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Safety critical tasks: Identification of Human Error to control risks from Major Accident Hazards - Hazardex 2016

29 October 2015

Authors: George Petrie, Lead Human Factors Engineer & Ann Rosbrook, Head of Safety Engineering, TOTAL E&P UK

**This paper will be presented at Hazardex 2016. Contact us for details of delegate packages & offers**

Although the importance of human failures in causing accidents is well known in the Oil & Gas industry, historically the focus has been on technical failures in major accident hazards (MAH) and less on human failures.

In order to address these human failures TOTAL E&P UK has developed a process to manage the risk of human error across their assets. This work involved developing a robust process to identify MAH scenarios from the various safety studies. Progress at first has been slow but by developing sound foundations the company has started to show significant benefits in managing human failures in Major Accident Hazard scenarios.

Results to date, how far are we on the journey?

The process has gained momentum across TOTAL E&P UK with dedicated resources allocated to support the assessment process and to facilitate updates to site procedures/site work instructions. This involves both operators and maintenance technicians in the analysis and site walk through of the task. The process has not only identified safety related risks that were not previously recognised but environmental risks, operational risks (equipment damage, process upsets etc) and potential downtime of plant. Employees are fully engaged in the human error analysis. They recognise where human error is critical as well as the true value of maintaining the key recovery systems, for example; hose registers, locked open/locked closed process, line walks etc.

Challenges along the way

•  Organisations need to be intelligent customers
•  A clear strategy and common methodology as a prerequisite
•  Focus on Major risks (different to industry approach)
•  Close the loop (from MAH scenarios linked to procedures and through to training & competency)
•  Integrate HF into the business, ensure the workforce and management have sufficient knowledge of Human and Organisational Factors
•  Involve the employees (in every aspect of the HF work-scope; awareness, ownership and accountability)

TOTAL E&P UK future plans

This process is very much work in progress but the foundations have been developed.  A large number of employees are now engaged in the HF work-scopes through training, analysis and updates to procedures. The company focus is to continue the focus of high risk tasks across operational sites until these have been fully understood and measures implemented to address any issues identified. Only then will the company progress safety critical task analysis that are medium or low risk.


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