• Demonstration of human factors techniques

    2003 - Petrochemical

    The client was interested to learn more about practical, human factors techniques. Andy ran a two day workshop with a group of site personnel, assisted by a junior colleague. On the first day a mini-staffing assessment was carried out using the HSE methodology (CRR 348/2001). On the second day some critical tasks were analysed using Hierarchical Task Analysis. A report was written of the findings from the workshop, especially regarding control room operations and the impact of change.

    The client was planning to change from a 8-hour to 12-hour shift pattern. The main driver for this was that they were having problems arranging cover for holidays, sickness etc. This had resulted in frequent working of double shifts (i.e. 16 hours). Andy made extensive use of fatigue research documented in HSE Contract Research Report 254/1999, and the working time directive and UK regulations. Communication was key element in this project and research about shift handover described in HSE offshore report OTO 96003 was used.
  • Review of how procedures are addressing the needs of COMAH

    2006 -Oil Refinery/Petrochemical

    The client had recognised that in certain circumstance that procedures are a key risk control measure. As part of preparation for COMAH it was necessary to demonstrate that the actual procedures in place were covering all the requirements to minimise the likelihood of major accidents and to ensure mitigation. Due his previous involvement in procedures at the site, Andy was asked to review the current situation.

    Working to a tight timescale, Andy directed an internal audit of procedures and COMAH carried out by the client's personnel. He then visited every department to carry out his own 'sample' audit to act as a cross reference. This combined approach meant Andy had information to demonstrate that whilst minimum requirements were being achieved, there was an underlying problem that meant the link between procedures and COMAH was not being made in an effective manner. As a result he was able to recommend a change of emphasis in the way tasks were analysed that would have multiple benefits of focusing procedures onto major hazards and improving the understanding of people who use the procedures.

  • Staffing assessments of two plants on a large petro-chemical site

    2009 - Petrochem

    The company had been through rounds of staffing reductions, change of ownership and management reorganisation. Also, the two plants in question had moved from dedicated control rooms to a shared facility.  Andy conducted separate assessments for the two plants in order to identify any common and specific concerns.  He identified a number of actions to improve the control of staffing and other human factors risks.  A number of them related to the original design of the plant.  However, a significant proportion of issues had arisen from the way various changes of plant, procedures and organisation had been managed in the past.