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Uniting Around a Common Goal - No One Gets Hurt

How a new strategy is helping Jacobs and Shell see safety onboarding more clearly. 

It’s called Visual Onboarding and it’s changing the way craft employees are onboarded at Shell’s Scotford site near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. A collaborative effort between Shell and Jacobs, the onboarding facility uses real equipment, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), tools and mannequins to demonstrate hazards and correct mitigation. 

The Shell Scotford Complex consists of a bitumen upgrader, oil refinery, chemicals plant and a carbon capture and storage facility. Jacobs is one of Shell’s largest on-site contracts here, supporting maintenance, turnarounds and small capital construction projects.   

Typical onboarding is in a classroom setting using traditional power point presentations and an instructor dictating to a large group. This investment by Shell and Jacobs takes small groups of 5-8 guided by a trained facilitator, often the group’s front-line supervisor, through 14 installations. The interactive displays and stations stimulate conversation and questions, identifying hands-on mitigation strategies not possible in a typical classroom setting. 

The innovative new onboarding strategy represents a collaborative effort by Shell and Jacobs with the original version piloted at Shell’s Pernis facility. Shell is working towards a global roll-out once the program is reviewed for effectiveness, revised as needed, then it will be expanded. 

Each installation is themed to convey distinct messages about Life Saving Rules (LSRs), Process Safety Fundamentals (PSFs) and other pertinent company safety themes such as hand injury prevention. The onboarding experience also allows the team to address multiple learning styles – visual, auditory and kinesthetic – resulting in better retention of our most important rules. 

Not only for typical onboarding, the stations also serve as props for advanced training, Front Line Barrier Management (FLBM) assessments, behavioral-based training, and simulation (i.e. Breathing Air use) and can be updated to reflect changes to local OH&S codes, site practice or Control Framework change.

Simulating real field conditions before employees are in any danger and setting expectations of what good looks like will radically change how employees identify and mitigate risk. 

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