EI publishes ‘Guidance on crew resource management (CRM) and non-technical skills training programmes’

July 23, 2014

Human error remains a constant risk in all workplaces but can be particularly hazardous in industries working with major accident hazards (MAHs), such as the energy industry. The systematic analysis of major process incidents in the energy industry has repeatedly indicated the risks of human error and unsafe behaviours.

Some industries, most notably aviation, strive to minimise human error by the use of crew resource management (CRM), an approach which identifies and trains non-technical skills (e.g. decision making, teamwork and personal resource skills) to improve safety and efficiency. In response to recent offshore incidents, it has been suggested by regulators that the energy industry should adopt CRM training.

The EI Human and Organisational Factors Committee (HOFCOM) has developed ‘Guidance on crew resource management (CRM) and non-technical skills training programmes’ to introduce CRM to the energy sector. Authored by Prof. Rhona Flin and Jill Wilkinson of Aberdeen University, it introduces what CRM training covers, sets out the case why CRM training might be implemented, and provides a process to help an organisation develop and implement a CRM training programme. Examples of CRM courses are given, and sources of background information and further reading are provided.

This publication should be seen as part of a suite of resources being developed in conjunction with the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP), the first of which, Report 501, has already been published.

This publication will be of interest to HS&E managers, and those responsible for, and for ensuring the competence of, operational crews. Those who are already creating CRM training programmes should seek to align their efforts with the guidance in this document.

How to access this publication

Guidance on crew resource management (CRM) and non-technical skills training programmes (1st edition, 2014, available as a free download, or priced hard-copy publication. After following the link, sign in to the energypublishing.org website to download)

HSE incident data for offshore wind sector now available

July 18, 2014

The G9 Offshore Wind Health and Safety Association (G9), supported by the Energy Institute (EI), has published its first annual incident data report. This publication gives a comprehensive insight into the health and safety performance of the G9 members from 35 sites spread across the United Kingdom and Northern Europe.

The offshore wind industry has seen impressive growth in recent years as demand for low carbon electricity increases. Working in an offshore environment means that health and safety has to be a priority and there is an expectation that the industry will demonstrate, and improve, its health and safety performance. Benj Sykes, Chairman, G9 Board of Directors, and UK Country Manager, DONG Energy Wind Power, says, ‘Within the G9 member companies, health and safety is of utmost importance. The publication of this report is pivotal and the first step to laying a foundation in which we can begin to measure, manage and continuously improve our health and safety performance more effectively.’ Since its formation in 2010, the G9 has been collecting HSE information and statistics from its members for analysis: the publication of this report fulfils a G9 objective to be transparent and to reduce HSE risks in the offshore wind industry. Through the EI, the G9 are committed to publishing incident data reports on an annual basis in order to identify trends, areas of improvement and to allow for benchmarking performance against other industries. This report highlights that there were 616 reported incidents in 2013 with the following consequences:

  • 66 lost work days
  • 12 restricted work days
  • 30 medical treatment injuries
  • 61 first aid incidents
  • 345 near hits
  • 102 hazards

The G9 went into partnership with the EI in 2013 to develop good practice guidelines which will improve health and safety performance in the offshore wind industry. The incident data has been essential in informing the development of these guidelines, which G9 will be publishing later in 2014. For more information, please visit www.g9offshorewind.com

Helicopter safety reports published

July 17, 2014

The UK House of Commons Transport Committee has published its report into offshore helicopter safety available here.  The report acts as a companion to the technical report conducted by the Air Accident Investigation Branch (here), focusing on the May 2012 Aberdeen, and August 2013 Shetland Super Puma helicopter incidents, where both helicopters were ditched into the sea after coolant failures.

The Government report notes:

  • problems with the safety briefings provided to passengers, where the passengers chose not to use the emergency breathing system, based on what they were told during the pre-flight briefing, and
  • a ‘culture of bullying’, where staff concerns over the safety of the helicopters were ignored (although no evidence was found to suggest the Super Pumas are less safe than other helicopters).

The Government has asked for a further report from the Civil Aviation Authority as to why more helicopter incidents are reported in Norway than in the UK.  The Government also notes that the impact of commercial pressure on helicopter safety has not been looked at in enough detail, due to commercial sensitivities making it difficult to see the contractual obligations being placed on helicopter providers.