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Energy Industry

Human Factors in Energy Distribution

The energy industry is a complex, high reliability, safety critical environment which depends high performance teams. Human Factors training can assist energy industry organisations to reduce errors, incidents and accidents. Human Factors training originated in the aviation industry after research indicated that the majority of aviation accidents were caused by failures of interpersonal communication, leadership, and decision making.

NASA developed the principles of HF training which is now a regulatory requirement for commercial flight crews. Human Factors training differs from traditional safety training in that the focus is less with the technical knowledge and skills required to perform specific operations, but rather with the cognitive and interpersonal skills needed to effectively manage a complex, safety critical, team-based activity. The Global Air Training HF programme has been continually developed over 20 years and is widely recognised in aviation and other safety critical industries.

Human Factors in the energy industry training

Human factors training has developed considerably since its introduction and has become more operationally orientated. The principle that human error is ubiquitous and inevitable is widely accepted, as is the understanding that people help to create safety. The development and training of effective threat and error management strategies now forms the core of HF training programmes. GAT HF training delivers a set of safety skills that include situation awareness, decision making, communication and workload management. HF training recognizes that human error is inevitable, and that people are the greatest asset to achieving safety and high reliability in complex and hazardous work environments. It considers the human causes of error and delivers a proactive approach to avoid, trap and mitigate errors.

Human factors skills diagram

Human Factors training recognises that human error is inevitable, and that people are the greatest asset in creating safety. It develops a proactive approach to error management that can benefit organisations through:

  • Increasing awareness and identification of risks
  • Accurate identification of underlying causes
  • Adopting a non-punitive approach to error management
  • Developing a ‘learning culture’
  • Reducing frequency of human error
  • Mitigating consequences of human error
  • Increasing individual and organisational efficiency
  • Increasing safety and reliability