Human Factors Risk Analysis
With a variety of interesting safety occurrences, August 2014 was a typical month for Australian safety investigators: A DHC-8 aircraft load sheet was incorrectly completed by ground staff; a freight train collided with a passenger train in Victoria and a worker became lost and dehydrated during exploration work at a Queensland mine.
So what did these and the majority of August 2014’s other safety occurrences have in common? They each resulted from a long chain of contributing factors which ultimately led to a human error. All too often blame for incidents of this kind is placed on the human operator with little or no investigation of the underlying causes.
How the HFA plus+ can help:
The HFA plus+ survey is a Human Factors Analysis which is designed to identify the human contribution to incidents. By using the HFA Plus+ framework for accident investigation, organizations are able to identify the breakdowns within the entire system that allowed an accident to occur.
HFA Plus+ can also be used proactively by analyzing historical events to identify reoccurring trends in human performance and system deficiencies. Both of these methods will allow organizations to identify weak areas and implement targeted, data-driven interventions that will ultimately reduce accident and injury rates.
The HFA Plus+ is a comprehensive human error framework for rapid risk analysis through 12 major categories of role related human failure and limitations in safety performance and compares with the Reason model of latent and precursor attributes and the HFACS taxonomy of errors and violations by Weigmann and Shappell.
The tool is augmented with a ‘Workload’ score as an aid to understanding the potential severity and likely reduction in safe performance in specific roles. The inclusion of the differentially assessed workload measure assists in dimensioning the human variable in an investigation as the target for training and prevention efforts.
Using HFA plus+ to Identify Trends
But how do you identify these failures before they occur? By reviewing and analysing historical accident and safety data. The answer may seem simple, but without a structured and scientifically validated framework, it is often difficult to compare one accident to another. For example, how do you compare pilots entering the wrong information into the flight management system to ramp personnel incorrectly loading cargo?
By using the HFA plus+, these two events can be compared not only by the psychological origins of the unsafe acts, but also by the latent conditions within the organization that allowed these acts to happen. When events are broken down into the underlying causal factors, it is then that common trends within an organization can be identified.
By using HFA Plus+, an organization can identify where system deficiencies have arisen historically and start to immunize against these “high level” hazards leading to maximum safety return on investment.
The HFA Plus+ in Brief:
Reports:Human factor job risk