Mitchell Leads Multi-Institutional Effort with NASEM Grant Researching Safer Offshore Energy Systems

March 25, 2024

Drs. Mitchell and Son serve as co-principal investigators on research aimed at strengthening Louisiana's offshore safety culture

BATON ROUGE, LA - The LSU School of Leadership & Human Resource Development (SHLRD) proudly announced Tyree Mitchell, PhD, was a member of one of five research teams awarded a prestigious grant from the Gulf Research Program (GRP) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). The grant aims to support projects focused on enhancing safety culture and safety management systems (SMS) in the offshore energy industry.

Tyree Mitchell, PhD, Associate Professor at SHLRD, and Changwon Son, PhD, CSP, Assistant Professor of Industrial, Manufacturing & Systems Engineering at Texas Tech University, will serve as co-principal investigators on a grant totaling $855,760 to conduct groundbreaking research titled "Empowering and Enhancing Offshore Workers’ SWA, UWA, Reporting Unsafe Conditions, and Employee Participation." The project seeks to address challenges faced by offshore workers in implementing critical safety protocols by investigating the effects of leadership and organizational factors that contribute to offshore energy workers’ perceptions that they are empowered to and safe to stop work when they notice conditions are unsafe.

The primary objective of Mitchell and Son's project is to improve the implementation of Stop work authority, Ultimate work authority, Reporting unsafe conditions, and Employee participation (SURE) programs within the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s Safety and Environmental Management System. These programs, introduced in 2013, have encountered obstacles due to poor safety culture and insufficient hazard awareness skills among offshore workers.

To overcome these challenges, Mitchell and Son will develop and implement the "SURE Toolbox," a collection of worker-centered safety tools designed to enhance safety culture and hazard awareness skills among offshore workers. The toolbox will include educational materials, operating procedures, observation and reporting cards, end-user manuals, team safety meeting guidelines, and data analytics of SURE activities.

"I am thrilled to collaborate with Dr. Son on a project that not only advances our understanding of offshore safety but also directly impacts the communities and environment of Louisiana," said Mitchell. "This grant represents an exciting opportunity to contribute to the Scholarship First agenda and elevate LSU's role as a leader in addressing pressing societal challenges."

Insights learned from this grant may be useful in disaster prevention (e.g., BP oil spill or Deepwater Horizon oil spill), as climate change and other factors make Deepwater drilling more complex for offshore energy workers. The research findings and products generated by this endeavor will be made widely accessible through various channels, including a publicly accessible digital repository, a mobile app, webinars, workshops, online videos, and presentations at professional and academic conferences.


The LSU School of Leadership & Human Resource Development (SLHRD) offers programs dedicated to producing world-class practitioners, leaders, and instructors in human resource and leadership development. The BS, MS, and PhD are designed to develop the leadership, planning, analytical, problem solving, and change management capabilities that today's globalized organizations need to be successful. Additionally, SLHRD also offers 100% online programs: BS in Leadership and HR Development, BS in Learning Experience and Instructional Design, MS in Leadership and HR Development and MS in LHRD with a concentration in Workforce Development. The School is housed within the College of Human Sciences & Education.
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About CHSE

The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. The college is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Information Studies, the School of Kinesiology the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs, 18 graduate programs, and 7 online graduate degree and/or certificate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 1,120 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is committed to improving quality of life across the lifespan.
Visit the College of Human Sciences & Education website.