Providing leadership to shape oil and gas industry safety improvements

Step Change in Safety is governed by a board of directors, membership of which is drawn from senior executives within member companies or organisations, all of whom are committed to working to make safety improvements in the oil and gas industry.

The board of directors provides leadership that guides and shapes the vision of Step Change in Safety as it continually works for members and their staff to deliver continuous improvements in the oil and gas industry’s safety performance. Board members assist the Support Team, Leadership Team and Workgroups to develop and deliver events and resources for members, shape policy, facilitate research and engage with external organisations such as governments, local authorities, educational institutions, and non-member companies and associations, nationally and internationally.

Step Change in Safety and its board of directors are governed by articles of association.

Our board comprises a maximum of ten people and includes one representative of the Health & Safety Executive, one representative of the trade union members, the Executive Director of Step Change in Safety and up to seven representatives from member companies.

The current members of our board are listed below.


The Board

  1. Rhona Flin
    Rhona Flin
    Professor of Industrial Psychology
    Robert Gordon University

    Rhona Flin is Professor of Industrial Psychology, Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University and Emeritus Professor of Applied Psychology, University of Aberdeen. She began to conduct psychological research with the offshore oil and gas industry in 1987 and has studied various aspects of safety and emergency response, such as OIMs’ and supervisors’ safety leadership, risk perception and safety culture on offshore installations, situation awareness in drillers.

    She also led a five-year multi-centre research project on patient safety in Scottish hospitals. She was a member of the Safety Advisory Committee for the Military Aviation Authority of the UK Ministry of Defence and is on the Board of Directors for the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Human Factors Technical Section.

    Her work examines human performance in high risk work settings, such as healthcare, aviation and the energy industries, with studies focusing on leadership, safety culture, team skills and cognitive skills. Current projects include psychological factors in the introduction of new technology on the UKCS, managers’ safety leadership and non-technical skills in safety-critical tasks. She has published eleven books and 150 peer-reviewed articles.

  2. Steve Rae
    Steve Rae
    Executive Director
    Step Change in Safety

    Steve Rae has more than 35 years’ experience in the international oil and gas industry. Having entered the industry as an Offshore Technician, he was onboard Piper Alpha on July 6th, 1988. Having survived the horrific events of that night, Steve chose to continue working in the Industry where he went on to become an accomplished executive.

    Throughout his time in industry, Steve has held several senior positions such as Vice President (VP) QHSE, VP International Drilling Operations, Country Manager & VP Business Development. He also served IADC as Chairman and Ex – Officio of the North Sea Chapter.

    In 2013 he received the IADC “Val Hood” award for services to the drilling industry. Steve was a member of the Step Change in Safety Leadership Team from 2007 - 2011 and was then Chairman of Statoil’s (Brazil) Aiming High Group in 2014/15. The experience gained throughout his time in Industry has provided him with a unique perspective on safety culture, effective team leadership and workforce engagement from “boardroom to coalface”.

    Steve returned to the UK in 2018 and became Operations Manager with Well-Safe Solutions - a Tier One company which specialises in well plug and abandonment services. Steve is also Chairman of the Pound for Piper Charity who provide support towards the up-keep of the Piper Alpha Rose Gardens and Memorial located in Aberdeen.

    Steve qualified as an Electrical Technician through a traditional City and Guilds program. In 1996 he returned to Robert Gordon’s University, Aberdeen, graduating in 2000 with an International MBA.

  3. Craig Wiggins
    Craig Wiggins
    Senior Vice President, Global Head of HSSE
    NEO Energy

    Craig Wiggins has more than 30 years of experience in the energy industry. He has vast knowledge and experiences from front line operations to the board room. He is passionate about simplification and efficiency of processes due to strong experiences in lean manufacturing and is focused on making sure the people in the front line has the highest safety standards.

    Craig has been at Aker Solutions since October 2015, holding different roles in maintenance, modification and operations as well as production asset services in the United Kingdom, Europe, Middle East and Africa. He took on his current role as the senior vice president of global health, safety, security and environment in August 2018.

    He spent over 25 years in Shell early in his career and has also worked with companies such as Petrofac and BP in operations and lean deployment leadership roles.

    Craig has an MBA and is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute in the United Kingdom.

  4. Peter Wilson
    Peter Wilson
    Vice President

    Peter Wilson is Vice President, Europe & Mediterranean, at Valaris – one of the world’s largest drilling contractors.

    Peter became Vice President of the EUM business unit upon the merger of Ensco and Rowan in 2019. Prior to that, he served as Vice President, International Operations for Rowan. He returned to the UK to join Rowan in 2011 after a period running safe and efficient drilling contractor operations in deep-water Brazil and Gulf of Mexico.

    With a strong foundation in subsea, well engineering and offshore operations starting in the UK.

  5. Gillian Urquhart
    Gillian Urquhart
    Co-Chair Step Change in Safety Leadership Team
    BP Exploration

    As Regional HSE & Carbon Manager for bp North Sea Gillian is part of the Business Leadership Team accountable for the delivery of HSE& Carbon activities across the business, supporting safe, compliant and reliable operations. Prior to joining bp, Gillian was head of Safety and Sustainability for Equinor in the UK working to establish Equinor’s first UK operatorship and overseeing Equinor UK’s low carbon and renewable activities.

    Gillian spent 11 years working for the UK regulator (HSE) in a variety of roles including front line inspector for a wide range of high hazard industries including construction, nuclear and oil and gas. Working across these industries Gillian gained extensive knowledge and insight of safety management practices and experienced first-hand the impact incidents can have on people and their families. This has created a real drive and passion to improve and sustain high standards of safety.

    Gillian has a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and a Master of Science degree in medical and radiation physics from the University of Aberdeen. Gillian is a chartered member of the Society of Radiation Protection and Institute of Physics, a STEM ambassador and an advocate for women in physics.

  6. Derek Mitchell
    Derek Mitchell
    Co-Chair Step Change in Safety Leadership Team
    Global E & C
  7. Mark Hobbs
    Mark Hobbs
    Operations Director

    Mark is Operations Director and Board Member for INEOS Energy, having recently taken up the role in May of this year. INEOS Energy responsibly operate oil & gas assets in both the UK and Danish sectors, with associated energy trading, LNG supply, onshore shale and offshore carbon sequestration businesses.

    Mark has worked in the industry for 30 years beginning his career with British Gas. He graduated with a Masters’ degree in chemical engineering, and worked for bp Chemicals at Hull and then Grangemouth, before moving to Aberdeen with bp exploration and production. In 2003, Mark joined Apache and over 17 years held many technical and managerial roles becoming VP for North Sea Operations and Projects. Prior to joining INEOS, Mark also worked as Managing Director with the px Group for 2 years.

    Mark is a Fellow with the Institution of Chemical Engineers and Board member for Step Change in Safety.


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