UK petroleum tanker operations trade dispute: an opportunity to remind ourselves of the human factors aspects of driving operations

May 15, 2012

In many industries and many parts of the world, driving is one of the largest hazards, either because of the nature of the industry, the amount of driving undertaken, the overall standard or culture of driving in that country, or because for the majority of workers driving to and from work is the biggest hazard faced.

Since March 2012 the Unite Union, which represents 90% of fuel tanker drivers in the UK, has been in negotiations with haulage companies over ‘fragmented working practices’ which it claims are affecting not only working conditions but also health and safety.  Details of negotiations and said working conditions are not public knowledge and mainly of concern to those involved in the dispute – but whilst this issue is a ‘hot topic’ it would be a wasted opportunity not to remind ourselves of some of the human factors issues involved in driving operations (and work-related driving) more generally.

Road incidents

It is thought that human failure is a factor in 95% of road incidents.  However a higher percentage of resources go on improving vehicle roadworthiness and construction. Whilst improvements to vehicles can help reduce risk – often by helping the driver ‘control the controllable’ (e.g. utilising ABS braking systems) managing the human and organisational factors affecting driving operations (often out of the direct control of the driver) can be a crucial and effective means to prevent incidents.

For example, “[in the UK] driver sleepiness is estimated to account for around one fifth of accidents on major roads, and is responsible for around 300 deaths per year” (EI Human factors briefing note no. 5).  Fatigue is not something directly controllable; the various factors contributing to fatigue need to be managed instead.  For instance, recognising the added risks presented by long commutes, especially when preceding or succeeding a long shift, in some industries and countries there is a growing trend towards accounting for commuting time when setting shift patterns (for example see Fatigue management for the Western Australian mining industry).

Fatigue is only one potential human factor in road accidents.

A recent study found that a driver’s ability to focus on the driving environment varies depending on the ‘cognitive demand’ placed by non-driving activities. The deeper the level of thought in a driver’s mind, the less he/she focuses on his/her surroundings, and the more likely he/she is to be in an incident.

“Good drivers routinely scan the road ahead and around them, looking for potential hazards that they might need to react to. When drivers face even light levels of cognitive demand, they scan the road less”.  This is why using mobile phones and other devices whilst driving can be detrimental to human performance and illegal in many countries.

A question to pose may be what constitutes ‘cognitive demand’?  Is it just physically distracting activities, like using a mobile phone, or also mental distractions, such as daydreaming, worrying about personal issues, etc.?

Managing the risk of driver distraction comes down to influencing driver behaviour and attitudes.  As ever with occupational human factors, efforts to do so focus on the individual, the job/task and the organisation, through applying consistent rules and standards of working – such as appropriate disciplinary actions for unsafe driving behaviours  (see OGP’s publication on the use of life saving rules) – providing training and procedures, managing the workload effectively, and developing the right organisational culture through sending the right messages to the drivers about what is important.

Hearts and Minds ‘Driving for Excellence’ is a publically available training tool published by the Energy Institute, designed to improve both driver and supervisor hazard awareness and journey planning skills. Containing ready-to-use short training exercises it provides an effective and simple-to-use means of changing driver and supervisor behaviour, improving their appreciation of hazards, and improving the culture around driving operations.

Loading and unloading

Road tanker drivers aren’t just expected to drive but also to load and unload product, whether it be petroleum product or chemicals.  Simple human failures here have the potential to result in complicated (and financially expensive) consequences.  For example:

“A road tanker driver was making a delivery to a customer. One compartment of his tanker was connected to the customer’s diesel tank and was already discharging. The driver then made the connection between the customer’s unleaded tank (tank no. 4) and compartment 4 on his vehicle. He opened the valve and a few moments later realised that he should have connected tank 4 to compartment 3 on the tanker. By then, approximately 600 litres of diesel had been delivered. Almost 3 000 litres of unleaded petrol was contaminated by diesel.” (EI Human factors briefing note no. 15).

Two main factors contributed to this incident: firstly it was found that in this company drivers were paid bonuses based on deliveries made and distance travelled, and so were highly incentivised to meet delivery schedules; secondly, forecourts had to close whilst unloading was taking place, and so forecourt staff often put pressure on drivers to complete unloading quickly.  These factors caused the driver to rush the delivery and not take the time to double-check the connections were correct.

With the intent of understanding incident causation and making improvements, the EI commissioned research and developed Guidance on reducing human failure in petroleum product distribution loading and unloading operations: this explores the human failures behind 22 loading and unloading incidents within three companies, both the immediate causes and root causes.

It found that 1 incident was due to an excessive workload, 2 were due to inconsistency in operations, 5 due to the design of the tasks themselves, 7 due to the design of equipment, and 16, by far the majority, were due to there being a ‘performance culture’ – i.e. getting the job done quickly was considered more important than getting the job done correctly/safely.

This guide provides a series of checklists of contributors to human failure in loading and unloading operations, focusing on:

  • the workplace: for example, are loading areas easy to manoeuvre into and out of? Once parked is there enough space to move around the vehicle? At the delivery point is labelling clear?
  • the tasks: are tasks so routine drivers do them on ‘autopilot’? Are there incentive schemes to make drivers rush jobs? Do drivers need to take shortcuts in the tasks due to time pressure?
  • the selection and attitudes of personnel: is driver training of a high standard? Is driver morale high?
  • the organisation: is there inconsistency in the industry regarding equipment and facilities? Is equipment well-maintained? Is the system to report incidents effective?

Where problems are present, guidance is also provided to solve these.

Managing risk

Driving operations pose a hazard in many industries and there are a number of tools and guidance available to help manage that risk, much of which is widely applicable with a little read-across.

But perhaps it’s worth asking whether managing driving risk is comparable to managing risk in other areas of operation, bearing in mind that, unlike onsite operations, there are a number of variables outside the control of haulier companies – such as the behaviour of other road users, the layout of forecourts, etc.?

Interview with Dr Robin Bryden – Part 6/6: Case studies

April 21, 2011

In the final part of this interview, Dr Robin Bryden reflects on some of the major successes in improving safety where Hearts and Minds has been used. Given the nature of the toolkit, Robin highlights how sometimes it is difficult to measure the real impact of Hearts and Minds whilst raising standards, particularly when some of the activities become intrinsically linked and connected to standard practices:

 “The most recent Hearts and Minds success story comes from the SEPC facility in Singapore (see Petroleum Review May 2010 issue). However, Nigeria was always very successful.  They did a lot of work with Hearts and Minds in Nigeria– in fact Shell appointed a dedicated Hearts and Minds manager responsible across all of Africa.  This person championed Hearts and Minds and worked hard to make it sustainable, getting it embedded into the line and then continued to get a sustained good performance.  One of the most memorable events for me was in Nigeria, and I was in what is essentially a swamp area watching the workshop supervisor run an exercise from Working safely with a piece of chalk – there was no electricity at that point, and this supervisor was working with a group of welders doing a hazard spotting exercise, marking hazards on the side of a wall with some chalk, and these guys were identifying the hazards around the workplace.  I thought to myself “Well, that’s brilliant”; no appliances involved, and on the face of it a very low level of technology being used, but these guys had better hazard recognition than you find in many European workplaces.  It’s nice to see something you worked on be used like that, it’s very humbling.

In Asia, particularly in Malaysia and Brunei, they have had a lot of success with Hearts and Minds.  I think they are among the best performers in Shell, and they’ve been using Hearts and Minds since the beginning.  But they started very slowly, very steadily, they didn’t try to do too much at once and they slowly changed some of the things they were doing.  Over time the Hearts and Minds terminology got into the language and formed part of their training.  For example, Improving supervision was a big success there.  The managers/supervisors would identify the level of skill and competence of their team, as well as the level of their motivation, and they would then identify the best management style to suit their team’s competence and skill.  This is only one element of one tool, but it’s formed a big part of their leadership training – if you go to any manager in the Asia Pacific region and ask them about this concept, they’ll tell you where their teams fall and which leadership styles are most appropriate.  That has become ingrained in management development.

Whilst we can see that performance has improved, it is hard to quantify success, and harder still to pin it down purely to Hearts and Minds.  You always want to see that you are improving, but managing safety is a dynamic thing and involves managing a massive amount of stuff.  If you watch a duck swimming upstream it looks so graceful on the surface, but its little legs are kicking like mad under the surface.  The company I am Safety Manager in, Sakhalin Energy, has turned around its Safety Performance now and seen an incredible improvement, and part of that is to do with Hearts and Minds, but we’re also doing a lot of other things as well.  Good performance depends on a number of factors coming together, and then to consistently keep on doing it.  You can do all the right things 99% of the time and that 1% will catch you out and you’ll have an incident. 

I’ll give you an example.  We’d made a lot of improvements throughout most of Sakhalin, however this one piece of the organisation, for multiple reasons, didn’t go on the same cultural improvement journey the rest of the organisation did.  It was piece of the organisation that, within a $20 billion project, was very low on money, low exposure in terms of man hours, but still involved risk, and they were so small they just slipped under the radar and did not get the same level of attention that we gave the other areas of the company.  It was only after they had two nasty incidents last year, both involving companies working for this small project, when this came to light.  One of the incidents had the potential to kill somebody and the other one resulted in someone losing a finger.  On the second incident, I got involved in the investigation myself, and I realised they were working without a permit to work system.  They were working with 100% compliance with the Russian system which only specifies that you need a permit to work system when working with very heavy lifts or high voltage, but they weren’t working to our standards, largely because we had not included them in our larger improvement plans.  So although we’d done a lot of work with major projects, we’d suddenly realised that there were small projects out there that could still be having incidents and we might not know.  It’s not that straightforward to measure the improvement that a HSE improvement project such as Hearts and Minds has been having, because it may be being applied differentially around the company, but it is certainly possible to look for the evidence, especially where Hearts and Minds hasn’t been applied.”

Our thanks go to Dr Robin Bryden for sharing his thoughts and experiences with the EI during his recent visit to the UK.

Click here to read part 5 of this interview.

Interview with Dr Robin Bryden – Part 5/6: Using Hearts and Minds at Sakhalin Energy

April 20, 2011

In part 5 of this interview, Dr Robin Bryden shares his experiences of using Hearts and Minds at Sakhalin Energy (where he is currently Head of Safety), highlighting how using the toolkit can engage contracting companies and how the company is beginning to see improvements in safety: 

“At Sakhalin Energy we are using the tools, although in some novel ways.  

What the Hearts and Minds tools do is give you a structure to identify the problem or the current state to better understand the situation, and they provide a structure for people to come up with some answers.  All of the Hearts and Minds tools do that in a different way, but targeted to specific activities – so Driving for excellence does that with driving, Improving supervision does that with Supervisors, SAFE does that for senior managers, and Understanding your culture does that using questions surrounding different cultures.  

Understanding your culture

At Sakhalin, we generally use Understanding your culture at Manager Director level, with some input from the workforce.  However, we’ve also developed a new workshop for use with our contractors to agree an action plan for Sakhalin Energy and the contractor company itself.  Some of the international companies are quite used to this sort of thing, but this is unfamiliar for some of the smaller family-run Russian businesses as they have had little exposure to big companies in the last few years.  For them it is a completely alien experience to come in and talk about health checkups, so the Understanding your culture workshop gets them up to speed with our expectations in a very user friendly way, and they are really enjoying it.  They also find it useful because they realise that some of their competitors are still at the lower levels of safety culture, and they can recognise that they have been there (and probably still are) but are now improving.  They can see themselves as ‘Reactive’ in their culture, and they’re very pleased to recognise that, and that gives us a topic of conversation.  I’m using Understanding your culture at the moment in a slightly different way because I want to bring some groups together – I want to bring the contractors and contract holders together to gain a shared understanding of what the issues are.  So I use it not just as a tool for me to diagnose or to convince management of the need to improve, but also to bring people together. 

Working safely

We also have intervention training (training staff to intervene in safety issues they have seen) for all staff and contractors which we now deliver to our contractors and subcontractors before they even join the workforce; that way they know our expectations before they turn up.  The intervention training was based on the recognition that just having spot cards does not really work for us.  Although we use the DuPont  Intervention cards, we don’t find them suitable for our needs.  The spotter cards have been around a very long time, they’re a very American way of doing things and it wasn’t working for us in Russia, so we created an intervention programme based on the Working safely tool.  We also used Working safely to give training for all our front line supervisors on how to run a toolbox talk.  

Driving for excellence

Driving is one of the most hazardous parts of our activities at Sakhalin, mainly due to poor road conditions.  Our defensive driving training is based on the Driving for excellence tool.  A recent independent audit identified our driving training as the best in its class; it was very nice to get that recognition.  Last year, as a joint venture, we won the Shell award for our improved performance, but even better than that we’ve gone from 11 deaths on the road in 5 years to none in the last 2. 

Achieving situation awareness

We also use Achieving situation awareness (the ‘rule of three’).  The rule of three is absolutely embedded in our journey management.  We’ve taken the concept and applied it to go/no go decisions on whether we allow people to drive.  For every single journey that anyone makes in the company we have to ask “can this journey take place?” – that obviously has cost benefits, and it has massive safety benefits too, because one of the best ways to prevent road accidents is to not have somebody driving.  We’ve reduced the quantity of journeys, reduced the exposure to danger, and part of how we make decisions on which journeys to go out on is based on the rule of three from Achieving situation awareness.  

I almost forgot to mention Achieving situation awareness. It’s actually a very important tool we use, but it’s easy to forget because people don’t even know it’s there as it’s completely embedded by staff.  Everybody uses the rule of three every day without even knowing they’re doing it, which is perfect as we’ve bagged a major win for us – safety is one of our biggest improvement areas.  Similarly, with the Driving for excellence material, nobody really knows they’re doing Hearts and Minds, they just think they’re doing driver training, and the drivers love it.  The normal way of teaching is very much lecturing – one way traffic – and the Heart and Minds tools are very much interactive.  The revelation with Hearts and Minds is really asking people for their views, and making people feel valued.  It’s a different way of doing things, and its working very well for us.

Apart from Understanding your culture, which we use mainly at Manager Director level (with a bit of input from the Workforce level), we are using all the other tools very much at workforce and frontline supervisor level, and current progress is to include thousands more front line supervisors in this training in the next 6 months and put something in place to make it more sustainable.  To do this, we need to make people feel that not only are they receiving this training, but that their boss, and their boss’s boss are also involved in this ongoing coaching.  This changes their understanding of what we’re doing and why their doing it and also of their role, so that the Hearts and Minds teachings become embedded and sustained.”

Click here to read part 4 of the interview.

Interview with Dr Robin Bryden – Part 4/6: The facilitator’s role

March 28, 2011

In this week’s instalment of the EI’s interview with Robin Bryden, Robin explains how the key to successfully implementing the Hearts and Minds toolkit rests with effective facilitators.

“What the Hearts and Minds tools do is give you a structure to identify the problem or better understand the situation, and they provide a structure for people to provide some answers.  All of the Hearts and Minds tools do that in a different way, but targeted to specific activities.  However, for most of the tools you don’t need to directly use the booklet.  Of course the facilitator needs to know the booklet inside out, but when you start doing your activities (workshops, etc.) you mostly just need a pen and something to write on.

Take Managing rule-breaking, for example, where you have the scratch-card questionnaires that you can give people.  The scratch cards are designed to allow people to give feedback anonymously to a supervisor about their following of rules and procedures, however, a facilitator can actually do it slightly differently – they can just ask people the questions.  It really depends on how open you are as an organisation and culture.  If people feel the need to answer in secret, then the anonymity of the questionnaires help, but if people are happy to speak up, then you just need the facilitator to ask the group the questions and probe for answers.

Understanding your culture is another tool where the facilitator has a large role to play in probing for answers.  Generally, people are often fairly optimistic when they do the Understanding your culture exercise – the initial rating is often way too high.  But then in the workshop, when questioned, they start to realise that they’re not as good as they thought they were, and that’s the start of the light bulb going on.  Initially they generally rate themselves as way too strong in culture, and it is often only when you engage the participants and challenge them on their answers that you get a more accurate indicator of their safety culture level.

For example, during an Understanding your culture exercise, a conversation I often have happens when leaders assess themselves as reactive.  I’ll ask: “so what are you going to do to get out of being reactive?” and they’ll tell me a reactive action, such as “I’m going to get out there and catch people working unsafely”. 

“So you think that’s going to move you up to generative do you?”

“Um, no”

“So where will that move you to?”

“That would move me to… reactive!”  

You can see their face change as they see they’re actually a couple of levels down from where they thought they were and where they thought they’d be with the remedying actions they had proposed. 

I’ve used this tool both quantitatively (with everybody completing questionnaires and counting up their scores) and qualitatively (everyone discussing openly in a workshop), and I came to the same answer for which cultural level the company was at and where the problems are for both methods.  In some ways, because I was able to facilitate the discussion, I think I might have got a better answer when I used it qualitatively.  You can’t always take the first answers people give to the Understanding your culture questions – what usually happens is someone gives the ‘politically correct’ answer (i.e. what they think I want to hear), and then someone (either myself, or someone else in the room) will challenge them on that and then they’ll change their minds, and as the conversation evolves you’ll get more and more answers – truer answers, bought out by the facilitator.”

To read part 3 of this interview, click here.

Interview with Dr Robin Bryden – Part 3/6: Using consultants – Holding hands when learning to walk

March 3, 2011

Continuing on from last month’s post, Dr Robin Bryden explains how to maximise the input of consultants when using Hearts and Minds and discusses how consultants can provide advantageous support when starting to use the toolkit:

“Hearts and Minds is designed to be used without the need to use consultants.  You can use Hearts and Minds by just using your own people from the beginning, by giving them the space and time to think about the Hearts and Minds material and how best to adapt them.  However, external consultants bring resources and knowledge, and the right consultant can be very useful. 

If you get a consultant in to get you started off, they can act as a guide to help you get ‘walking’, but you also need to build your own capacity internally in order to make your programme sustainable – you should be able to rely less and less on the consultant.  If you don’t want to or can’t use a consultant to begin with, then that is fine, but you need confidence and time to plan and learn how to use the tools; but sometimes it’s easier to have someone holding your hand.  It’s the difference between learning to walk yourself and having someone hold your hand.  Interestingly, my daughter refused – refused! – to hold my hand when she was learning to walk.

At Sakhalin Energy, the Driving for Excellence training was a course delivered by an external company.  We agreed with them beforehand what the content should be, and we gave them all our Hearts and Minds materials (bought from the Energy Institute), but they took it and collated it in their own way.  However, for our Understanding your Culture workshops, we just use the tools as provided by the EI and they are delivered internally with no consultant help. 

There’s a split between how external consultants will use the tools, and how what I like to call ‘internal consultants’ (people who work for the company rolling out the project) will use them.  So, if I was an internal consultant (so this is my company), I will know my company, what the strengths are, where the gaps are, and collect data around where those gaps are (using audit reports, safety cases, etc.) to sell to my internal stakeholders (managers and staff), to help them see what the problem is and build a collective case for change.  And depending on what the problems are, I would dive straight into those tools that best address that problem… and I’d just get on with it. 

However, if I was an external consultant coming from outside the company and trying to help a company diagnose what their problem is, I might start with Understanding Your Culture and the SAFE appraisal system.  I would use SAFE with senior managers and run a workshop with them based on the feedback they receive, and I would also use Understanding Your Culture with a number of other groups to find out what issues there are.  I’d then bring all that information together and run another Understanding Your Culture workshop with the senior managers.  I’d give them their SAFE results, give them some feedback from the workforce via the first Understanding Your Culture exercise, and give them additional information based on audits, incidents, to help them see their current reality, and off the back of that focus in on some more specific areas.  All this is mainly to discover where the problems are, and importantly to convince Senior Management and other stakeholders that there is a problem that needs fixing.  Afterwards comes the part of actually fixing it.”

Interview with Dr Robin Bryden – Part 2/6: Rolling out Hearts and Minds – the importance of push vs. pull

February 7, 2011

Dr Robin Bryden is currently seconded by Shell to work as Head of Safety at Sakhalin Energy in Russia, but he is probably better known throughout the energy safety sector as being one of the original developers of the Hearts and Minds toolkit.

In the second part of this interview Dr Robin Bryden tells the EI’s Hearts and Minds Programme Officer, Stuart King, about his experience of rolling out Hearts and Minds in Shell:

“When we were first rolling out Hearts and Minds in Shell in 2001/2002, we had a choice: do we push this out or do we create pull? The option we chose was to create pull, which was initially very successful in that a lot of people were interested and wanted to take part, it created a lot of excitement, and it was something new. Previously Shell had focused on engineering solutions and process safety, but not on the behavioural and cultural side of safety, so this got people energised, and having a set of tools to help people do that was just what was needed.

This was before the time of high bandwidth internet, so we rolled it out almost like a road show really, myself and a couple of others travelled the world on request. We’d give people information, write magazine articles, etc. People heard about it and said “oh this is interesting can you tell us more”. Then they’d request us to physically come to them and explain it further, run some workshops, and see how we could apply Hearts and Minds locally.

But in hind sight, we relied too much on pull and didn’t put enough resources in place to enable people to use Hearts and Minds as much as they wanted to. The original philosophy for long term use was that you don’t need additional resources; you take it and embed it into existing things you’ve got – tool box talks, training, etc. But I now realise that you can’t just bring the tools in and change those things instantly – you have to put something in between to help you bridge that gap.

For example, people wanted to take Hearts and Minds and its concepts and go and use the tools, and whilst we gave them all the information to do it, we wanted them to rely on their own resources. I guess we thought the pull method would be resource neutral, and in some cases it was – where we had really passionate people, they were able to take it and get on. In some cases that worked very well, but it would have been even more successful if we’d have combined that with a change management plan and additional resources – so top-down support but relying on people to take what is in the toolkit and customise it and make it their own and deliver it themselves.

The lesson for others is to recognise that it does take effort separate from the day job to implement a change programme, and you do need to put additional resources in place for a short period to help you look at Hearts and Minds, customise it, and get it embedded into existing activities. The push is as important as the pull.”

Part 1 of this interview is available here.

Interview with Dr Robin Bryden – Part 1/6: How Hearts and Minds began

January 13, 2011

Dr Robin Bryden is currently seconded by Shell to work as Head of Safety at Sakhalin Energy in Russia, but he is probably better known throughout the energy safety sector as being one of the original developers of the Hearts and Minds toolkit.

The EI’s Hearts and Minds Programme Officer, Stuart King, had the opportunity to catch up with Robin and ask a number of questions about Robin’s experiences working for Shell and using the Hearts and Minds toolkit.

In the first part of this interview, Robin explains how he came to be involved in the Hearts and Minds programme and the development of the toolkit:

“Hearts and Minds only began to exist as a brand in 1999. Prior to this, Shell had been funding a psychology research program since 1986, employing some eminent names including Prof Willem-Albert Wagenaar and Prof. Patrick Hudson of Leiden University, Prof. James Reason and Prof. Dianne Parker from Manchester University and Prof. Rhona Flin from The University of Aberdeen. There were many other leading academics and industry practitioners involved as the project grew and it was a pleasure and honour to work with them all. The Grandfather of Hearts and Minds was Gerard van der Graaf, a Shell Manager, who was with the project from the start, bringing in industry pragmaticism to the tools we know today. It was Gerard’s infectious enthusiasm which kept the work going over 20 plus years and it was that enthusiasm which brought me into the project as well

Back in the 80s Shell believed that behavioural scientists must have something of value to add to the energy industry, and it just so happened that the HSE department was funding this research. If another department had been funding this research it’s possible that Hearts and Minds would be focused on something other than safety, such as productivity – you can use the improvement process set out in Hearts and Minds towards any focus – it just so happened to be safety because of the passion that was involved and where the initial funding was coming from.

I became involved in the development of Hearts and Minds after I had decided to do a career change from clinical neuro-psychology to industrial psychology. I did my PhD in 1997 in industrial psychology, which was part-funded by Shell, focusing on workforce involvement. During my research, I spent a lot of time offshore listening to the guys on the platforms. They all had good ideas on safety, which we mostly discussed on tea breaks or on the rig floor, but I also spent a lot of time following maintenance guys around, working with the deck crew, or hanging around in the control room, gaining an understanding of what goes on and how the guys worked. I also had open access the more senior guys as well. In doing that, I saw that the workforce had really good ideas about how things should be done – they knew the best ways to do it – but that wasn’t always aligned with what they thought the managers were doing.

So my research job was essentially hanging out with the workforce, listening to their ideas, bringing these ideas back onshore, and then working with the managers to put them into practice. I was acting as a conduit between the two levels. The workforce liked this because a lot of their good ideas got put into practice, and the managers liked it because it bought them closer to the workforce and also because there was a benefit on cost savings, production and reliability. But the biggest improvement was on safety and improving the working atmosphere. I really enjoyed that. At the time, I remember thinking that Shell must be a really enlightened company to be funding this – Shell was really the leader in behavioural safety research at the time.

I then did work with Aberdeen University, building on these ideas and the ideas that had been produced from another Shell funded project that began in 1989 – Shell had invested in developing bow ties, the Swiss cheese model, Tripod, etc. A number of ideas had come out of this work, but Hearts and Minds really bought them together under the leadership of Gerard van der Graff. I remember Gerard saying that we had managed to condense all of this information on behavioural change and safety down into a number of research reports but that very few people will actually read them. His idea was to produce something very practical, and so ‘Hearts and Minds’ was born.

When creating Hearts and Minds we basically distilled a lot of behavioural psychology research, some of it Nobel Prize winning work, into the nine Hearts and Minds tools. In some ways this was done very subtly. For example there may be someone’s Nobel Prize winning work distilled down into about five sentences that will change attitudes to safety – now that’s not obvious from five lines in the middle of a booklet, and people might not necessarily appreciate what’s behind it, but there are real gems of information in the booklets based on solid research.”

Part 2 of this interview is available here.