Learning from incidents seminar 5: Linking research and practice in learning from incidents, 11 June 2015, London

April 30, 2015

‘Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Learning from Incidents’ (IP-LFI) ESRC Seminar Series

11 June 2015, 10am-5pm (registration from 9:30am)

British Safety Council, 70 Chancellors Road, London W6 9RS (Hammersmith)


You are invited to join an interdisciplinary group of researchers, practitioners and policy-makers from across Europe to explore how organisations can learn effectively from incidents across different sectors: energy, health, finance, construction and further afield.

So far this seminar series has explored key issues and gaps in the field of learning from incidents and has devised a set of preliminary research questions for an interdisciplinary R&D agenda (Seminar 1); examined various theoretical perspectives (Seminar 2) and methodological approaches (Seminar 3) to learning from incidents, from a range of disciplines across Engineering, Social and Life Sciences; and discussed examples and issues from policy and practice perspectives (Seminar 4).

In this fifth seminar we shall discuss how to strengthen the link between research and practice in learning from incidents (LFI). How could researchers, practitioners and policymakers collaborate to advance learning from incidents? What models and frameworks could effectively facilitate cooperation between these different stakeholders? What are the key priorities in learning from incidents and what could researchers do to help practitioners and policymakers improve LFI? How can LFI research be best communicated to practitioners and policymakers?

These questions will be addressed through the keynote talks and group discussions at this seminar. The keynote speakers are:

  • Dr Ritva Engeström, Senior Researcher, Centre for Activity Theory and Developmental Work Research, University of Helsinki, Finland: “Change Laboratory and Developmental Work Research”
  • Professor Eve Mitleton-Kelly, Director of the Complexity Research Group, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK: “Addressing complex problems through collaboration: A complexity theory approach”
  • Professor Lasse Gerrits, Chair in Governance of Complex and Innovative Technological Systems, Otto-Friedrich University, Bamberg, Germany: “Back to normal: Generating resilience in complex systems”

Participation is free. A buffet lunch will be provided.

Registration is required. To register for the seminar, please go to: https://eventbrite.co.uk/event/16547197112/

To join our LFI seminars community and to be kept up to date about the forthcoming events sign up at lfiseminars.ning.com http://lfiseminars.ning.com

Call for abstracts: Human factors application in major hazard industries, 6-7 October 2015

April 2, 2015

The deadline has been extended to submit an abstract for this biennial two-day conference, which returns in 2015 and will explore the practical application of human factors in the management of major accident hazards (MAH) in the energy and allied process industries. The event will focus on two key themes:

  • Assuring human factors performance: How can we ensure high performance through human and organisational factors?
  • Preventing incidents before they happen: How can we effectively investigate and analyse incidents and embed learning. How can we prevent incidents before they occur?

This conference, organised by the Energy Institute (EI)’s Human and Organisational Factors committee and the Stichting Tripod Foundation, will enable the learning and sharing of good practice between companies and industries, and offers excellent networking opportunities with delegates from around the world representing operating companies, suppliers, consultancies, and academia.

Call for abstracts

The deadline for submitting an abstract has been extended until 30 April 2015. Don’t miss this final opportunity to put forward your submission for an oral or poster presentation on the following key topics:

Assuring human factors performance:

  • Competence assurance
  • Non-technical skills and crew resource management (CRM)
  • Alarm handling
  • Risk analysis
  • Fatigue management
  • Other topics will be considered

Preventing incidents before they happen:

  • Safety culture
  • Human and organisational factors in Bow Tie diagrams
  • Embedding learning from incidents
  • Quality incident analysis
  • Other topics will be considered

To submit your contribution you will need to:

  • prepare an abstract of up to 500 words on the topic you intend to present in Microsoft Word format
  • indicate the presenter and co-authors with their affiliation and contact details
  • submit the abstract to Stuart King: e: sking@energyinst.org;

Submissions will be evaluated by the organising committee and successful entrants will be notified shortly after the submission deadline. Final deadline for abstract submission is Thursday 30 April 2015.


A range of sponsorship opportunities are available for this event. For details please contact Luigi Fontana: e: lfontana@energyinst.org;

OGP publishes 2011 safety performance indicators

July 4, 2012

The Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) has published safety performance indicators for 2011.  Consisting of data collected from OGP members, the report provides statistical analysis on injury and fatality rates by reporting category, activity, country, etc.

25% of fatalities were the result of being caught in, under or between machinery/equipment, whilst 18% of fatalities were the result of being struck by an object.  The three largest areas of activities associated with fatalities were land transport (23%), construction, commission and decommissioning (17%) and maintenance, inspection and testing (17%).  By contrast, the two activities most associated with lost time injuries were drilling, workover and well services (22%) and production operations (16%).

Of note, 80% of fatalities in 2011 are covered by the OGP life-saving rules, and the report suggests that many fatalities may have been avoided with the adoption of the life-saving rule system.

The report also analyses the causal factors associated with many of the fatalities and ‘high-potential’ events (events with the potential to cause fatalities) recorded, identifying a number of management failures, including inadequate supervision, hazard identification and training/competence.

Dial 911… I mean 919! Area code system leads to emergency service misdials

May 21, 2012

Here’s an interesting case study about the large consequences of a seemingly small historical oversight in the US system for assigning telephone area codes.

In Raleigh, North Carolina, the area code is 919, which is similar to the emergency services telephone number of 911.  Until recently within Raleigh, dialling the area code was optional, alleviating the risk of misdialling the emergency services.  However, Raleigh is now large enough that dialling the area code is mandatory which has caused an influx of misdialled calls into the emergency services.

Misdials can be verified in a number of ways – such as at the time of the call, through the operator calling back if the caller hung-up, or through sending out police officers to investigate a hang-up.  The problem has gotten so bad that officers are being sent out to investigate hang-ups every 7.5 minutes on average.

The majority of misdials are caused by the elderly, who are less used to having to dial the area code, and businesses, who often need to dial ‘9’ to get an outside line.  Changing the area code is not really considered an option, as it is felt it will be too complicated.  The Director of Emergency Communications has implored citizens to ‘dial carefully’ – though not likely to be an effective solution.

It’s a fascinating problem that highlights how a lack of human factors foresight can go on to cause major operational issues.

Is it worth remembering this case study within industry, particularly when designing communications systems, controls, procedures, etc., so as to future-proof them?