The fatal explosion at the Texas City Refinery in March 2005, highlights the importance of comprehensively addressing human factors during project design to avoid catastrophic consequences. While many factors contributed to varying degrees to cause the explosion, BP’s response to the explosion included developing a comprehensive procedure and supporting guidance on the integration of human factors with project engineering processes.
Other sources of such guidance do exist but they are generic in that they do not map onto an engineering or systems development process. Or they are specific only to certain stages of development. This work is original in its attempt to create a comprehensive solution to oil and gas projects’ development cycle, and in trying to map this onto an operating Company’s management systems.
This paper reports on the work undertaken to develop a human factors integration procedure for BP’s projects and operational management. It describes the requirements gathering and drafting phases of the work, and shows how the description of human factors practices has been tailored to the organisation’s established engineering and technical safety management systems. The human factors process model has been validated with stakeholders throughout the organisation and in support of a major project. The results of these validation activities are reported here.