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Human factors performance indicators

 

Following the Texas City refinery accident in 2005, increasing attention has been directed at performance indicators for process safety, with particular emphasis placed on the need for organisations to adopt ‘leading’ indicators.  In contrast to ‘lagging’ indicators (which are used to monitor incidents and accidents themselves) leading indicators are used to monitor the precursors to potential incidents and accidents, and provide an early warning for management to act before problems become serious. 

As the focus on process safety performance measurement has been increasing, there has also been a growing recognition of the importance of human factors in process safety, as well as the need for performance indicators to a) help organisations identify where they need to improve in the management of human factors and b) to help them demonstrate appropriate levels of control to stakeholders like regulators and insurers. But, while indicators for technical aspects of process safety are well understood, there has been less information available to operating companies to show how human factors performance might be measured.

Research report: Human factors performance indicators for the energy and related process industries

The EI recently completed a programme of collaborative research with the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Lloyd’s Register EMEA, and has published a research report titled Human factors performance indicators for the energy and related process industries.   The research programme was carried out over Spring and Summer 2010, and aimed both to capture current practices relating to measurement of human factors performance and to deliver a process that operating companies could use.  The report provides both a methodology (which is aligned to published HSE guidance HSG 254: Developing process safety indicators) to define and implement appropriate performance indicators for the HSE human factors 'key topics', and a list of potential performance indicators developed using operating experience from across the major hazards sectors.  

Human factors performance indicators for the energy and related process industries contains an extensive review of practices in safety performance measurement, and identifies learning points for successful implementation of indicator systems drawn from the literature and from industry experience. It contains the following information to assist in the implementation of an appropriate set of performance indicators: 

  • Flowchart and template to guide the user through the process of selecting suitable indicators.

  • Tables listing potential leading and lagging indicators for each of the human factors key topics.

This publication was launched with an article in Petroleum Review magazine written by the joint-project development team.

Where to access this publication

Research Report: Human factors performance indicators for the energy and related process industries  1st Edition, December 2010, ISBN 978 0 85293 587 3 (free PDF download, or priced hard-copy publication)