Maria del Pilar Aragon Farkas, Professional Senior HSE at EcoPetrol shares her experience from the Learning from Normal Work Course.

Ecopetrol is the largest petroleum company in Colombia. In the 2020 Forbes Global 2000, Ecopetrol was ranked as the 313th -largest public company in the world. The company belongs to the group of 25 largest petroleum companies in the world, and it is one of the four principal petroleum companies in Latin America.

Why did you decide to take the Learning from Normal Work Course?

Because we want to align all HSE processes to Human Performance and learning from normal work is key.

Who participated in the training and why?

Professionals from process safety, safety, occupational health, human resources, and operational excellence, because all will be part of the team that will be implementing human performance in the organization.

What were some of the most important insights from the course?

  1. TEDS questions:  An easy way of asking questions
  2. Psychological safety the way it relates to trust in the organization and how punishment affects safety
  3. Work as done, and work as imagined. It gave me a totally different perspective on how to learn. I thought having a good investigation process meant we are a company that learns, but now I know that is not true.

What was the overall impact of the course?

The course was just amazing!  To achieve HSE excellence, our strategy is to focus on Psychological Safety. We recognized from the pilot that without it, learning from normal work is impossible. We are now developing the learning from normal work and adapting HSE conversations, and everything has been based on this training course.  Also, as part of the investigation process, when reviewing the lessons learned I was positively surprised when one of the course participants, mentioned the need to change the questions of the lessons learned from Yes/No, to TEDS questions.

What are you going to do differently in the future because of this training?

We will ask different questions.

How will this training help you to reduce the risk in operations? 

It will help with a better understanding of the context of work, having better conversations, getting to know people, and taking new quality improvement actions.