Current and future process safety leaders, including new entrants and graduates, require a strong understanding of human and organisational factors (HOF) to maintain safe operations and ensure the safety of the workforce.
To assist organisations in fully understanding these issues, the Energy Institute’s (EI) Human and Organisational Factors Committee (HOFCOM) has developed a complete human factors training course resource for training new and existing employees working in hazardous industries.
The discipline of HOF looks at the interaction between the management systems, facilities and equipment, and the people within a process, organisation or industry. It plays a big part in operations in all major hazard industries, and has been cited as a contributory cause in a number of major incidents.
Specific issues to consider in the effective management of HOF include:
- Incident investigation – learning from previous incidents by ensuring an accurate investigation is carried out in the aftermath
- Risk management – being aware of the hazards, both generally and specific to your industry/business, and knowing how to manage them
- Design – designing equipment, the workplace, and procedures in a way that doesn’t encourage human error
However, among safety managers, there currently exists a knowledge gap in understanding HOF and how it can be managed. This is partly due to a lack of training offered beyond the basics, both within industry and in many related university degrees.
By recognising the gap that exists in current offerings between very basic and specifically tailored training, the EI’s course materials aim to provide trainers, in industry and academia, with the tools to advise and guide current and future process operators and leaders on managing the risks associated with a range of human factors.
‘Use of these materials should assist managers and engineers in developing an awareness and understanding of core HOF issues, enhancing their capability to act as a so-called intelligent customer, and enabling their participation in HOF studies’, says Jamie Henderson of Human Reliability Associates, who helped to develop the resource. ‘The modular nature of the course means that, whilst the whole course can be taken to give an overview, the materials can be used flexibly, to suit the specific needs of participants.’
With over 30 hours of training material provided, including a mix of interactive activities, case studies, slide presentations and group exercises , the course materials will set a standard for industry-focused human factors training, whilst also contributing to related management and engineering university courses.