Human Factors in the Chemical and Process Industries
Monday 23rd January 2017
Examples abound; every chapter has a summary of key points plus a list of supporting references.
S IV -- Understanding and improving organisational performance -- is applicable to other sectors, covering subjects such as organisational change, staffing and workload, competence, supervision, safety-critical communication and performance under pressure.
The summary of ideas to aid employees and their families planning a move between countries is a tool that could be used by any organisation with multinational operations. Other sound advice includes human factors for investigators, dimensions for seated workstations, including distance to a back wall -- which I've not seen illustrated elsewhere -- and managing fatigue. I especially liked the section on "fatigue proofing", which recognises that, due to factors beyond an organisation's control, the risk of a person not working sometimes outweighs the risk of them working with fatigue impairment, and suggests how to manage that risk.
One small area of concern is in ch 4, referring to regulators' activities in the EU, where the terms inspection and auditing are contrasted. The authors suggest that the latter is less in-depth. That might be correct in the specific context but it could be misleading if applied more widely, say to management systems, such as the draft ISO 45001. For such systems, inspection is an element of planned monitoring for compliance with defined standards, while audit is an in-depth examination of a process or system, to identify improvement opportunities, not just compliance -- though, sadly, compliance is sometimes all auditors and auditees are looking for.
This book is an excellent compendium of theory, examples and tools. It is a valuable addition to the personal library of experienced OSH professionals and those seeking to develop their competence in human factors and ergonomics. The section on technical and non-technical competencies meshes well with IOSH's Blueprint tool for planning the next steps in your professional development.