Occupational health psychology and management: psychosocial risk management in the oil and gas industry

Bergh, Linn Iren Vestly Bergh (2017) Occupational health psychology and management: psychosocial risk management in the oil and gas industry. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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International bodies and networks within occupational health and occupational health psychology have over the last years highlighted a pressing need to understand how research and best practices can be translated into sustainable business practice.

To stimulate and support organisations in strengthening their psychosocial risk management there have been a number of initiatives, guidance and frameworks that focus on best practice principles for managing the psychosocial work environment (BSI, 2011; Leka, Jain, Cox & Kortum, 2011; WHO, 2010). An essential question is how the frameworks launched by international initiatives, frameworks and standards can be re-interpreted and adjusted to fit the language and systems of particular business contexts, such as that of the petroleum industry. To explore this issue, this research has looked at how an oil and gas company has integrated a sustainable and comprehensive system for managing psychosocial risk.

This research has two aims. First, it explores how the oil and gas industry can develop and implement a psychosocial risk management system by applying research and best practice in a Norwegian oil and gas company, in order to raise awareness of how psychosocial risk management practices can be integrated into a company’s internal management system. Secondly, it aims at raising awareness and stimulate to the application and use of established knowledge at organisational and national levels in this area. In this sense, the ultimate aim of this research is to inform policy makers about what it takes to actually implement and integrate policy into company context and at the same time to promote a comprehensive approach to worker protection and the promotion of their health.

In all, four studies describe aspects of how this integration process has evolved. The first study explored the development and testing of a performance indicator for psychosocial risk in the oil and gas industry (Bergh, Hinna, Leka, & Jain, 2014b). This resulted in the establishment of a proactive exposure psychosocial risk indicator automatically published in the internal organisational performance management system of the organisation. The second study assessed the relationship between the psychosocial risk indicator (PRI) and objective measures, such as installation weight, age and leakage sources, of health and major accident potential, such as hydrocarbon leaks (Bergh, Ringstad, Leka & Zwetsloot, 2014c). Results from the analysis showed that only the psychosocial risk indicator significantly accounted for variation in hydrocarbon leaks. Only partial support was found for the relationship between technical factors and hydrocarbon leaks on the basis of correlation analysis. The third study describes the development of an internal audit tool of the psychosocial work environment in the oil and gas industry, focusing on offshore units (Bergh, Hinna, Leka & Zwetsloot, 2016). Psychosocial risk auditing is a proactive method for monitoring the status of psychosocial factors influencing the risk of stress and ill-health. The last study considered available quantitative and qualitative risk data collected through the PRIMA method over the last 8 years in the organisation to explore specific and common psychosocial risks in the petroleum industry in particular (Bergh, Leka, Zwetsloot, 2017). The results from the analyses confirmed the hypotheses proposed in the study that there was a significant correlation between job resources, job demands and symptoms of work-related stress and that there were differences in psychosocial risk factors and symptoms of work-related stress onshore and offshore.

Future research should focus on testing the methods and tools developed in this company. Moreover, research should explore how other companies can incorporate and implement established knowledge on psychosocial risk management.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Leka, Stavroula
Zwetsloot, Gerard
Keywords: Psychosocial risk management; Oil and gas; Risk; Work-related stress; Safety; Health
Subjects: W Medicine and related subjects (NLM Classification) > WA Public health
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Item ID: 46963
Depositing User: Bergh, Linn
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2018 14:12
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2018 20:42
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/46963

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