Five reasons to report near misses

September 23, 2010

Volume 6, Issue 30 of Aviation Human Factors Industry News focuses on near miss reporting.  The importance of near miss reporting, as well as the important role supervisors play in encouraging workers to report near misses, is something that most companies understand, but often struggle with in practice.  Why report near misses?

  1.  It enables companies to pro-actively resolve hazards before a tragic or costly incident occurs.
  2. It engages the workforce (all workers at all levels) in solving problems.
  3. It increases safety ownership and reinforces workers’ self-esteem.
  4. It exposes valuable information that otherwise might not be discussed.
  5. It develops a positive and necessary attitude surrounding safety.

Supervisors have an important role to play in encouraging workers to report near misses by consistently requiring them to do so, broadening the meaning of incidents to include near misses, acting on the information workers have given, and making it easy for workers to report near misses, to name just a few methods of doing so.

Issue 30 also looks at a study on fatigue published in the journal Sleep which suggests that adults can recover their sleep debt effectively by sleeping longer at the weekend.   In the study, participants were only allowed to sleep 4 hours for 5 nights, recovering by sleeping 10 hours at the weekend (although full recovery may require extra sleep for several more days).

EI activities update: Human Factors workshop 16 September & training course 20-22 September

September 13, 2010

The Energy Institute is hosting the Nuclear Human Factors workshop this week, on 16 September.  This workshop aims to look at the current human factors practices employed in the industry, and discusses the benefits of an intelligent application of human factors methods and knowledge.  Professor Sue Cox will be giving a keynote address on human factors in the nuclear industry.

The EI is also hosting a human factors training course 20-22 September, delivered by Bill Gall (also a member of the EI’s Human and Organisational Factors Committee).  The course is taking place in London and will focus on basic human factors on the first day, and accident and incident investigation on the second and third days.  Accident and incident investigation is an activity that requires a good level of human factors analysis, but is often sorely lacking.  The workshop will provide an overview of available analysis methods and the application of these to identify the underlying management and organisational deficiencies responsible.  Bill will most certainly cover what does and does not constitute a ‘root cause’.  To quote Bill, “When you think you know the cause of an accident, you probably need to ask ‘why’ at least five more times before you get close to the root cause”.   You can book your place for the training by clicking here.

Case studies: BP releases report on Deepwater Horizon

September 13, 2010

BP has released its report on the Deepwater Horizon incident (the report is free to download).  Whilst the report is a technical analysis of the event, a number of human factors issues have been identified, notably issues surrounding emergency training, competence, and procedures.

Elsewhere, Step Change in Safety has issued an alert over a fatality that occurred when a rig worker was caught between moving equipment during pipe handling operations.   A number of contributing factors are listed, including numerous unidentified ‘crush points’ on the platform, but also poor communications and supervision playing a major role.