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Hazardex 2017 Conference - Human factors, human error and human behaviours. Do we know what we are talking about?

16 December 2016

Although many safety professionals write about and present on “human factors”, there is ample evidence that we don’t really know what we are talking and writing about. 

This paper:
• Shows that most of the time we don’t know what we are talking about
• Reveals that the words “human factors” are used to name at least four things
• Explains how the purpose of human factors is to help people  a) not create conditions which may lead people into committing errors, and how to overcome those conditions if they exist in the workplace
• Shows how people mistake error-producing conditions and situations for human factors 
• Shows that actual human factors are the behaviours which lead to erroneous decision which result in actual errors.
• Provides three ways to deal with “human factors” … including a practical exercise if time permits.

About the speaker

Dr Bill Robb is an expert on behavioural safety.

After analysing over 400 accidents and incidents and giving hundreds of face-to-face workshops, for major organisations in a variety of industries he has accumulated a wealth of frontline practical wisdom on human factors and unsafe behaviours – including the seven “behavioural traps”. 

Dr Bill is based in Aberdeen but travels internationally, and has been conducting workshops for major oil and gas companies, drilling companies and shipping companies. He has published manuals on safety leadership, safety culture, human error reduction, child safety, behavioural safety and improving safety systems. He is a guest speaker at company events and for professional bodies such as delivers the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the International Association of Drilling Contractors, Emerging Leaders Alliance and the Marine Safety Forum.

In July 2010, he received an award from the Aberdeen Branch of the Society of Petroleum Engineers for his outstanding contribution to health and safety in the oil and gas industry. He has doctoral degrees from the University of Glasgow and the University of South Africa.


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