It's People, Stupid! Human Factors In Incident Investigation

  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    March 14, 2011
  • Duration:
    30 minutes
  • PDHs:

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People have inherent strengths and weaknesses which can affect their performance. Issues such as fatigue, emotional stress, and motivation can adversely affect performance. Their performance is also influenced by factors external to the individual, such as poor equipment design, inadequate training, excessive workload, and the work environment.

Most incidents in the process and related industries involve human factors, often as a key causal factor. Understanding these performance shaping factors is essential for conducting good incident investigations in order to develop meaningful recommendations for maximizing human reliability and minimizing future failures.

However, besides those involved in the actual incident, human factors can affect other aspects of the incident investigation process. The paper will examine human factors from the standpoint of all stakeholders in the investigation, including:

? Persons involved in the incident ? Other workforce members ? Investigation team ? Witnesses ? Regulatory agencies ? Media ? Local community ? Legal representation

The content of this paper will raise awareness of how human factors can affect the success of the incident investigation process, and help others plan for improved investigations.

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