Human performance principles, which are well developed in aviation and healthcare, still represent an emerging science within the oil and gas industry. The industry managed to significantly reduce injuries over the last decade with multiple programs ranging from HSE Leadership to Behavior-Based Safety to the point when the incidents plateaued according to IOGP and IADC incident statistics. This triggered a deeper look into human performance best practices and their applicability within the oil and gas sector. This paper aims to provide an alternative approach to adopt Human Performance science to the dynamic operations risk assessment process within an Oilfield Services Company. After the analysis of the existing human reliability assessment tools, a decision was made to adopt a human performance tool known as Human Error Assessment & Reduction Technique (HEART) into a service provider’s risk assessment process with a primary focus on Error Producing Conditions (EPC). An internal survey was undertaken to define Error Producint Condition, which are most relevant to the dynamic nature of oil and gas services operations and couple them with the Reasons’s performance modes and their effect on error appearance. This approach allowed to significantly simplify the risk assessment process and adequately focus on key factors known to produce conditions for human error. This naturally integrated into our existing qualitative risk assessment to recalculate the overall risk of a certain task and enhanced workers’ ability to recognize potentially dangerous external and internal factors.
The field tests of the improved human performance risk assessments reshaped the standard risk assessment practices, moving the focus to and targeting the inherent unreliability of the task as a result of error producing conditions caused by unavoidable human interactions within the complex systems. This approach proved effective in improving the overall understanding of dynamic human reliability related risks among the front line employees by around 30%. The hypothesis is that by introducing key human performance factors to the day-to-day risk assessment will help build awareness of human factors and their relationship to the probability of an existing risk. At the same time, utilizing an already effective system – risk assessment – to introduce human factors methods will help avoid the complexity associated with its implementation of an additional human reliability tool and still get the benefit of key elements of a well-established method.
This approach has undertaken to combine two existing effective systems: a standard risk assessment with integrated human factors under a customized umbrella fully suitable for Oilfield Service Company’s work specifics. This paper provides insights on how human factors can impact the level of risk and outlines the control measures targeted at such factors that can be missed if a standard risk assessment is applied.