We are all human. Our actions have consequences and those actions can be influenced by many factors. The Step Change in Safety Human Factors workgroup seeks to understand and appreciate how mental and physical limitations can impact on safe working activities.
Human factors is an established science that incorporates many disciplines, including anatomy, physiology, physics and biomechanics, to understand how people perform in different situations. It also explores the relationship between humans and the tools and equipment they use in the workplace and their working environment.
The objective of the Human Factors workgroup is to improve the basic knowledge and understanding of human factors to ensure that human factor-related risks are properly managed and controlled through practical application.
Along with working with the industry, the Human Factors workgroup is committed to sharing knowledge and findings with regulators.
To contact the Human Factors workgroup, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Human Factors Online Assessment Tool
Human Factors; How to take the next steps – is designed to be relevant to everyone working in the oil and gas industry. It allows companies, worksites and individuals to explore their current relationship with human factors in order to understand where their strengths lie and identify areas for improvement.
Human Factors Lunch and Learn
Lunch and learns, which are limited to 15 spaces each, are a great way to interact with what the workgroup is doing and how to get a better understanding of how to apply human factors within your organisation.
Our Human Factors workgroup supports companies and individuals in improving safety performance within the oil and gas industry by demonstrating how a range of human factors can impact safety.
An integral part of the workgroup is the free Human Factors online self-assessment tool, which enables companies, worksites and individuals to audit their relationship with different human factors. It helps guide people towards improving their safety performance.
The workgroup reviews the information collected from the free online self-assessment tool to ensure that relevant Safety Alerts, Safety Moments and case studies are produced to address issues raised.
The workgroup works in conjunction with other Step Change in Safety workgroups, helping to highlight the important role of Human Factors. It also holds a quarterly forum to review industry themes and share learnings openly and honestly, with lessons from incidents shared by the HSE.
A series of lunch and learn events are also staged throughout the year, with each event being limited to 15 participants. These events offer an opportunity to learn more about the work being done by the workgroup and allow attendees to gain a better understanding of how to apply human factors within their organisation. Visit the events page for more information.
Step Change in Safety is committed to working with the UK oil and gas industry to continually improve safety and make the region the safest oil and gas province in the world in which to work. The Human Factors workgroup is helping to achieve that.
Human Factors topics
Human Factors covers 16 topics that come together under five distinct groupings, which are: Improving Human performance, People, Process, Plant and Equipment, and Incident Investigation.
Behavioural safety aims to promote safe working behaviours and prevent practices which are unsafe, through observation and individual feedback.
Different companies often do similar tasks differently. Understanding the steps a contractor takes to complete a task is crucial to identifying hazards, risks and controls.
Fatigue means tiredness. A fatigued person is likely to be less alert, slower in processing information and reacting, and potentially making more mistakes.
HUMAN FACTORS IN DESIGN
Design can impact human performance. Poorly designed systems, plant, equipment or instructions can cause frustration or ill health, impacting safety.
Incorporating human factors into incident investigation is crucial. Identifying the underlying cause is key to learning from and preventing similar incidents.
Taking personal responsibility for safety is crucial. This includes setting expectations, leading by example and including safety considerations in decision making.
To improve safety an organisation must continually learn from its own experiences and those of its workforce. Looking beyond its own boundaries can also avoid complacency.
MAINTENANCE, INSPECTION AND TESTING
Maintenance, inspection and testing are all safety critical activities of which the actions and decisions of individuals play a crucial part.
MANAGING HUMAN FAILURES
Managing human failure is an essential component of safe operations. It is about predicting how people may fail through errors or unintentional behaviours.
Organisational change can range in scale and type, while its impact on staff can vary. Identifying how changes could affect safety is crucial when planning such changes.
Effective processes and procedures should contain all of the information required to do every aspect of what a company does and should be easy to find, read and understand.
An effective risk assessment should highlight everything that could potentially go wrong in any given situation and is critical to understanding what we are to be involved in.
MANAGING HUMAN PERFORMANCE
Human performance covers the capabilities and limitations of individuals, their relationship with equipment, systems, processes and the environment, and aims to manage human error.
SAFETY CRITICAL COMMUNICATION
Different types of communication can be critical to safety in the workplace. Ensuring that a message is correctly delivered and understood is as important as delivering it.
STAFFING LEVELS AND WORKLOAD
People have natural physical and mental limits. If they have too much to do, performance can slow and mistakes can happen. Staff levels and workload can be linked to safety.
Effective supervision with clearly defined responsibilities has a positive impact on a wide range of human activities and is an important organisational factor.
TRAINING AND COMPETENCE
Although related, training and competence are separate things. Training is one of many important inputs into competency. Being trained does not equal being competent.
Human Factors Online Assessment Tool
The Human Factors online assessment tool – Human Factors; How to take the next steps – is designed to be relevant to everyone working in the oil and gas industry. It allows companies, worksites and individuals to explore their current relationship with human factors in order to understand where their strengths lie and identify areas for improvement.
Each question set takes no longer than 10 minutes to complete. Upon completion of each question set you receive instant feedback on each of the categories assessed. All of the data which is collected remains anonymous.
This tool is free for members and their workforce to use, and aims to guide people towards improving their safety performance.
Download Human Factors Case Studies
A selection of human factors case studies, available to download, which may provide a safety moment for your meetings. Download all 12 in one file or each individually.
Cross-Industry Knowledge Sharing
Worker fatigue is an issue of concern in any industry. Here are some useful examples from other industries in managing fatigue, including PDF files - kindly provided by external organisations - and links to webinars on our YouTube channel.
VIDEO OF EVENT PRESENTATION
Human Factors in Medicine
Consultant Surgeon Mr Manoj Kumar a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons delivered a presentation on how patient safety is addressed in the medical industry.
VIDEO OF EVENT PRESENTATION
Human Factors in the Nuclear Industry
At our Human Factors and Competence event in 2017, Stephen Kennedy from EDF Energy delivered a presentation on human factors in the nuclear industry.
The audio from our COVID-19 Impact on Safety webinar is now available.
COVID-19: Mental Health and Wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak