The objective of this thesis were threefold. Firstly, to build upon previous work by
Alexander et al (1994) and Cox (1996), part of which was conducted offshore on the United
Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS). That work addressed the identification, measurement
and management of a safety culture and related employee perceptions. Secondly, to assess
the development of health and safety management within a UK and USA offshore
environment and thirdly, to assess differences in employee attitudes to safety within two
distinct operating locations within the Chevron Corporation, a large multi-national
The research strategy was formulated based on the available literature on the notion of safety
culture and management's perception that although extensive resources had been devoted
over many years in developing the existing health and safety management programme there
had not been a process in place to maintain that investment. A comprehensive situational and
behavioral audit was undertaken, complemented by a questionnaire and a series of focus
groups. The data suggested that the regulatory framework within which both Business units
operated is complex and in the case of the UK has largely been implemented in the last
decade. Furthermore, the data also suggested that employee attitudes to health and safety
were different within both locations and that the main reason for that is the difference in the
health and safety regulatory regimes.
It is suggested also that safety culture models or factors, which supposedly offer a constructed
profile of safety culture are in essence a series of attitudes and behavioral nonns that
individuals demonstrate within their unique organisational environment. Safety is complex
and multi-faceted, in particular within an offshore environment and it is arguably somewhat
meaningless to talk about attitudes towards safety in tenns of culture if in doing so there is
the implication of a simple unitary concept.
A Master's Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Philosophy of Loughborough University.