Elimination of Human Errors During Planning Phase Prevents Accidents
Remapping of conventional causes of accidents with human-factors guidelines highlighted consistent patterns in the causation of incidents where multiple human-factors criteria were formerly overlooked. This approach has led to changes in incident investigation, putting a focus on causes and providing efficient corrective actions to avoid the recurrence of incidents.
Prevention of workplace accidents remains a challenge for the oil and gas industry to avoid interruptions to business, safeguard its employees, and maintain its reputation. The oil and gas industry is challenged by the repetition of incidents, despite addressing the root causes.
Typically, incident investigations highlight gaps in the implementation of a health, safety, and environment (HSE) management system, and corrective actions often include the revision of procedures, more training, enhancements in work planning, design review, and procurement of new tools.
An analysis of more than 500 oil and gas incident investigations was conducted, and the repetition of incidents was noted. The analysis remapped human factors such as incorrect decisions, improperly performed actions, improper lack of action, and the presence of error-inducing precursors to assess the effectiveness of the investigations. The following were the repetitive human factors issues leading to the majority of incidents:
• Work load and task decision
• Motivation and attention
• Competence and learning
Remapping of conventional causes with human-factors guidelines highlighted consistent patterns in the causation of incidents where multiple human-factors criteria were formerly overlooked. Based on the analysis, the incident investigation training curriculum was revised to include human factors and error recovery. Corrective actions (75%) were ineffective because those actions were not directed toward human factors. This has prompted organizations to change the way incidents are investigated, highlighting the need to link system causes with specific human factors deficiencies. The analysis found that 80% of drilling-related incidents were triggered by unsafe actions and 62% of unsafe actions were because of human errors and mistakes.
This approach has led to changes in incident investigations in areas such as interviewing witnesses, identifying errors, and identifying corrective actions. A list of incident causes has been created to focus on the types of errors and error-inducing factors. This novel approach focused on causes and provided efficient corrective actions to avoid the recurrence of incidents.