Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ergonomics society oil and gas conference - part 4

I was a speaker at the Ergonomics Society's conference on 'Human and organisational factors in the oil, gas and chemical industries' on 27-28 November 2007. I am blogging key messages from some of the presentations.

Ian James of HSE presented the 7 step approach to managing human factors:

1. Consider main site hazards
2. Identify human activities for these (e.g. bulk transfers, maintenance, startup, reactor charging)
3. Outline key steps in these activities (remember to talk to operators)
4. Identify potential human failures for key steps (slips, mistakes and violations)
5. Identify performance influencing factors that make failure more likely (job, person, organisation)
6. Use the hierarchy of control (don't reply on human as the last line of defense, but automation introduces new issues)
7. Manager error recovery (makes it more likely that errors will be detected by others or the system)

HSE expect companies to take a structured approach, focused on human role in initiating and mitigating major hazards that considers all error types (unintentional and decision failures, as well as intentional and action failures). They expect operators to be involved, and that management failures are considered. HSE prefer a qualitative approach, and do not expect quantification of risks related to human factors.

Andy Brazier

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