Skip to content

Human and Organisational Factors Committee activities

The Committee's strategy is focussed on producing resources that will be of use to the industry. Its work commenced by establishing what relevant research studies and practical tools are being developed and providing information to meet industry's needs; this helped to define gaps in knowledge.

Completed projects


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.

Guidance for optimising operator plant situational awareness by rationalising control room alarms
This publication is intended to be used by individuals with responsibility for designing, maintaining and improving alarm systems. The alarm usability assessment is the main deliverable of this publication.  It is a simple tool, with accompanying guidance, allowing high priority alarms (or problematic alarms) to be assessed against a simple five-stage model of how a CRO acknowledges, interprets and responds to alarms. 

Guidance on ensuring control room operator (CRO) competence
This publication provides specific guidance on how to assure competence of CROs in the energy industries, particularly how to define competence standards, select training and development methods, assess CROs and maintain their competence once in post. 

Guidance on crew resource management (CRM) and non-technical skills training programmes
In response to recent offshore incidents, it has been suggested by regulators that the energy industry should adopt CRM training. 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.

Fatigue
Guidance document and research report on fatigue:
Managing fatigue using a fatigue risk management plan (FRMP) and Viability of using sleep contracts as a control measure in fatigue management.

Human and organisational factors professional development: complete training resource
An 'off-the-shelf' training resource, providing the teaching materials required for a trainer to deliver a 4-5 day human factors classroom-based training course.

Human factors awareness: web-based training course
This free to access web-based course aims to build awareness of human and organisational factors issues amongst those working in industry and who are responsible for people and/or safety, including senior managers, managers, supervisors, and operators. Spanning 11 modules covering the HSE key topics, it introduces pertinent human factors issues, provides case studies, common problems and solutions. It also tests users' learning with a series of short assessment questions.

Human factors in decommissioning
Decommissioning a power plant is a potentially hazardous process. This guidance aims to steer the user through the types of human factors considerations that should be taken into account during the various phases of decommissioning a facility. The example given is of a nuclear power plant; however, whilst the docommissioning phases, activities and terminology used are nuclear specific, most are also relevant across wider energy industry sectors.

Human Factors Briefing Notes
A series of briefing notes covering a variety of human factors topics, designed to introduce the issues to the reader and help them begin to make improvements.  Revised for 2011.

Human factors performance indicators
A joint industry research project to explore the use of human factors performance indicators in industry, and to develop a methodology for selecting performance indicators for each of the HSE's key human factors issues.

Safety Information Bulletins
To encourage information sharing on the successful application of human factors methodologies to petroleum and allied industries operations, the Energy Institute Human Factors Working Group, with the support of EI technical partners, commissioned an external consultant to establish a series of Safety information bulletins based on lessons learned from incidents or near misses;  new methods of working; or, novel human factors techniques.

Human failure types
An interactive e-learning tool exploring the different types of human failure, and providing guidance on how to handle such failures.  ‘Human error’ is not an adequate description of human failure in behavioural and process safety – it is important to understand the different types of human failures and their causes in order to minimise those failures.

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.

Safety critical task analysis 
Guidance publication on incorporating human factors into safety critical task assessments (SCTA).  This publication includes a step-by-step process for conducting SCTA, case studies, example outputs, as well as examples of good and bad practice.

Safe staffing arrangements
The staffing arrangements toolbox has been developed to provide those in the petroleum and allied major hazard industries with the resources necessary to better determine staffing arrangements in control rooms and similar locations.

Top ten Human Factors issues and resources
This webpage provides access to listings of resources in support of HSE’s top ten most pertinent human factors issues facing onshore major hazards sites in the chemical and allied industries. 

Quantified human reliability analysis (QHRA)
EI Guidance on quantified human reliability analysis (QHRA) focuses primarily on techniques that provide support for quantification. It aims to reduce the instances of poorly conceived or executed analyses by equipping organisations that plan to undertake, or commission, human reliability assessments with an overview of important practical considerations.

Workforce involvement
Development of guidance on effective workforce involvement. Simple guidance on how to achieve effective workforce involvement, identifying available resources.  Guidance is accompanied by a set of workforce invovlement posters and a 'campaign note' providing guidance on running a workforce involvement awareness campaign.

Current projects 

S1601 Human factors in decomissioning and end of service life

Objective is to provide clear and concise guidance for companies undertaking end-of-service-life operations and decommissioning on how to manage human and organisational factors aspects of these operations.  

S1602 Contractor management during shutdowns and turnarounds

Objective is to provide clear and concise guidance for companies to manage and ensure safe operations when using contractors and suppliers for outages/turnaround projects in the first instance, and for shorter projects (e.g. a few days to a few weeks) if the guidance significantly differs than for outages/turnarounds (which may last a few months).

S1603 Human factors aspects of implementing new technology

Objective is to provide an overview of the types of smart technologies being implemented/considered (why and how they are used), along with a discussion of the likely human factors issues that need to be considered, and the types of methods and tools that can be used to address such issues and to ensure the effectiveness of their implementation.  It should focus on both the risks, and opportunities for the technology to solve existing problems.

Other resources

These comprise of introductory information, case studies, workshop reports and guidance not covered above.

Other Energy Institute Human Factors related projects

Click here to return to the Human Factors home page.