the emerging themes and survey data it was evident that the implementation of HSSE standards within the Mtwara Supply Base had a positive influence on the broader health and safety culture relating to other entities, both inside and outside the supply base. The research also identified wider factors which contributed to HSSE performance improvements, such as the local content policies which BG/Shell (and other operators) applied to their respective operations, the importance of effective community engagement, BG/Shell organisational factors, contractor management and the selection of expatriate supervisory personnel. The research concluded that impacts of these wider factors should also be carefully considered when planning future campaigns within Tanzania or other similar new start-up projects.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education
B. > Theses
Item ID: 27293
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2019 08:17
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2021 16:49

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.