‘Rebels: Please stop shooting fire in the air’

August 30, 2011

We spotted this image on the BBC news this morning and thought our safety specialist readership would be interested in seeing it too.

In the midst of the turmoil in Libya it’s good to see that safety is still being considered. We are curious to know, however, whether the notice also appeared in Arabic…

You can watch the full video on the BBC website here.


“I ain’t gonna do this stuff” – how do you deal with unwilling workshop participants?

August 19, 2011

In volume 7, Issue 30 of Aviation human factors news, Gordon Dupont of System Safety Services, talks about managing difficult workshop participants undergoing Human performance in maintenance (HPIM) training:

“I have witnessed many student reactions but none matched ‘Jim’ who, sat in the front row with his arms crossed, began the class by defiantly announcing to me and the entire class, “I ain’t gonna do this stuff.””

The training course focuses on understanding and managing human error during maintenance; however, Gordon finds that people can be reluctant to participate, often because they misunderstand the intention of the training – and of human factors.  They may believe that human factors is simply providing an excuse for ‘bad behaviour’, like maintenance errors.  They may at first feel that this sort of training simply exonerates people who have made errors during maintenance (possibly resulting in a loss of lives), who may ordinarily be vilified by their co-workers.  

But the real intention of human factors training is to understand why error happens and to prevent it from happening again.  This often involves challenging people’s beliefs about human behaviour and about who makes errors.

To do this, Gordon suggests three things:

–    The facilitator needs to firmly believe in what they are teaching.  (The EI’s Hearts and Minds toolkit suggests much the same thing – the people running workshops should be ‘believers’ in what they are teaching.)

–    A person can’t be forced into participating – they need to come around on their own – but they can be encouraged by exerting gentle peer pressure.  Help people realise that by not participating they are letting their team down – after all, by not participating they may be endangering their co-workers.

–    Lastly, Gordon suggests using simplified psychology concepts to help people understand why they behave as they do and to help them think about managing behaviour in a positive way.

Click here to read the full article.


Event: Tripod User Day – 13 September 2011 – Amsterdam

August 11, 2011

The Tripod theory and methodology focuses on understanding the contribution of human behavioural factors in accidents and business interruptions.

The Tripod User Day is an annual 1 day conference (with optional training courses during the remainder of the week) which aims to share best practice in the application of Tripod tools.

The key focus of this year’s conference will be on embedding incident investigation and analysis into a broader risk management perspective:

  • How can outcomes, learnings and recommendations from an incident investigation be transformed into long term business benefits?
  • How does an organisation learn most effectively?
  • What value can Tripod deliver in this specific context?

The user day will include a mixture of plenary sessions and workshops on using Tripod tools.

Speakers/workshop facilitators will include Prof. Patrick Hudson, Prof. Ben Ale, Dr. Jop Groeneweg, and Dr. Robin Bryden (who we interviewed last year for HOF Blog).

Delegate places cost €150.

Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

To book your place, visit www.advisafe.com/TUD


EI human factors training courses – 5-7 September 2011

August 9, 2011

The EI is hosting two human factors training courses during the first week of September 2011, to be delivered by Bill Gall.

Bill is a member of the EI’s Human and Organisational Factors Committee and a Chartered Psychologist.  He is the author of the EI’s new Human factors briefing notes and Guidance on investigating and analysing human and organisational factors aspects of incidents and accidents.  By his own admission, Bill’s personal goal is ‘to eradicate the terms ergonomics and human factors and convince management that the principles involved are part of good management practice.’  Attendees of the courses should therefore leave equipped with good management processes to share within the workplace.

The courses:

Basic human factors – 5 September 2011
This one day training course provides an essential overview of the role of human and organisational factors in the energy sector and allied industries.  The course will examine the environmental, organisational and job factors, and human and individual characteristics which influence behaviour at work in a way which can affect health and safety outcomes.  Delegates will learn how they can improve procedures, conditions and performance in their own workplace.

Accident and incident investigation – 6-7 September 2011
This two day training course will focus on the analysis of incidents and accidents and will clarify the process of identifying root causes using practical examples.  The course will provide an overview of available analysis methods and the application of these to identify the underlying management and organisational deficiencies responsible.

If you are interested in attending either or both of these courses, please click here or contact Will Sadler e: wsadler@energyinst.org.


Nuclear Safety Directors Forum publish code of practice for the management of organisational change

August 8, 2011

In late 2010, the Nuclear Safety Directors Forum produced a new code of practice (CoP): Nuclear baseline and the management of organisational change.  This CoP is now available for download.

Nuclear baseline and the management of organisational change provides clear guidelines on managing organisational change within nuclear operating sites, referring back to specific nuclear licence conditions. 

Specifically, the CoP aims to help operators define, build and maintain the Nuclear Baseline – the means by which operators demonstrate that its organisational structure, staffing and competencies are suitable and sufficient to manage nuclear safety throughout the full range of the operator’s business.

Whilst the CoP is aimed at nuclear operators, there may also be relevant guidance within that is applicable to wider MAH industries, particularly where companies are struggling to understand the structural and staffing requirements to maintain a high reliability organisation.

Download Nuclear baseline and the management of organisational change for free from the Nuclear Safety Directors Forum website.