• Human factors for a new facility

    2006 - Gas terminal

    Andy was seconded to the pre-operations team during the final design and construction phases of a new gas terminal. Andy's role was to facilitate task analysis and risk assessment, and to use the results to specify plant and interface design, procedural and competence requirements. This was a significant contribution to the preparation of the COMAH safety report and development of safe systems of work. Andy has provided ongoing support to the project, and this has demonstrated that human factors best practices can be incorporated into a project with minimal extra time and cost over 'traditional' approaches.

  • Human factors in a HAZOP

    2008 - Gas, offshore

    The client was designing a new gas production platform. Andy was asked to attend a Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) review to ensure human factors was given appropriate attention. His input ensured that human errors and risk controls were considered from a human factors perspective rather than purely engineering custom and practice.

  • Human factors review of bow ties supporting an offshore safety case

    2014 - Offshore gas

    The client had completed a number of bow tie analyses in support of their safety case.  Andy was asked to review these to identify any significant human factors issues.  He reviewed the barriers in order to determine which would be considered safety critical tasks or safety critical activities; and made recommendations about how the adequacy of these barriers could be ensured.

  • Improving operating procedures at an onshore gas terminal

    2009 - Gas terminal

    Andy was engaged by the client to provide a range of human factors support.  A significant part of this was the development of improved operating procedures.  This involved developing a comprehensive task list, ranked using a systematic method of assigning criticality.  Detailed procedures, developed using task analysis were produced for the 10% of tasks considered to be most critical.  The procedures were considered to be far superior to the previous procedures because they were shorter, clearer and more accurate.

  • Incorporating human factors into invitations to tender for design services

    2011 - Gas

    The client was planning major modifications to an existing facility. They recognised the importance of incorporating human factors into the design, which would be performed by a contractor. They asked Andy to provide the text to be included in the Invitation to Tender (ITT) being sent to design contractors and to advise on the issues to be considered when evaluating bids. Andy specified the general approach required to manage human factors during the project as well as identifying the likely human factors 'hot spots' that would require specific management plans and be included in project reviews and audit.

  • Overseeing human factors in the design of a new control room

    2008 - Gas onshore processing

    Andy was engaged by a design contractor to oversee work carried out by a vendor of a control room (including DCS and other interfaces) and auxiliary buildings.  His role was to ensure human factors had been given adequate consideration.  Andy led model reviews of the buildings, facilitated usability tests and carried out site inspections.  His intervention led to improved design of operator interfaces; and improved layout and labelling of equipment cabinets.  The ultimate client for the project was very appreciative of the work carried out by Andy and took a more hands-off approach having been reassured that key issues had been identified and addressed.  This certainly reduced the workload on the design contractor and their vendor.

  • Reassessment of staffing arrangements following an organisational change

    2014 - Gas

    Following an assessment aimed at predicting the impact of a planned change, Andy returned to site to re-assess staffing arrangements using the Staffing Assessment method.

  • Review of an organisational change

    2007 - Gas terminal

    The client was planning a significant organisational change. Referring to the HSE's staffing assessment methodology, but tailoring it to the client's specific needs, Andy considered the plans and employees' views. From this he was able to identify that there was nothing fundamentally wrong with the objectives, but that some of the arrangements for implementing the change needed to be reviewed.

  • Review of control room arrangements

    2006 - Gas, offshore

    Andy was asked to return to the platform approximately one year after his initial review, to evaluate subsequent changes. He found that a number of his previous recommendations had been implemented, and had been received favourably by both operators and management. Andy to identified some further opportunities to improve, challenging some custom and practice that could potentially introduce risk. He was able to make a number of recommendations to further improve the control room that would ultimately contribute to safely reducing manning levels.

  • Review of control room arrangements

    2005 - Gas, offshore

    The original arrangement on the offshore complex included two control rooms. The client had recently changed this to have the two operators in the same room. Andy was required to evaluate the impact of this change and to determine whether it would be possible for one operator to operate the whole complex. This involved a visit offshore and a two day workshop with personnel. The HSE staffing methodology was used as the basis for the evaluation. Andy's conclusions were that the completed changes were largely satisfactory, but that further changes to alarm systems and layout of the control room were required before any down manning could be considered to ensure the lone operator was not overly distracted be events.

  • Review of human factors following detailed design

    2007 - Gas, offshore

    Three offshore gas platforms had been designed and were in the early stages of construction. Previously, during Front End Engineering Design (FEED) a preliminary human factors engineering analysis had been carried out using Shell's Design and Engineering Practices (DEP).

    Andy was asked to carry out a human factors review at the end of detailed design. This involved a three day workshop attended by representatives of the design contractors and the future operating company during which the key systems and critical tasks were identified and analysed. Andy's report confirmed adherence to the DEP and other good practice; and recommended a number of actions to improve the design.

  • Review of the company's contractor competence management system

    2014 - Gas

    Andy led a review of the way the company identified the need for contractors, defined their scope of work, selected them and managed the work they do.  This highlighted the issues related to ensuring the competence of people who are not direct employees.  The review identified a number of areas where improved control could and should be implemented; and how this could reduce the risk of major accidents.

  • Supporting the analysis of an incident that involved errors by a control room operator

    2011 - Gas

    The client had experienced an incident. Although the consequences had been relatively minor it was recognised that a number of failures had occurred, including errors by the control room operator, that could indicate deep set human factors problems. Because of his knowledge of the site, Andy was asked to assist in the analysis of the incident. He was able to point towards systemic weaknesses that had contributed to the errors. Also, he was able to show that warning signs had been visible for some time prior to the incident, but people had not appreciated their significance. The client is using the findings from the incident, including Andy's report, to develop plans to improve the management of human factors across the business.

  • Supporting updates to a COMAH report

    2011 - Gas

    Major modifications were taking place on site to accommodate a new process.  This included reuse of some redundant plant and installation of new.  As a result, the site's COMAH report needed to be updated.  Andy assisted by providing text for the report to cover human factors.  Also, he worked with the client and their design contractors to ensure human factors were being adequately considered in the project.  He produced a human factors integration plan covering the modifications that was incorporated into the project plan and was submitted as an attachment to the COMAH report to demonstrate the approach being taken.

  • Task analysis of well operations

    2010 - Gas storage

    As part of a critical task analysis exercise, two operations were subject to task and error analysis.  They were the replacement of Sub-Surface Safety Valves (SSSV) and changing a wing valve.  Both are quite different from the normal operating and maintenance tasks performed on process plants.  The analyses highlighted the importance of good planning, engaging competent contractors and ensuring appropriate procedures are in place.  Equally the analyses demonstrating that tasks that on the face of it are particularly hazardous can be performed in a safe and effective manner.

  • Working with shift teams to develop a training course for improving the quality of shift handover

    2014 - Gas

    Due to an influx of new personnel to the operating team, concerns had been raised that not everyone understood the importance of shift handover to managing process safety risks.  Andy worked with representatives of the shift teams to develop a half day training course to highlight the problems that can occur if shift handover is not carried out correctly and to provide guidance for improvement.  As a result the company developed a plan to roll out the training to all shift teams.