Skip to content

Human and organisational factors

It is commonly said that 90% or more of accidents happen due to ‘human error’, but it is also true that, because of humans, things tend to go right most of the time. The challenge is to make ‘most of the time’ become ‘all of the time’.

By taking into account human and organisational factors (what is human factors?), industry can ensure that its operations, and the jobs it asks people to do, take into account the reality of being ‘only human’, and so prevent major accidents occuring.

The EI has one of the largest collections of human and organisational factors resources available in the world, used in nearly 80 countries.  Best of all, EI makes these resources completely freely available anywhere in the world.


Human and Organisational Factors Committee (HOFCOM)

The Energy Institute's Human and Organisational Factors Committee was established in 2001 as the focal point for human and organisational factors affecting the energy and allied industries. The committee aims to help industry to understand and apply human and organisational factors to its operations by: engaging the industry and its stakeholders; supporting the industry by commissioning studies, providing information and sharing knowledge. Whilst several kindred organisations are actively working in this area in the UK, Europe and globally, the  committee offers a unique forum for all sectors of the industry and its stakeholders.

If you would like more information on the EI's Human and Organisational Factors Committee, or are an employee of one of the EI's Technical Partner companies and are interested in becoming a member of the group, please contact Stuart King e:


Human Factors Foundation course
5 day course based on EI's Human factors professional development course material.  Takes the student from an 'awareness' level to a 'basic' level (able to begin to manage human factors).

Delivering safety culture change using the Hearts and Minds toolkit 
3 day course on managing a safety culture programme and using the Hearts and Minds toolkit.

Human factors incident investigation and analysis
2 day course on incident investigation methodologies.

Human factors awareness
Free online training course.

Resources - guidance and practical tools 

The committee's strategy is focused on producing resources of use to the industry.  Pertinent project resources are listed in the navigation menu on the left-hand side of the page, or click here to see full project listings

Recently completed projects:  

New: Guidance on human and organisational factors aspects of implementing new technologies
This publication primarily provides a generic set of questions and accompanying guidance to help organisations plan for the introduction of any new technology.

New: Human factors briefing notes 21, 22 and 23
EI has published three new briefing notes on supervisor competence, willingness to act and workload and staffing levels.

New: Supporting safety decision making in companies: Briefing notes for Board members, managers and other leaders

This publication provides guidance on supporting good safety decision making at leadership level to enable companies to understand and manage the factors that influence decision making by leaders, and improve the quality, understanding, and flow of information at the top of organisations, in order to facilitate better informed decisions, specifically where those decisions can impact on major accident hazard safety. Each section focuses on a different aspect of supporting decision making at leadership level, including safety culture, social and cognitive biases, and risk assessment.

New: Learning from incidents, accidents and events

This publication aims to be the 'go to' resource on learning from incidents (LFI). Superseding the 2008 publication, this new publication covers the entire LFI lifecycle - incident reporting, investigation, creating recommended actions, broader learning, and evaluation.  It also covers how incidents happen, blockers and enablers to learning, and has a large focus on how to embed and sustain learning.


The Hearts and Minds programme

The Hearts and Minds programme was developed by Shell and is based on research with leading universities. The programme uses a range of tools and techniques to help the organisation involve all staff in managing SHE as an integral part of their business. A state-of-the-art Toolkit is now available to those outside the Shell Group, thanks to a publishing agreement between the Energy Institute and Shell.

Tripod - incident and accident investigation methodologyTripod Foundation logo

Tripod is a theory for understanding the human factors aspects of incidents and accidents. It was developed to explain how and why incidents happen, and allow the root organisational causes and deficiencies to be uncovered and addressed.

There are two main Tripod tools:

  • Tripod Beta – an accident/incident investigation methodology
  • Tripod Delta – a proactive analysis tool to help prevent future incidents

Visit to find out about Tripod and Tripod accreditation.


Human factors consultants listed on Member Consultant database

One benefit of EI membership is registration of capabilities on the EI Member Consultant list. This facility has been extended to include the categories 'human factors', 'human reliability' and 'ergonomics', so that consultants offering a service to the energy industry can be readily identified.

The Member Consultant list is maintained by the EI Library and Information Service who should be contacted by those wishing to register their capabilities.

Not a member?