A dramatisation of the April 2010 disaster, this film, newly released for home viewing, covers just the first 24 hours, beginning as two crew members leave their homes for a helicopter flight to the rig, and ending with them among the traumatised survivors returning onshore next day. Inevitably, that results in a simplistic approach.
As a newly appointed HM inspector of factories (Class 2, trainee), I was proud to be issued with the hefty blue-bound Redgrave’s and I used it pretty much every day. It commemorates former chief inspector Alexander Redgrave (1818-1894) who compiled The Factory Acts in 1878, and this latest edition runs to more than 2,500 pages. It is still the definitive health and safety law reference book.
The publishers say this book “helps safety professionals, engineers and operators incorporate human factors considerations within the design and operation of chemical and processing plants”, and I fully concur – but some parts have wider application. All the authors are from Edinburgh’s Keil Centre, with a strong track record of providing advice and practical tools to organisations in the target sectors. And many parts of this lengthy book (nearly 500 pages) reinforce the lessons I’ve learned from working in major hazards sectors since the 1960s. But other parts, especially in s III – Human factors within engineering and design – offer tools that were new to me.
Human factors should figure in every safety programme. If you’re not convinced, just read any of the major accident enquiry reports (Piper Alpha or Texas City) to confirm that behaviour is pivotal.
This is a series of papers drawn from two international human factors conferences. Since “ergonomics” potentially includes any interaction between people and their working environment, and “human factors” is as broad, the potential scope is vast, and that’s reflected in the papers. There are more than 50 contributors, most of them academics.
Gary Winn is a former industrial engineer, but is now Professor at West Virginia University in the US, where he is co-ordinator of the OSH doctoral programme. In this book he draws on his past and present roles, mixing summaries of academic research and writing on leadership – some of it his own – with personal observations and anecdotes.
Team members who help no-one outside their group, convoluted communication channels that prevent sharing of key data, specialists who are brilliant at what they do but who can’t see the big picture. According to this new book by Financial Times US managing editor Gillian Tett, these examples of silo mentality should worry every organisation: they obstruct progress, blind organisations to risk and can ultimately bring mighty firms to their knees.
In the workplace, sleep is a key issue that cuts both ways: how we organise work affects how well people sleep, and how well they sleep affects how well they then perform at work. This can create a vicious circle: stress causes poor sleep which then leads to inattention once the person is at work and even more stress.
Sometimes a new publication comes across my desk and my reaction is: “Wow, this is so good, why has no one written it before?” Here we have just such a book. No doubt it helps that I agree strongly with its starting point, that some of the health and safety professional’s most important tools are “soft” skills such as influencing, persuading and negotiating. Since these are not covered (except in passing) in the syllabuses of our qualification courses, they’re capabilities that practitioners, especially those who are newly qualified, need to be effective.
Pick up a book about stress and you won’t have to read far before you come across the “fight or flight” model, which shows that many of our physical and psychological stress responses are based on our ancient ancestors’ need to decide very quickly whether to stand and or run away from threats such as sabre-toothed tigers.
- 1 of 2
JOBS - OFFICIAL IOSH CAREERS HUB
Disciplines: Construction HSE
Salary: 35000 - 38000
Disciplines: Construction HSE , Corporate HSE, Environmental Health & Safety
Salary: £55,000 - £60,000 plus benefits
Disciplines: Corporate HSE
Salary: £30,000 - £35,861 per annum, depending on skills and experience
Disciplines: Corporate HSE
Location: East Sussex
Salary: £37,444 to £40,954 per annum
Disciplines: Corporate HSE, Environmental Health & Safety
Salary: Competitive Salary + Benefits