Human Factors: How To Be Proactive in a Reactive World

The Step Change in Safety Human Factors Workgroup strives to improve the basic knowledge and understanding of human factors to ensure related risks are managed and controlled properly. The objective of this paper is to highlight the ability to do this proactively through engagement with the workforce through lunch-and-learns, webinars, cross-industry sharing, and self-assessment tools.

The workgroup has developed an online self-assessment tool to help organizations in the oil and gas industry gauge how effective they are at addressing human-factors issues. This tool has enabled companies to identify areas of strengths to expand on and points of weakness to develop further to enhance their safety performance overall.

Human factors in the oil and gas industry continues to hold an element of mystery to many offshore workers, who see it as an emotional exercise to discuss how they feel rather than as physical barriers that could save their lives if considered properly. The Step Change tool dives into this unknown area to gain insight at an industry level and identifies areas on which to focus the efforts of the data-driven Human Factors Workgroup.

Essentially, this work is a proactive way to address potentially catastrophic “unknown unknowns” (as coined by Donald Rumsfield) and make human factors accessible to all. The online tool has been used more than 5,000 times by workers onshore and offshore, and this paper explores the three most popular themes it has identified—fatigue, managing human failures, and training and competence. This paper will examine the results and showcase examples where companies have made proactive changes as a result of intelligence gained from this tool as a strong example of how to be proactive in a reactive world.

Furthermore, this paper will put the “human” into “human factors” in the oil and gas environment and discuss proactivity in a climate where cost efficiency often means that reaction is the first line of defence.

Find the paper on the HSSE-SR Technical Discipline Page free for a limited time. 



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