One critical factor for our journey is designing the right vehicle to get us where we want to go. We know our vehicles, or HSE tools and methods, must be simple, personal and adaptable to rapidly changing conditions. All these factors are designed into our Perfect HSE Day, The Five Fundamentals and Upstream Process Safety.

The Perfect HSE Day makes Zero thinking personal for every employee in Baker Hughes. Based on a simple metric for success – no injuries, no accidents, no harm to the environment – this flagship HSE concept helped deliver 208 Perfect Days in 2016.

The Five Fundamentals are the universal rules that underpin the Perfect HSE Day. These fundamentals form the foundation for planning and completing every job – and we use new learnings to enrich our overall assurance.

Upstream Process Safety was carefully designed to ensure multiple barriers are in place to lower the risk of well control incidents. Recognized as an industry leader in this area, we continue to innovate with our new Threat Response Drills.

And we’ve not stopped. We continue to design other vehicles to propel us forward, such as our innovative “What Lies Beneath”, a thought-provoking, interactive learning session that challenges traditional thinking to reveal a different perspective on why something happened or could happen.


Learn How We Take Care of Each Other




Digging Deeper to Find the True Cause of Incidents


Read More About Well Control

  • The Perfect HSE Day

    The Perfect HSE Day embodies our journey to Zero and all that is necessary to achieve it: engaged and visible leadership; teamwork; trust; willingness to change and a culture of perfection. Perhaps most important—it established a common vocabulary around HSE and the Perfect HSE Day that all employees could understand.

    A Perfect HSE Day means all employees go home safely to their families and the environment is not harmed.

    • No recordable injuries/illnesses
    • No motor vehicle accidents
    • No serious environmental spills/releases

    Using The Perfect HSE Day thinking, we’ve achieved step change HSE performance improvement, far surpassing the incremental progress from prior years. This trajectory is dramatic and continues, as we achieved 208 Perfect HSE Days company-wide in 2016. Sixteen countries, including all of Europe and 107 locations had a Perfect HSE Year, with 366 Perfect HSE Days. Our Africa team, an entire continent of Baker Hughes locations, achieved nine months of Perfect HSE Days. And, this thinking has been embraced by others in the industry, moving us further towards true operational excellence.

    The most powerful aspect of The Perfect HSE Day is the way it engages employees to think about HSE differently. Employees began to realize that they own their personal safety, which encouraged them to improve their own behaviors and catalyze a culture shift. For us, the Perfect HSE Day is an everyday topic of conversation. It is communicated from and through all levels of the organization, from grassroots efforts by local employee teams, to our executive leadership and at all levels in between.

    Our intention was for the Perfect HSE Day to “go viral” and be self-sustaining. It has been amazing to witness that occurring, as we’ve seen with our “Safety Selfies”. These are “selfie” photos that employees take of themselves or their teams being proactive and intentional about HSE. And individual teams use their imagination to find ways to recommit to the mindset – 365 Perfect HSE Days /Getting to Zero. A powerful illustration of this is a video from the Dubai AMO team who won a Chairman’s HSE Excellence Award.


    Another example is the photo contest initiated by the Thailand teams to depict their commitment to Perfect HSE Day in a deeply personal message of teamwork and caring after each other. With leadership commitment and employee ownership, a self-sustaining momentum has been created.


  • The Five Fundamentals

    We’ve identified five principles that are fundamental to achieving Perfect HSE Days. These Five Fundamentals are the foundation for planning and completing every job. And, we identify key learnings and use those to improve our assurance for future jobs.

    In 2016, we took this one step further and enhanced our verification and assurance. Our leaders engaged employees on a routine basis to assess and quantify their understanding and use of the Five Fundamentals to identify and mitigate risks. During the year, these fundamentals were assessed more than 25,000 times.

    The Five HSE Fundamentals are:

    1. Hazard identification and control: What hazards might I face while performing this task?
    2. Controls and barriers: How can I control the hazards and verify that barriers are in place to avoid being injured?
    3. Understanding the process and procedures: Am I properly trained, do I understand the task, and can I follow procedures?
    4. Managing change: What is outside my normal scope of work? Can I perform changes that may be required?
    5. Learning and improving: How can I share what I’ve learned with my co-workers to improve performance going forward?
  • Baker Hughes is challenging the way the industry has historically looked at the cause of incidents—pushing beyond the typical root cause to identify the factors that allow the cause to exist.

    Finding and fixing these underlying organizational and human factors not only prevents repeat incidents, but also creates an organizational foundation that finds and closes gaps that have not yet materialized into an incident.

    New Thinking
    Analysis of HSE incidents goes deeper than people, equipment, and what happened, to gaps in processes and communication, and to the culture and thinking of the organization that lie beneath an incident. At Baker Hughes, we believe that understanding how an incident occurs is less important than understanding why it occurs. When we understand why something happens, we can take action to prevent it. This requires going beyond the industry view of “why” so often seen as outputs of traditional root cause tools.

    Traditionally when we ask the question, why, we focus on who is responsible, what went wrong, what people failed to do. This perspective assumes that human actions are the cause of incidents and focuses on “fixing” the person rather than digging deeper.

    Developing This Innovation
    We developed “What Lies Beneath?,” in 2016 as a thought provoking, interactive learning session that challenges traditional thinking and allows participants to explore a different perspective on why something happened or could happen. It illustrates how human and organizational factors influence employee decisions and actions. While the exercise uses a dropped object incident, the underlying learning outcomes can apply to prevention of any type of incident.

    Sharing our Learnings
    Our “What Lies Beneath?” is not just a forensic tool to analyze why things happened; it also can help us proactively evaluate our processes, workflow and culture, not only around HSE, but also around every other aspect of the business. We make our “What Lies Beneath?” materials freely available to the industry, at This link has been shared more than 2700 times across the industry in learning sessions and downloads.

  • Upstream Process Safety

    In 2016, we reached new milestones on our journey to ensure best-in-class risk management in our upstream business, and are now widely recognized as an industry leader. Well control events are the single most significant HSE threat to our company, our customers and our industry, as the consequences can be catastrophic. Over the past six years, we’ve invested our best thinking and resources in our upstream process safety (UPS), building on our decades of experience in our downstream and chemicals manufacturing business.

    Our new milestones include enhanced verification, assurance and collaboration with customers to ensure controls and barriers are functioning and effective. Our assurance consists of three simple but robust techniques: proving barrier functionality, verifying execution and quality, and measuring results.

    Proving Functionality – We created Threat Response Drills to engage teams in responding to known and potential well control situations. The scenarios were developed using 4-D methodology, so they also drive critical thinking in the detection and comprehension of threats so that the correct barriers in the associated bowtie can be selected and activated. These drills are created for very specific threats relevant to particular well services, and are designed to be used collaboratively with rig management and other contractors and service providers whose activities may impact well control.



    Verifying Execution and Quality – We implemented a rigorous process of job file checks globally to validate critical UPS tasks were completed to quality expectations. These tasks include pre-job barrier verifications and other essential components in the workflow. Scoring criteria were used to ensure the required tasks were completed and documented to our high standards. And, UPS audits and self-assessments were conducted broadly to provide an even higher level of assurance.

    Measuring Results – We realized significant improvements in our UPS lagging indicators, including near misses.  However, the number of Stop Work events resulting from barrier verifications is an even stronger indicator that the program is truly working to prevent catastrophic well control events from occurring.

    “This is the first time I have seen such a well-documented account of a process safety drill from a business provider.”

    – Customer Senior Well Engineer