Focus Area: Human Factors

What do we mean by Human Factors?

Human Factors are organisational, job and people related factors that influence behaviour at work. This focus area concentrates on factors that could affect health and safety at work.

Why Human Factors? – The background

Analysis of Lost Time Injuries and Recordable Injuries reported to EIGA shows that 70% are attributed to human factors, of which were classified as 60% human failures, 3% management failures and 7% failures of management systems and procedures. EIGA has been analysing these human errors in more detail by asking members to subdivide human errors as different types of human failure, to better identify and manage these contributing factors.

Why do incidents happen?

After an incident has occurred it is, with hindsight, easy to identify many factors that contributed to the situation. Investigation becomes more difficult when we want to understand why people acted in a certain way or made certain decisions. Too often the individual who was most directly involved is blamed. By applying a human factors approach we reveal many more underlying factors which influenced people’s behaviours. These can include poor design, poor maintenance, attitudes to health and safety in the organisation, lack of clear visible leadership, inadequate training or supervision, poor work planning and organisation or individual attitude and skill.

EIGA has produced a number of Human Factors Information sheets to:

  • explore the Human Factors specific to the industrial gases industry
  • raise awareness on these issues and
  • provide guidance

In some cases, these information sheets will demonstrate how and where Human Factors are already addressed and included in existing documented best practice and guidance. Although the Human Factors Safety Information sheets are aimed primarily at supervisors and managers, they may be of benefit to others who work within our industry.

EIGA Safety Information - Human Factors

  • Info HF 01 - Human Factors - "An Overview"
  • Info HF 02 - Individual - "Training and Competence"
  • Info HF 03 - Organisation - "Human Factors in Incident Investigation"
  • Info HF 04 - Task - "Design and Effectiveness of Procedures"
  • Info HF 05 - Task - "Maintenance Error"
  • Info HF 06 - Organisation - "Site Emergency Response"Info HF 07 - Organisation - "Communications on Safety"
  • Info HF 08 - Task - "Alarm Handling"
  • Info HF 09 - Task - "Fatigue from working patterns - Shiftwork and overtime"
  • Info HF 10 - Organisation - "Managing Organisational Change"
  • Info HF 11 - Organisation - "Safety Culture"
  • Info HF 12 - Task - "Human Factors in Design"
  • Info HF 13 - Organisation - "Human Reliability"

 EIGA Safety Information - Transport

  • Info TS 07 - Human Behaviour within Transport Operations