Category: Human Performance

Monday Motivation: Inc.com Links on Motivation

November 26th, 2012 by

Inc.com listed links to what they think are the best tips for motivating employees.  The article asserts:

” … success of any facet of your business can almost always be traced back to motivated employees. From productivity and profitability to recruiting and retention, hardworking and happy employees lead to triumph.”

Links to articles on motivation Inc.com listed fall into categories ranging from changing corporate culture to non-cash incentives to creating a fun workplace and more.

See the link below and make some positive resolutions for enhancing motivation in your workplace:

http://www.inc.com/guides/hr/20776.html

Why Can’t We Get Beyond Blame?

October 19th, 2012 by

R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. prematurely filed Google Inc.’s earnings report with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday.  Google’s earnings were supposed to be released after the stock markets closed at 3 p.m. Instead, they showed up on the SEC’s Edgar website about 11:30 a.m.  Google’s stock dropped as much as 11 percent, to $676 a share, before trading was halted about 20 minutes later at the company’s request.

About an hour after the earnings release, Google issued a statement blaming Chicago-based R.R. Donnelley for the blunder.

(“Glitch on Google Earnings Report under Investigation,” Chicago Tribune, October 19, 2012.)

Why do people think that blame will stop incidents? Haven’t we tried that already? Don’t the incidents just continue? Share your comments below.

Monday Accident & Lessons Learned: Truck Accident

October 8th, 2012 by

Sent by a concerned TapRooT® User …

Lessons Learnt 2012.08.23 Fuel Truck Turnover Eng
(Click to read full sized.)

Monday Motivation: 9 Things That Motivate Employees More Than Money

October 8th, 2012 by

Monday_Motivations_10082012

Inc. Magazine published a story about the “9 Things That Motivate Employees More Than Money”. Here’s the list:

1. Be generous with praise.

2. Get rid of the managers.

3. Make your ideas theirs.

4. Never criticize or correct.

5. Make everyone a leader.

6. Take an employee to lunch once a week.

7. Give recognition and small rewards.

8. Throw company parties.

9. Share the rewards—and the pain.

See the complete story at:

http://www.inc.com/ilya-pozin/9-things-that-motivate-employees-more-than-money.html

What do you think? Good ideas?

Do You Have a Fatigue Risk Management Program?

October 5th, 2012 by

One of the things that was discussed at the 2012 Global TapRooT® Summit was fatigue risk management programs. Just thought I’d pass along to readers that Circadian Technologies is having a public course titled:

Developing & Implementing an Effective Fatigue Risk Management System

on November 7-8, 2012, in New Orleans. See the brochure below or click on this link for more info …

http://store.circadian.com/frms-seminar.html

Fatigue-Risk_Management_10052012

Press Release on Fatigue from Circadian Technologies

October 4th, 2012 by

CIRCADIAN Presents a Complimentary White Paper:

The Definition of Human Fatigue
by Martin Moore-Ede, M.D., Ph.D.

Everyone these days is talking about employee fatigue, driver fatigue and fatigue risk management systems. But what exactly is the definition of “fatigue”?
While engineers use the term to describe the irreversible failure of materials as a result of stresses over an extended period of time, the term is also used to describe human impairment in the workplace or on the highway.

In The Definition of Human Fatigue, Dr. Moore-Ede, one of the world’s leading experts on human fatigue, explains the meaning of fatigue and its causes, including extended wakefulness, heavy work, excessive stimulation, illness or stress. Knowing what exactly is meant by human fatigue is critical to reversing it.

Download the White Paper:
“The Definition of Human Fatigue”

CIRCADIAN offers its white papers for free to shift work managers and others interested in improving the health, safety and productivity of the 24/7 workforce.

Throughout our 29 years of working with shiftwork and extended hours operations, CIRCADIAN has written many white papers in response to our clients questions and interests. If you have a question for us, please contact us.

For a complete list of our white papers, please click here.

CIRCADIAN®
Two Main Street, Suite 310
Stoneham, MA 02180 USA

Phone) 781-439-6300
E-mail) info@circadian.com

Have You Saved a Life Today?

October 3rd, 2012 by

When was the last time you saved a life?

I remember the first time I saw my daughter, who had a summer job as a lifeguard, save a man and a boy from drowning in a lake. Afterwards I talked to her. She didn’t see it as a big deal. She said she did rescues every week. She didn’t consider it heroic. It was just part of her job.

Several years ago at the TapRooT® Summit, a TapRooT® User approached me to thank me. He said that they had stopped fatalities at their site after learning to apply TapRooT®. He told me that improved performance meant that, over a period of several years, they had saved about five lives at their refinery. He then said …

“Imagine how many TapRooT® Users there are applying TapRooT® around the world …
Easily there are hundreds of lives saved every year!”

Have you found and fixed the root causes of potentially fatal accidents at your site? Then you too have saved a life – or maybe more than one life.

Try not to become complacent about the lives you are saving. Celebrate your success. Tell others about the good job they are doing. Make sure that management knows about the lives saved.

And never stop improving. 

As my boss in the Navy, Captain Willian J. Rodriguez, told me:

“If you’re not pedaling, you’re going downhill.”

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Don’t become complacent about saving lives.

Keep up the good work.

And when you can, enlist others in this great cause.

Monday Accident & Lessons Learned: Learning from Fatal Car Wrecks

September 17th, 2012 by

Consumer Reports published an article about teenage and older person fatality rates. They had this graph…

 Content Dam Cro Magazine-Articles 2012 October Consumer-Reports-Dangerous-Drivers-10-12

Here is something interesting that you can learn …

Did you know that the human brain doesn’t fully develop the ability to assess risk until about age 25? Now look at the graph above. Look at the fatality reduction post age 25.

Now think … what are you doing to keep your (<25) year old workers safe in all situations where they make make poor risk decisions?

In our family we did what the article recommended – a graduated driving program.

First, kids weren’t allowed to obtain their full licenses until they were 17.

Next, we talked to them extensively about the risk of driving before we let them start driving independently and kept that as limited as possible (no friends in the car – only family for the first year). We did a lot of “critiqued” driving with them even after they had their full license. We also had them take advanced (beyond high school drivers ed) classes put on by our local police.

And we didn’t get them high powered vehicles.

How could you take the same approach with young employees?

Monday Accident & Lessons Learned: UK RAIB Report on a Track Worker Struck by a Train at Stoats Nest Junction, 12 June 2011

August 27th, 2012 by

Here’s a link to a report by the UK Rail Accident Investigation Branch about a train that struck a worker near the tracks:

http://www.raib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/120806_R162012_Stoats_Nest.pdf

How do you keep your workers safe from moving vehicles?

One interesting point in this report was that the train’s horn probably could not be heard by the track workers because of the noise generated by the equipment they were using.

What’s the Ideal Temperature for 24 Hour Operations?

July 5th, 2012 by

In a recent article by Circadian Technologies, they suggested that the idea temperature to maintain alertness in 24 hour (shift work) environments was between 66º to 68º F.

Wow! That seems cool! See the whole article here …

http://www.circadian.com/solutions-services/publications-a-reports/newsletters/managing-247-enewsletter/managing-247-qaa-0612.html

Nine Switches of Human Alertness (from Circadian Technologies)

June 27th, 2012 by

How do you keep people alert? What influences your alertness? Find out about the nine switches that Dr. Martin Moore-Ede has described in his book, The 24 Hour Society. Here’s the link …

http://www.circadian.com/solutions-services/publications-a-reports/newsletters/managing-247-enewsletter/managing-247-article-2-0612.html

How To Test the Accuracy of Your “Why” Root Cause Analysis

June 1st, 2012 by

I recently received an inquiry asking me, “What is the test to assure true root cause is found?  We use the “Why-Why” Analysis.”

    Using one of the “why” methods (“Why-Why”, 5-Why’s, etc) unfortunately leads many investigators to question their methodology.  That’s because, after using it once or twice, it becomes pretty obvious that these methods are 100% dependent on the experience and biases of the investigator.  If you’re a training person, amazingly enough, your “why” analysis leads you to training problems.  If you’re a quality person, you end up with quality-related issues.

    That’s because these methods do not give you any expert guidance to get beyond the investigator’s current level of knowledge.  For example, if you don’t know anything about “human engineering” (what color should an alarm light be? what shape valve hand wheel should be used?), you will never look for these problems.  You will only find problems you’re already familiar with, and therefore you will only put corrective actions in place that you have probably already tried in the past.

    The question posed is exactly the right question.  “How do I know I’ve found the real root cause?”  The bad news is that only a highly-trained human performance expert can answer that without some type of expert guidance.  The good news is, TapRooT® was designed to give you exactly that expert guidance.

    TapRooT® was designed by human performance experts to guide the normal investigator toward the true root causes that a highly-trained expert would find.  It does this by supplying a series of simple “yes/no” questions that you answer in the course of your investigation.  The answers to those question will quickly narrow you down to the true root causes of human performance or equipment failures that actually led to the accident.  Once you have these root causes, you can then apply effective corrective actions to eliminate them, preventing similar human performance mistakes in the future.

    Now, instead of ending up with corrective actions like, “Counseled the operator on the importance of opening the correct valve” (like he doesn’t already know that!), you can now find out why he opened the wrong valve.  You can be confident that the root causes you have found are real, proven root causes… the real reasons good people make mistakes.

     To directly answer the question, “why” methodologies will not consistently get you to true root causes.  There is no test built into those methods to verify root causes are found.  There’s no electronic “magic bullet” that can work around the weaknesses in those systems.  You’ll have to go outside those methodologies to get there.  Give TapRooT® a try!  We guarantee you’ll be satisfied with the results.

Mark Paradies Spoke at the IIE Conference About the “7 Secrets of Root Cause Analysis” this Week

May 25th, 2012 by

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Mark Paradies spoke at the IIE Conference about the “7 Secrets of Root Cause Analysis” this week. The Industrial Engineers present were very interested in going beyond common problem solving tools like 5-Whys and Cause and Effect and asked some great questions.

To see the paper the talk is based on, CLICK HERE.

Monday Accident & Lessons Learned: If You Make a Hole in the Deck, Someone Will Fall Through It!

April 30th, 2012 by

Screen Shot 2012-04-24 At 4.42.03 Pm

Here is an accident report from the BSEE (Bureau of Safety & Environmental Enforcement of the US Department of the Interior):

http://bsee.gov/uploadedFiles/BSEE/Enforcement/Accidents_and_Incidents/Panel_Investigation_Reports/BSEE%202012-01.pdf
How many times have you seen similar accidents with unprotected holes on construction sites, oil platforms, or in other locations with work that makes “temporary” openings?

It would seem that anyone supervising work should know better.

Yet the report says that the company blamed the roustabout who fell to his death through the hole because he was, “…distracted by concern for a family issue at home.”

The report says:

This same story that the accident was caused by a lack of concentration by a distracted Roustabout, was repeated in the initial report to BOEMRE, in interviews by Supervisor, Company Man, and by management of Alliance, and was written into the accident investigation report by Contractor and Operator. The only reason given in statements for this conclusion was that the Roustabout had spoken of it at breakfast and had tried to rearrange his shift to accommodate the family issue.

OK TapRooT® Users, what do you think. Is “lack of concentration” a root cause? Did the company do a thorough investigation? Could they tell everyone to “be more careful” and resume work as usual? Was the BSEE right to question the adequacy of the contractor and the operator?

Read the report and let me know what you think.

What is a “Freak Accident”?

April 24th, 2012 by

Nic Zoricic died in a World Cup skicross race in Switzerland. The organizers say it was a “terrible, tragic accident.” Others called it a “freak accident.”

Here’s a video of the accident and press coverage…

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  video solutions
  video player

Here’s an AP article about the family’s statement…

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hGhkDBtvc0Sn3rZRH6fBmyjzzTaQ?docId=d2663cf7693146f39613c04722195402

Freak accident or predictable outcome?

US Chemical Safety Board Announces That They Plan to Release an Interim Report on the Deepwater Horizon Accident This Year – CSB Press Release Attached

April 20th, 2012 by

How much time does it take to investigate an accident?

The US CSB has announced that they are continuing to investigate the Deepwater Horizon (Macondo Well) Accident and will release a preliminary report in July of 2012 and a final report in 2013.

Today is the two year anniversary of the blowout and explosion that killed 11 aboard the Deepwater Horizon. Of course the resulting oil spill continued for months.

An investigation that concludes more than two years after an accident seems too slow to me … but perhaps the results will be worth the wait?

From the information in the CSB press release, the CSB seems to believe that additional regulation – especially developing a safety case – would have prevented the accident. In their press release (see below), they said:

Investigation findings to date indicate a need for companies and regulators to institute more rigorous accident prevention programs similar to those in use overseas.

They also say:

In December 2010, a CSB public hearing in Washington featured international regulators, companies, trade associations and union representatives discussing the “safety case” regulatory approach for offshore safety, a concept widely used in the North Sea and Australia and supported by a number of the participants.

To me this seems strange. Transocean had a similar near-miss incident in the North Sea and there have been major spills in exploration covered by Australian regulations (those “overseas” regulations). But people in Washington seem to always believe that more regulation – rather than better management – will keep everyone safe.

I’ve never really believed that regulations are the answer to safe performance. The the press release, CSB says:

Process safety regulations and standards utilized by oil companies in refineries and process plants in the continental U.S. have a stronger major accident prevention focus, CSB investigators have determined. Unlike the U.S. offshore regulatory system, the “onshore” process safety requirements are more rigorous and apply both to operators and key contractors.

But refineries and plants covered by the process safety regulations continue to have deadly fires and explosions, showing that adherence to regulations is not enough to prevent accidents. (A subject of my talk at the 2012 TapRooT® Summit – CLICK HERE to watch all three parts of the talk.)

The press release also contains some comments that I believe are right on target from my review of previous Deepwater Horizon accident reports.

First, they say they are looking into the human factors of well control. The release says:

The issue of human factors in offshore drilling and well completion is particularly important as offshore well control programs currently rely to a large extent on manual control, procedures and human intervention to control hazards…“.

When reviewing the displays available to the operators monitoring the control of the well, I thought – poor human engineering! (See pictures below of what the operators were suppose to catch.)

April20Flowinflowout-1

April20Drillpipepressure-1

April20Normalabnormalflow-1

I haven’t seen pictures of the types of actual instrumentation that was used (all now at the bottom of the sea), but I imagine similar equipment is used throughout the industry. If the drawings of what was supposed to be observed look like real time detection would be error prone, I can only guess that the actual equipment is as hard or harder to use.

The next “human factors” issue that the CSB is investigating is fatigue. The press release says:

…we are investigating whether fatigue was a factor in this accident. Transocean’s rig workers, originally working 14-day shifts, had been required to go to 21-day shifts on board. CSB is examining whether this decision was assessed for its impact on safe operations.

Of course, fatigue could be an issue in a 14 day or a 21 day shift. I hope they are using a systematic process like FACTS to evaluate the possibility of fatigue being a potential cause of operator errors.

Here is the entire CSB press release …

 Userfiles Chemsafety Image Template1 Prnt-Hdr-29

CSB Investigation into Macondo Blowout and Explosion in Gulf of Mexico Continues; Two Public Hearings and Interim Reports Scheduled for this Year

April 19, 2012

Washington, DC, April 19, 2012 — The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) announced today that its investigation into the April 20, 2010 Macondo well blowout, explosion and fire in the Gulf of Mexico is progressing, with two interim reports with findings and recommendations to be released this year. A final report is expected to be completed in early 2013.

Investigation findings to date indicate a need for companies and regulators to institute more rigorous accident prevention programs similar to those in use overseas. The CSB announcement was made approaching the second anniversary of the tragedy, which took eleven lives and caused the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history,

Process safety regulations and standards utilized by oil companies in refineries and process plants in the continental U.S. have a stronger major accident prevention focus, CSB investigators have determined. Unlike the U.S. offshore regulatory system, the “onshore” process safety requirements are more rigorous and apply both to operators and key contractors.

To date, the CSB has conducted numerous interviews, examined tens of thousands of documents from over 15 companies and parties, gathered data from two phases of blowout preventer (BOP) testing, and conducted a public hearing on international regulatory approaches.  Recommendations targeting specific reforms are contemplated for release as early as August of this year.

CSB Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso said, “Our final report on the tragic accident that occurred two years ago, will, I believe, represent an opportunity to make fundamental safety improvements to offshore oil and gas exploration to prevent future catastrophic accidents.”

Dr. Moure-Eraso continued, “The CSB is not a regulatory agency; our job is to convey information and recommendations to improve safety in the oil and chemical industries and protect workers and the environment. In our view, while previous investigations of the Macondo blowout have produced useful information and recommendations, important opportunities for change have not been fully addressed.  And these are critically important for major accident prevention.” 

Don Holmstrom, manager of the CSB Western Regional Office in Denver, whose team is conducting the investigation, announced a timeline calling for the final report release in early 2013, with the first of several public meetings to be held by the CSB likely in July 2012 in Houston, addressing use of leading and lagging indicators by companies and regulators to improve safety performance.

The CSB anticipates releasing preliminary findings and safety recommendations at the meeting, and to hear experts testify on the need for the offshore drilling industry to utilize safety performance indicators like hydrocarbon leaks and maintenance of safety critical equipment to drive safety improvements and to prevent major accidents.

Dr. Moure-Eraso said the CSB’s investigation is taking a broad look at causal issues of the Macondo blowout and the subsequent massive release of flammable hydrocarbons which resulted in an explosion.  “These issues include the manner in which the industry and the regulating agencies learn or did not learn from previous incidents. They also include a lack of human factors guidance, and organizational issues that impaired effective engineering decisions,” he said.

The issue of human factors in offshore drilling and well completion is particularly important as offshore well control programs currently rely to a large extent on manual control, procedures and human intervention to control hazards, said CSB Investigator Cheryl MacKenzie.  She observed “There are no human factors standards or regulations in U.S. offshore drilling that focus on major accident prevention. As an example, we are investigating whether fatigue was a factor in this accident. Transocean’s rig workers, originally working 14-day shifts, had been required to go to 21-day shifts on board. CSB is examining whether this decision was assessed for its impact on safe operations.” 

The CSB investigation team participated in the examination of the blowout preventer (BOP) in Louisiana last year.  As has been reported, the BOP – a massive device designed to shear off the well pipe and stop the flow of volatile hydrocarbons — failed.  The CSB is currently evaluating BOP deficiencies as reflecting larger needed improvements in offshore risk management.  These include lack of safety barrier reliability/ requirements, inadequate hazard analysis requirements for evaluating BOP equipment design, and insufficient management of change requirements for controlling hazards.

The CSB is conducting additional computer modeling of the BOP and assessing the capability of the BOP to close and which functions specifically led to its failure. The agency is also exploring new issues and “near miss” deficiencies that did or could have compromised the ability of the BOP to function properly, including the failure of the annular preventer to seal the well, the impact of drill pipe size, and the performance of the BOP hydraulic accumulators.

Finally, the CSB is carefully examining the physical causes of the drill pipe buckling that other investigations previously concluded may have prevented the BOP’s blind shear rams from functioning correctly.  The CSB is evaluating different mechanisms that could have led to the drill pipe buckling.

CSB Chairman Moure-Eraso said the CSB is examining whether further changes to offshore safety regulations and industry standards are needed.  “While important regulatory changes have occurred, we are examining whether these changes that have been made are sufficient for preventing major accidents.  In December 2010, a CSB public hearing in Washington featured international regulators, companies, trade associations and union representatives discussing the “safety case” regulatory approach for offshore safety, a concept widely used in the North Sea and Australia and supported by a number of the participants.

In addition, Chairman Moure-Eraso noted that the CSB investigation is also examining the implementation of effective corporate governance and sustainability standards to address safety and environmental risk, organizational issues that impaired effective engineering decisions, and the consideration of past safety performance in lease allocation decisions and contractor selection.

The CSB investigation into the accident has been delayed on occasion as the Board sought to work out mutually acceptable access and investigation agreements with other investigative groups that had different missions.  The Department of Justice has filed an action against Transocean in federal court and has requested that the Court order Transocean to comply with the CSB subpoenas. Following a hearing last week, the CSB anticipates a decision from the Court in the near future.

Chairman Moure-Eraso said, “The CSB investigation of this tragedy will, we believe, offer unique findings and recommendations that, if adopted, would provide significantly safer operations during vital offshore drilling and production activities.

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating chemical accidents. The agency’s board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.

The Board does not issue citations or fines but does make safety recommendations to plants, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA. Visit our website, www.csb.gov.

For more information, contact Communications Manager Hillary Cohen at 202.446.8094 or Sandy Gilmour at 202.251.5496.

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