Leadership for Safety Culture
The key to real safety in your organization
Workplace safety has been an important component of all large organizations around the world. Federal legislation was the spearhead for steady, and in many cases dramatic, improvement in workplace safety. The push for safety has resulted in tremendous tangible results: strong policies and procedures, new and better equipment, and a focus on behavioral safety, especially for “front line” workers. Many CEOs have embraced safety as an important part of doing business. However, many CEOs continue to face the painful question of:

“Why are our workers still getting hurt?”

The key is that despite our best efforts at creating policy and procedure, and despite the best safety intentions of organizational leaders, they are of no use if the culture of the organization does not support employees working safely. In many organizations, no matter what leaders say; production, schedule and cost still trump safety in day-to-day operations. This gap between what is stated by the organization, and what is practiced on the front line, is where workers get hurt or killed.

“The importance of Safety Culture is evidenced by numerous examples of organizational safety breaking down, not because of a lack of formal safety systems, but because of the safety culture in which safety systems operate.”

Achieving the next level of safety and facilitating dramatic change in safety performance requires a focus on creating and sustaining a safe work culture, in which everyone: frontline workers, organizational leaders, and foremen and other front-line supervisors are resolute in their commitment to safety. Developing such a culture requires leadership that flows through all levels of the organization.

Tim Hoopingarner is our Safety Culture expert, having worked with Chevron Pipeline, BP and Boeing Commercial Aircraft among others. Tim facilitates workshops, small group meetings, and individual coaching—in the field, in the office and/or over the phone—to create the awareness in the organization and provide the tools for formal in informal leaders to create a work culture in which everyone chooses to work safe.”

Adaptive Challenges: A New Way to Lead
All organizations encounter complex, demanding challenges which are difficult to solve, and which may persist for months or even years. When we encounter such problems, referred to here as "Adaptive Challenges" from the ground-breaking work by Dr. Ronald Heifetz, a new set of skills is required. Traditional Management practices work for the great majority of the work conducted, but when what we are familiar with (here referred to as "technical fixes") are insufficient to solve these complex, tenacious challenges, we need to employ another approach entirely.

Dr. Tim Hoopingarner has been teaching and coaching on Adaptive Challenges for over twelve years, most notably with the large oil-and-gas company BP, and now the emerging L48 gas company. Tim has developed a course which will provide practical information, "hands-on" practice in the classroom, and references which can support you in the path forward in resolving major challenges. Sustained support in the art and science of resolving tenacious challenges are provided via in-person and phone coaching.


Tim Hoopingarner, PhD, is a senior consultant with Sandy Blaha Performance Consulting specializing in leadership development, high-performance safety, creating high-performance teams, and leadership for safety culture.

Dr. Hoopingarner is a successful trainer, facilitator, and coach working with some of the world’s largest and best run companies, including BP-North American Gas, BP-Canada, and Chevron Refining and Marketing, as well as numerous construction firms. For the past several years, Tim has been delivering Safety Culture Leadership modules including:

  • Exploration and Production
  • Drilling and Completion
  • Fuels Value Chain
  • Gas Plants
  • Refining

Tim’s partnership with client firms has resulted in world-class safety statistics, but more importantly in the prevention of injury and death on the job. Tim’s work has dramatically increased revenues for his clients while creating more powerful teams and fostering greater collaboration and alignment among team members.

Contact Dr. Hoopingarner at:


Performance Clients' ROI
On Average, Performance Clients Experience:
  • 30% to 50% Sales Growth
  • 80% Greater Top Talent Retention
  • 30% Reduction in Daily Operations Time
  • 100% Alignment of Key Players