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NEBOSH

International Diploma in
Occupational Health & Safety
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Element IA7: Human Factors.


Learning outcomes.
On completion of this element, candidates should be able to:
1. Outline psychological and sociological factors which may give rise to specific patterns of safe and
unsafe behaviour in the working environment.
2. Explain the nature of the perception of risk and its relationship to performance in the workplace.
3. Explain the classification of human failure.
4. Explain appropriate methods of improving individual human reliability in the workplace.
5. Explain how organisational factors could contribute to improving human reliability.
6. Explain how job factors could contribute to improving human reliability.
7. Outline the principles, conditions and typical content of behavioural change programmes designed
to improve safe behaviour in the workplace.
Minimum hours of tuition 12 hours.
1.0 Impact of Human Factors on Health & Safety.
Occupational psychology.
Occupational Psychology is concerned with the performance of people at work in training, how
organisations function and how individuals and small groups behave at work. The aim is to increase the
effectiveness of the organisation, and to improve the job satisfaction of the individual.
The specialty is broader in scope and less formalised than most other areas of psychology, and it touches
on diverse fields including ergonomics, personnel management, and time management.
Work can be in advisory, teaching and research roles, and to a lesser extent, technical and administrative
roles.
Occupational Psychologists often work for large companies (in both the private and public sectors), in
government and public services, in management training centres and for private consultancies. They
usually work alongside other professionals such as managers, trade union representatives, training officers
and specialist staff from the firm or industry concerned.
The Civil Service is one of the largest single employers of occupational psychologists: the prison service,
the Home Office, the Employment Department Group (including the Employment Service), the Ministry of
Defence, and the Civil Service Commission all employ occupational psychologists.
What does an Occupational Psychologist do?
The expertise of a Chartered Occupational Psychologist lies in identifying and realising the full potential of
people, and creating effective organisations.
No listing of the fields of occupational psychology is ever perfect or complete, as any area where
psychology can contribute to the understanding and assistance of human beings at work (and increasingly
on the borderlines before and after work, and between work and leisure) may raise the need for
investigation, or may find an application for some advance in the wider field of psychology.
Occupational psychologists can appear under many different guises; 'organisational psychology',
'ergonomics', 'applied psychology', 'industrial psychology', 'personnel management', 'time and stress
management' and 'management consultancy'.
1.1 Sociology.
Sociology is the study of human social behaviour, and includes the examination of the origins, institutions,
organisation and development of human life.
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1.1 Sociology.
The meaning of the word comes from the suffix "-logy" which means "study of" and the stem "socio-" which
refers to society.
It is a social science involving the study of the social lives of people, groups, and societies, sometimes
defined as the study of social interactions. It is a relatively new academic discipline, which evolved in the
early 19th century. It usually concerns itself with the social rules and processes that bind and separate
people not only as individuals, but as members of associations, groups, and institutions.
Sociology is interested in our behaviour as social beings; thus the sociological field of interest ranges from
the analysis of short contacts between anonymous individuals on the street to the study of global social
processes.
In a broad sense, sociology is the scientific study of social aggregations (from a dyad to the world), the
entities through which humans move throughout their lives. A related trend in the discipline, emerging since
the late 1970s, attempts to make it a more "applied" discipline, applicable in areas such as non-profit
organizations and nursing homes.
The results of sociological research aid educators, lawmakers, administrators, and others interested in
resolving social problems and formulating public policy, through sub-disciplinary areas such as survey
research, evaluation research, methodological assessment and public sociology.
Sociological methods, theories and concepts compel the sociologist to explore levels of reality that go
beyond the commonly accepted rules governing human behaviour. This specific approach to reality is
known as the sociological perspective.
1.2 Anthropology.
Anthropology consists of the study of humanity.
It is holistic in two senses: it is concerned with all humans at all times and with all dimensions of humanity.
A primary trait that traditionally distinguished anthropology from other humanistic disciplines is an emphasis
on cultural relativity, in-depth examination of context, and cross-cultural comparisons.
1.3 The Complexity of Human Behaviour & the Large Range of Factors Affecting This.
Behaviour is the way human beings and other organisms act. Many people use the word behaviour to
mean conduct; that is, how a person's actions fit society's idea of right and wrong. But in psychology and
other behavioural sciences, behaviour is regarded as any activity of a person or other living thing. This
section reflects the more general usage and focuses on human behaviour.
Most human behaviour results from a combination of many factors. For example, a person might shout in
answer to an insult. This response probably results from more than just the insult. It may be caused partly
by being tired or hungry, or by having been hurt by someone similar to the person now doing the insulting.
Although behaviour has many causes, most scientists seek to isolate single causes. This makes the
scientific study of behaviour hard.
Many researchers in psychology use controlled experiments in which they can examine the effect of one
factor at a time on a particular kind of behaviour. Some investigators design experiments to test the
behavioural effects of several factors in various combinations.
Still other researchers study behaviour in the "real" world by observing people in their daily activities.
Observing behaviour outside controlled experiments cannot prove that one thing causes another. But
studying people in the real world often helps scientists see the ways in which causes identified in
experiments actually operate in people's daily lives.
Specialists in many fields study behaviour. Psychologists and some biologists study animal behaviour in
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1.3 The Complexity of Human Behaviour & the Large Range of Factors Affecting This.
controlled experiments. Other psychologists study individuals or small groups of people in controlled games
or tasks to understand many aspects of behaviour, including the reasons for people's feelings, thoughts
and motives.
These studies help establish principles that can be used to explain, predict and modify behaviour.
Educational researchers study how people behave in the classroom. In sociology, behavioural research
focuses mainly on the behaviour of people in large groups and social institutions, such as businesses,
churches, governments and hospitals. An anthropologist may live in an isolated community to study
behaviour patterns of a whole group.
Scientists from different fields carry out joint studies of specific problems of behaviour. For example, many
psychologists, educational researchers, sociologists, and anthropologists are concerned with the ways in
which behaviour is connected to physical illness. These scientists work together to learn why people adopt
such harmful behaviour patterns as smoking and overeating. The scientists also study how to encourage
more healthy behaviour.
Factors that affect behaviour.
Human behaviour is determined partly by heredity and partly by environment. In addition, it can be modified
through learning.
Heredity is determined by genes. Genes are short segments of the cell structures called chromosomes,
which parents pass on to their offspring. Genes consist of chemical substances that give the offspring a
tendency toward certain physical and behavioural qualities.
The extent to which heredity influences behaviour is hard to determine. For example, a person might inherit
the genes to be an excellent pianist. But the person may never learn to play the piano well without early
and continual training--and a piano on which to practise. In this way, genetic and environmental influences
are intertwined in a person's behavioural development.
Most scientists agree that genes have some influence over general intelligence and special aptitudes in
such activities as athletics, mathematics, music and science. But heredity is not the only factor involved in
producing these characteristics.
Environment consists of the conditions and forces that surround and influence an organism. The
environment can cause certain behaviour. For example, unfamiliar surroundings may arouse curiosity or
fear, depending on the circumstances. An intermediate level of arousal tends to have the most favourable
effect on behaviour. Extremely high or extremely low levels of arousal may have a negative effect. A slight
feeling of anxiety, for example, might help a student's performance on a test. But extreme anxiety could
result in a poor performance.
Learning is the process by which behaviour changes as a result of experience or practice. A person learns
a great deal of behaviour through new environments that show examples of new behaviour, give instruction
or provide opportunities to practise new behaviour, and reward or punish new behaviour. Learning takes
place constantly because people are always being given new problems to solve, or are being shown new
ways of doing things.
Types of behaviour.
Behaviour is often classified as voluntary or involuntary. Speaking at a meeting, for example, appears to be
voluntary, and blushing when spoken to seems involuntary. But both types of behaviour may change with
experience. Deciding to speak at a meeting may in fact be determined by a person's previous experience of
public speaking.
In addition, people may not blush any more once they have gained more self-confidence. Thus, it may be
difficult to distinguish between voluntary and involuntary behaviour when such factors are taken into
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1.3 The Complexity of Human Behaviour & the Large Range of Factors Affecting This.
consideration.
Behaviourism.
A major aspect of psychology called behaviourism developed from research on learning. It was introduced
in 1913 by the American psychologist John Broadus Watson (1878-1958), who felt psychologists should
study only observable behaviour rather than states of consciousness or thought processes.
He believed that changes in a subject's behaviour result from conditioning, a learning process in which a
new response becomes associated with a certain stimulus.
Watson's approach to behaviourism was strongly influenced by the research of the Russian physiologist
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849-1936) during the early 1900s. Pavlov's experiments with animals proved that
certain reflex actions can become conditioned responses to entirely new stimuli. For example, a dog's
mouth begins to water as a reflex when the animal smells meat. Pavlov rang a bell each time he was about
to give meat to a dog. Eventually, the dog's mouth began to water when Pavlov merely rang the bell. The
flow of saliva had become a conditioned response to the ringing of the bell.
Watson demonstrated that responses of human beings could be conditioned in a similar manner. In one
study, he struck a metal bar loudly each time an infant touched a furry animal. The sound scared the child,
who in time became frightened by just the sight of the animal. Watson felt that he could produce almost any
response in a child if he could control the child's environment.
During the mid-20th century, the American behavioural psychologist Burrhus Frederic (B. F.) Skinner
became known for his studies of how rewards and punishments can influence behaviour. He believed that
rewards, or positive reinforcements, cause behaviour to be repeated. Positive reinforcements might include
praise, food, or simply a person's satisfaction with his or her own skill. Punishments discourage the
behaviour they follow. But punishment also encourages people to avoid situations in which they might be
punished.
Skinner concluded that positive reinforcement is more effective in teaching new and better behaviour. His
work led to the development of teaching machines, which are based on positive reinforcement.
In procedures called behaviour modifications, therapists use positive reinforcers to shape behaviour in
desired ways. For example, behaviour modification has been used to help retarded children learn basic
school subjects. The children may receive rewards such as smiles, hugs, or food for doing their school
work and behaving properly.
In other behaviour modification programmes, children work for tokens or points. Later, they can exchange
the tokens for sweets, toys, or other rewards. Such programmes have also proved effective in shaping the
behaviour of children with normal intelligence and of juveniles.
1.4 Influence on Human Behaviour of Personality, Attitude, Aptitude & Motivation.
Personality .
Personality can be defined as the 'dynamic organisation within the individual of the psychological systems
that determine his characteristic behaviour and thought'.
Attitude.
Attitude can be defined as a:

Predetermined set of responses, built up as a result of experience of similar situations'; or


A shorthand way of responding to a situation'; or
A tendency to respond positively or negatively to certain persons, objects or situations'

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1.4 Influence on Human Behaviour of Personality, Attitude, Aptitude & Motivation.


The following factors are known to affect the changing attitudes of individuals or groups:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Individual: intelligence, opinion, education etc.


Attitude currently held: group norms, masculine versus feminine behaviour, financial gain, skills etc.
Situation: group situations, influence of change, etc.
Management example : whether management leads by example i.e. in the case of wearing PPE.
Company culture: is health and safety given as much importance as sales for example?
Publicity: positive and negative propaganda in getting across the safety message.

Aptitude.
Aptitude is a measure of how appropriate a persons actions are. In a health and safety sense, this can be
evident when somebody who knows everything there is to know regarding health and safety takes an
inappropriate course of action when faced with making a decision.
Motivation.
In psychology, motivation refers to the initiation, direction, intensity and persistence of behaviour.
Motivation is a temporal and dynamic state that should not be confused with personality or emotion.
Motivation is having the encouragement to do something.
A motivated person can be reaching for a long-term goal such as becoming a professional writer, or a more
short-term goal like learning how to spell a particular word.
Personality invariably refers to more or less permanent characteristics of an individual's state of being (e.g.,
shy, extrovert, conscientious). As opposed to motivation, emotion refers to temporal states that do not
immediately link to behaviour (e.g., anger, grief, happiness).
1.5 Key Theories of Human Motivation.
Frederick Winslow Taylor (1859-1915).
Frederick Winslow Taylor's name is synonymous with the term 'scientific management'. He is considered
the pioneer of work study and industrial engineering. He published his first work in 1895, when he was 39
and much of his work was published under the heading Scientific Management, in 1949. His name appears
in management texts that date from the 1950s and 1960s and still survives in the traditional texts today.
http://www.efm.bris.ac.uk/het/taylor/sciman.htm
This link should be of great interest to anyone wishing to find out more about Taylor and his ideas.
Taylor had four basic principles of management:
(i) The development of a true science of work.
Taylor's main contention was that the worker did not really know what was expected of him. There was no
basic measure as to what constituted a fair day's work.
What Taylor tried to develop was a measure or standard of the amount of work that a suitable worker could
achieve in a normal day under optimum conditions. For this, Taylor was prepared to pay higher than
average wages.
Taylor's classic example was a man shovelling coal or iron ore at the Bethlehem steel works. This was a
repetitive job, which has now been mechanised for the most part.
Taylor also believed in single skills, largely irrelevant in much of today's multi-skilled environment. Yet there
are still businesses that do not know if they are getting value out of the few operatives that remain on the
shop floor.
Shop floor labour may only be 12% of total turnover compared with materials 56%, but if the net margin is
only 5%, there is little room for error or complacency. Direct labour may not just be on the shop floor. A
product may need installation engineers, and management still needs to know if they are working efficiently
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1.5 Key Theories of Human Motivation.


and what is deemed an efficient rate of working.
(ii) The scientific selection and progressive development of the worker.
Taylor believed that the best man for the job should be selected. He should possess the physical and
intellectual qualities to achieve the required output, however, it was up to the management to ensure that
the right people were selected and trained.
Such is the basis of quality circles, where operatives meet to discuss work-related problems, investigate the
causes and solutions and take appropriate action. However, for this to work successfully, the participating
operatives must be trained.
(iii) The bringing together of the science of work and scientifically selected and trained men.
Students might see an anticipation of McGregor here. What Taylor was really anxious to eliminate was the
managerial mental block. Management, he found, resisted his ideas because they saw higher hourly rates
of pay. What they did not see was the potential for much higher productivity.
(iv) The constant and intimate co-operation of management and men.
In Taylor's own words:
"The body of this paper will make it clear that, to work according to scientific laws, the management must
take over and perform much of the work which is now left to the men; almost every act of the workman
should be preceded by one or more preparatory acts of the management which enable him to do his work
better and quicker than he otherwise could. And each man should daily be taught by and receive the most
friendly help from those who are over him, instead of being, at the one extreme, driven or coerced by his
bosses, and at the other left to his own unaided devices.
This close, intimate, personal cooperation between the management and the men is of the essence of
modern scientific or task management.
It will be shown by a series of practical illustrations that, through this friendly cooperation, namely, through
sharing equally in every day's burden, all of the great obstacles (above described) to obtaining the
maximum output for each man and each machine in the establishment are swept away. The\ 30 per cent to
100 per cent increase in wages which
the workmen are able to earn beyond what they receive under the old type of management, coupled with
the daily intimate shoulder to shoulder contact with the management, entirely removes all cause for
soldiering. And in a few years, under this system, the workmen have before them the object lesson of
seeing that a great increase in the output per man results in giving employment to more men, instead of
throwing men out of work, thus completely eradicating the fallacy that a larger output for each man will
throw other men out of work."
Taylor probably survives because:
We still need to know what a reasonable day's work is and what is required for that work to be achieved;
The nature of many jobs may have changed, but the rules still apply. It can be argued that there is little
difference between the Bethlehem shoveller of the 1890s, and the tele-sales person or the call centre
receptionist of the first decade of the 21st century.
As can be seen there are many theories and management specialist 'thinkers'.
This section of the course is to serve as an introduction to the ideas that are available when involved in
managing. It is designed to give an insight into how motivation and management are closely linked and how
the theories must be considered in order to manage health and safety effectively and efficiently.
1.6 Motivation - Mayo.
Elton Mayo (1880 - 1949) believed that workers are not just concerned with money, but could be better
motivated by having their social needs met whilst at work (something that Taylor ignored).
He introduced the Human Relation School of thought, which focused on managers taking more of an
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1.6 Motivation - Mayo.


interest in the workers, treating them as people who have worthwhile opinions and realising that workers
enjoy interacting together.
Mayo conducted a series of experiments at the Hawthorne factory of the Western Electric Company in
Chicago. He isolated two groups of women workers and studied the effect on their productivity levels of
changing factors such as lighting and working conditions.
He expected to see productivity levels decline as lighting or other conditions became progressively worse.
What he actually discovered surprised him - whatever the change in lighting or working conditions, the
productivity levels of the workers improved or remained the same.
From this, Mayo concluded that workers are best motivated by:

Better communication between managers and workers (Hawthorne workers were consulted over the
experiments and also had the opportunity to give feedback).
Greater manager involvement in employees working lives (Hawthorne workers responded to the
increased level of attention they were receiving).
Working in groups or teams. (Hawthorne workers did not previously regularly work in teams).

In practice therefore, businesses should re-organise production to encourage greater use of team working
and introduce personnel departments to encourage greater manager involvement in looking after
employees' interests. His theory most closely fits in with a paternalistic style of management.
1.7 Motivation - Maslow.
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.
Abraham Maslow developed the Hierarchy of Needs model in his 1943 paper A Theory of Human
Motivation, and the theory remains valid today for understanding human motivation, management training
and personal development.
Indeed, Maslow's ideas surrounding the Hierarchy of Needs concerning the responsibility of employers to
provide a workplace environment that encourages and enables employees to fulfill their own unique
potential (self-actualisation) are more relevant than ever today.
Maslow was born in New York in 1908 and died in 1970, although various publications appear in his name
in later years. Maslow's PhD in psychology in 1934 at the University of Wisconsin formed the basis of his
motivational research, initially studying rhesus monkeys. He later moved to New York's Brooklyn College.
The original five-stage Hierarchy of Needs model is clearly and directly attributable to Maslow; later
versions with added motivational stages are not so clearly attributable.
Each of us is motivated by needs. Our most basic needs are inborn, having evolved over tens of thousands
of years. The Hierarchy of Needs helps to explain how these needs motivate us all.
It states that we must satisfy each need in turn, starting with the first, which deals with the most
obvious needs for survival itself:

Physiological - the basic requirements of life.


Safety and security - the need for job security.
Belonging - the need to be part of the team, to be accepted.
Esteem - the need for recognition and respect.
Self-actualisation - to reach the personal goal.
1.8 Contemporary Theory.

Major Process Theories.


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1.8 Contemporary Theory.


Process (or cognitive) theories of motivation focus on conscious human decision processes as an
explanation of motivation. The process theories are concerned with determining how individual behaviour is
energized, directed and maintained in the specifically willed and self-directed human cognitive processes.
Process theories of motivation are based on early cognitive theories, which posit that behaviour is the result
of conscious decision-making processes.
The major process theories of motivation are:
Expectancy theory,
Equity theory,
Goal-setting theory, and
Reinforcement theory.
Expectancy Theory.
In the early 1960s, Victor Vroom (b.1932) applied concepts of behavioural research conducted in the 1930s
by Kurt Lewin (1890-1947) and Edward Tolman (1886-1959) directly to work motivation.
Basically, Vroom suggested that individuals choose work behaviours that they believe lead to outcomes
they value.
In deciding how much effort to put into a work behaviour, individuals are likely to consider:
Their expectancy, meaning the degree to which they believe that putting forth effort will lead to a given level
of performance;
Their instrumentality or the degree to which they believe that a given level of performance will result in
certain outcomes or rewards;
Their valence, which is the extent to which the expected outcomes are attractive or unattractive.
All three of these factors are expected to influence motivation in a multiplicative fashion, so that for an
individual to be highly motivated, all three of the components of the expectancy model must be high. And if
even one of these is zero (e.g., instrumentality and valence are high, but expectancy is completely absent),
the person will have not motivation for the task.
Thus, managers should attempt, as far as is possible, to ensure that their employees believe that increased
effort will improve performance, and that performance will lead to valued rewards.
In the late 1960s, Porter and Lawler published an extension of the Vroom expectancy model, which is
known as the Porter-Lawler expectancy model or simply the Porter-Lawler model.
Although the basic premise of the Porter-Lawler model is the same as for Vroom's model, the Porter-Lawler
model is more complex in a number of ways.
It suggests that increased effort does not automatically lead to improved performance because individuals
may not possess the necessary abilities needed to achieve high levels of performance, or because they
may have an inadequate or vague perception of how to perform necessary tasks.
Without an understanding of how to direct effort effectively, individuals may exert considerable effort
without a corresponding increase in performance.
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1.8 Contemporary Theory.


Equity Theory.
Equity theory suggests that individuals engage in social comparison by comparing their efforts and rewards
with those of relevant others. The perception of individuals about the fairness of their rewards relative to
others influences their level of motivation.
Equity exists when individuals perceive that the ratio of efforts to rewards is the same for them as it is for
others to whom they compare themselves.
Inequity exists when individuals perceive that the ratio of efforts to rewards is different (usually negatively
so) for them than it is for others to whom they compare themselves.
There are two types of inequity-under-reward and over-reward.
Under-reward occurs when a person believes that he/she is either putting in more efforts than another, yet
receiving the same reward, or putting in the same effort as another for a lesser reward. For instance, if an
employee works longer hours than his/her colleague, yet they receive the same salary, the employee would
perceive inequity in the form of under-reward.
Conversely, with over-reward, a person will feel that his efforts to rewards ratio is higher than another
person's, such that he is getting more for putting in the same effort, or getting the same reward even with
less effort.
While research suggests that under-reward motivates individuals to resolve the inequity, research also
indicates that the same is not true for over-reward. Individuals who are over-rewarded often engage in
cognitive dissonance, convincing themselves that their efforts and rewards are equal to another's.
According to the equity theory, individuals are motivated to reduce perceived inequity. Individuals may
attempt to reduce inequity in various ways. A person may change his or her level of effort; an employee
who feels under-rewarded is likely to work less hard. A person may also try to change his or her rewards,
such as by asking for a raise. Another option is to change the behaviour of the reference person, perhaps
by encouraging that person to put forth more effort. Finally, a person experiencing inequity may change the
reference person and compare him or herself to a different person to assess equity. For managers, equity
theory emphasises the importance of a reward system that is perceived as fair by employees.
Goal-Setting Theory.
The goal-setting theory posits that goals are the most important factors affecting the motivation and
behaviour of employees. This motivation theory was developed primarily by Edwin Locke and Gary Latham.
Goal-setting theory emphasises the importance of specific and challenging goals in achieving motivated
behaviour. Specific goals often involve quantitative targets for improvement in behaviour of interest.
Research indicates that specific performance goals are much more effective than those in which a person
is told to "do your best." Challenging goals are difficult but not impossible to attain. Empirical research
supports the proposition that goals that are both specific and challenging are more motivational than vague
goals or goals that are relatively easy to achieve.
Several factors may moderate the relationship between specific and challenging goals and high levels of
motivation. The first of these factors is goal commitment, which simply means that the more dedicated the
individual is to achieving the goal, the more they will be motivated to exert effort toward goal
accomplishment.
Some research suggests that having employees participate in goal setting will increase their level of goal
commitment.
A second factor relevant to goal-setting theory is self-efficacy, which is the individual's belief that he or she
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1.8 Contemporary Theory.


can successfully complete a particular task. If individuals have a high degree of self-efficacy, they are likely
to respond more positively to specific and challenging goals than if they have a low degree of self-efficacy.
Reinforcement Theory.
This theory can be traced to the work of the pioneering behaviourist B.F. Skinner. It is considered a
motivation theory as well as a learning theory.
Reinforcement theory posits that motivated behaviour occurs as a result of reinforcers, which are outcomes
resulting from the behaviour that makes it more likely the behaviour will occur again.
This theory suggests that it is not necessary to study needs or cognitive processes to understand
motivation, but that it is only necessary to examine the consequences of behaviour.
Behaviour that is reinforced is likely to continue, but behaviour that is not rewarded (or behaviour that is
punished) is not likely to be repeated.
Reinforcement theory suggests to managers that they can improve employees' performance by a process
of behaviour modification in which they reinforce desired behaviours and punish undesired behaviours.
1.9 HSG48 in Relation to Human Failure in Terms of Error & Violation.
HSG48 - Reducing Error and Influencing Behaviour is in fact a substantial revision of the previous
publication Human Factors in Industrial Safety and it is good to note that the Health and Safety Executive
have noted the perceptual failings with regard to the previous publication - notably the fact that the term
industrial limited the scope of the audience, despite the fact that human factors apply to all workplaces (this
misperception was reinforced by the use of a heavy industrial scene on the front cover and the selection of
examples mainly relating to heavy industry).
The new publication is clearly directed at all workplaces and all work activities (as the front cover, title and
selected examples clearly reinforce).
According to Reducing Error and Influencing Behaviour "Human factors refer to environmental,
organisational and job factors and human and individual characteristics which influence behaviour at work
in a way which can affect health and safety".
In other words, the three crucial elements of job, individual and organisation need to be carefully
considered.
Job Factors.
Requires tasks to be designed in a way that takes into account ergonomic principles and recognises
strengths and limitations in human performance.
Matching the job to the person requires consideration of both a physical and a mental match. It is the
mismatch between job requirements and individual capabilities that provides the opportunity for human
error.
Hence the need to match the employee's capabilities to the task they are being asked to perform as
required by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
Individual Factors.
Individual characteristics such as personal attitudes, skills, habits and personalities can be strengths or
weaknesses depending upon task demands.
Certain individual characteristics, such as personality, are fixed, whereas other characteristics, such as
skills and attitudes can be modified or enhanced.
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1.9 HSG48 in Relation to Human Failure in Terms of Error & Violation.


Organisational Factors.
Organisational factors have the greatest influence upon individual and group behaviour.
The organisational culture, for example, needs to promote employee involvement and commitment at all
levels and emphasise that deviation from established health and safety standards is not acceptable.
In order to begin to develop a fully-fledged human factors strategy, the above factors should be considered
during risk assessment, accident investigation, design and procurement as well as in day-to-day
operations.
The key objective of the publication is to move away from the mistaken notion that accidents and incidents
are the result of human error by the worker in the front line.
"Attributing incidents to human error has often been seen as a sufficient explanation in itself, and something
which is beyond the control of managers. This view is no longer acceptable to society as a whole.
Organisations must recognise that they need to consider human factors as a distinct element which must
be recognised, assessed and managed effectively in order to control risks".
With regard to the three main factors, the following causes are often related to human failures in accidents:
Job Factors:

Illogical design of equipment, instruments.


Constant disturbances and interruptions.
Missing or unclear instructions.
Poorly maintained equipment.
High workload.
Noisy and unpleasant working conditions.

Individual Factors:

Low skill and competence levels.


Tired staff.
Bored or disheartened staff.
Individual medical problems.

Organisational Factors:

Poor work planning, leading to high work pressure.


Lack of safety systems and barriers.
Inadequate responses to previous incidents.
Management based upon one-way communication.
Deficient co-ordination and responsibilities.
Poor management of health and safety.
Poor health and safety culture.

HSG48 provides a powerful model showing the type of human errors and violations that can be predicted
from consideration of organisational, job and individual factors.
Such a model can be used both in risk assessments and accident investigations in order to suggest the
control measures required to prevent either an occurrence or a re-occurrence.
According to the Contract Research Report:
"In terms of personality, the evidence presented in this review suggests that extroversion and neuroticism
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1.9 HSG48 in Relation to Human Failure in Terms of Error & Violation.


are linked to increased accident vulnerability, but does not suggest why this should be so. It is plausible
that while neuroticism may be associated with accidents via an increased vulnerability to stress,
extroversion may increase an individual's willingness to take risks. The model of accident liability attempts
to integrate the findings of research into individual differences in accident liability with more recent research
into the various forms of human failure and their role in accident causation. The model offered also
attempts to link psychological, organisational and behavioural factors together in the accident-producing
nexus".
Job analysis is a useful technique allowing for the identification of important behavioural and performance
qualities and for the matching of individuals to jobs.
However, it should always be remembered that the personality characteristics that give rise to safe
performance in one situation may prove detrimental in another situation. For example; a rigid approach to
rules and procedures may be required in most instances, but a more flexible approach be required in an
emergency situation. Such factors need to be considered when risk assessments are performed in relation
to normal operations and emergencies.
Where the safety culture is clear and positive, group pressure can even influence an unstable extrovert not
to take risks. However, where the culture is ambivalent and linked to performance targets and deadlines,
the message may become that short-cuts are acceptable in order to achieve targets.
HSG48 provides a useful checklist of questions which organisations can adopt when developing a strategy
based upon the control of organisational, job and individual factors which can lead to human failings.
1.10 The Individual Decision Making Processes.
Decision-making is the cognitive process of selecting a course of action from among multiple alternatives.
Every decision-making process produces a final choice. It can be an action or an opinion. It begins when
we need to do something but we do not know what. Therefore, decision-making is a reasoning process
which can be rational or irrational, and can be based on explicit assumptions or tacit assumptions.
Common examples include shopping, deciding what to eat, and deciding whom or what to vote for in an
election or referendum.
Decision-making is said to be a psychological construct. This means that although we can never "see" a
decision, we can infer from observable behaviour that a decision has been made. Therefore, we conclude
that a psychological event that we call "decision-making" has occurred. It is a construction that imputes
commitment to action. That is, based on observable actions, we assume that people have made a
commitment to effect the action.
Structured rational decision-making is an important part of all science-based professions, where specialists
apply their knowledge in a given area to making informed decisions. For example, medical decision-making
often involves making a diagnosis and selecting an appropriate treatment.
Due to the large number of considerations involved in many decisions, decision support systems have been
developed to assist decision makers in considering the implications of various courses of action. They can
help reduce the risk of human errors.
Decision-making style.
According to behaviouralist Isabel Briggs Myers (1962), a person's decision-making process depends to a
significant degree on their cognitive style. Starting from the work of Carl Jung, Myers developed a set of
four bi-polar dimensions.
The terminal points on these dimensions are:

Thinking and feeling.

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1.10 The Individual Decision Making Processes.

Extroversion and introversion.


Judgement and perception; and
Sensing and intuition.

She claimed that a person's decision-making style is based largely on how they score on these four
dimensions. For example, someone that scored near the thinking, extroversion, sensing, and judgement
ends of the dimensions would tend to have a logical, analytical, objective, critical and empirical decisionmaking style.
Cognitive and personal biases in decision-making.
It is generally agreed that biases can creep into our decision-making processes, calling into question the
correctness of a decision.
Below is a list of some of the more common cognitive biases:

Selective search for evidence - we tend to be willing to gather facts that support certain conclusions,
but disregard other facts that support different conclusions. This is also known as confirmation bias.
Premature termination of search for evidence - we tend to accept the first alternative that looks like it
might work.
Conservatism and inertia - unwillingness to change thought patterns that we have used in the past
in the face of new circumstances.
Experiential limitations - unwillingness or inability to look beyond the scope of our past experiences;
rejection of the unfamiliar.
Selective perception - we actively screen-out information that we do not think is salient.
Wishful thinking or optimism - we tend to want to see things in a positive light, and this can distort
our perception and thinking.
Regency - we tend to place more attention on more recent information and either ignore or forget
more distant information.
Repetition bias - a willingness to believe what we have been told most often and by the greatest
number of different of sources.
Anchoring and adjustment - decisions are unduly influenced by initial information that shapes our
view of subsequent information.
Group think - peer pressure to conform to the opinions held by the group.
Source credibility bias - we reject something if we have a bias against the person, organisation, or
group to which the person belongs: we are inclined to accept a statement by someone we like.
Incremental decision making and escalating commitment - we look at a decision as a small step in a
process and this tends to perpetuate a series of similar decisions. This can be contrasted with zerobased decision-making.
Inconsistency - the unwillingness to apply the same decision criteria in similar situations.
Attribution asymmetry - we tend to attribute our success to our abilities and talents, but we attribute
our failures to bad luck and external factors. We attribute other's success to good luck, and their
failures to their mistakes.
Role fulfilment - we conform to the decision making expectations that others have of someone in our
position.
Underestimating uncertainty and the illusion of control - we tend to underestimate future uncertainty
because we tend to believe we have more control over events than we really do. We believe we
have control to minimise potential problems in our decisions.
Faulty generalisations - In order to simplify an extremely complex world, we tend to group things
and people. These simplifying generalisations can bias decision-making processes.
Ascription of causality - we tend to ascribe causation even when the evidence only suggests
correlation. Just because birds fly to the equatorial regions when the trees lose their leaves, does
not mean that the birds migrate because the trees lose their leaves. This tendency to see
connections and causes when there are none may have had its roots in the earliest stages of
human evolution as a survival tool. The related phenomenon of pareidolia, seeing images in random
patterns, may well have originated at the same time.

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1.10 The Individual Decision Making Processes.


Cognitive neuroscience of decision making.
The anterior cingulate cortex and orbitofrontal cortex are brain regions involved in decision-making
processes. A recent neuroimaging study, Interactions between decision-making and performance
monitoring within prefrontal cortex (Walton, Devlin and Rushworth, 2004) found distinctive patterns of
neural activation in these regions depending on whether decisions were made on the basis of personal
volition or following directions from someone else.
Decision-making in groups.
Decision-making in groups is sometimes examined separately as process and outcome.
Process refers to the interactions among individuals that lead to the choice of a particular course of action.
An outcome is the consequence of that choice.
Separating process and outcome is convenient because it helps explain that a good decision-making
process does not guarantee a good outcome, and that a good outcome does not presuppose a good
process. Thus, for example, managers interested in good decision-making are encouraged to put good
decision-making processes in place.
Although these good decision-making processes do not guarantee good outcomes, they can tip the
balance of chance in favour of good outcomes.
A critical aspect for decision-making groups is the ability to converge on a choice.
Politics is one approach to making decisions in groups. This process revolves around the relative power, or
ability to influence, of the individuals in the group. Some relevant ideas include coalitions among
participants as well as influence and persuasion.
The use of politics is often judged negatively, but it is a useful way to approach problems when preferences
among actors are in conflict, when dependencies exist that cannot be avoided, when there are no superordinate authorities and when the technical or scientific merit of the options is ambiguous.
In addition to the different processes involved in making decisions, groups can also have different decision
rules. A decision rule is the approach used by a group to mark the choice that is made.
Unanimity is commonly used by juries in criminal trials in the United States. Unanimity requires everyone to
agree on a given course of action, and thus imposes a high bar for action.
Majority requires support from more than 50% of the members of the group. Thus, the bar for action is
lower than with unanimity and a group of "losers" is implicit to this rule.
Consensus decision-making tries to avoid "winners" and "losers". Consensus requires that a majority
approve a given course of action, but that the minority agree to go along with the course of action. In other
words, if the minority opposes the course of action, consensus requires that the course of action be
modified to remove objectionable features.
Sub-committee involves assigning responsibility for evaluation of a decision to a sub-set of a larger group,
which then comes back to the larger group with recommendations for action. Using a sub-committee is
more common in larger governance groups, such as a legislature. Sometimes a sub-committee includes
those individuals most affected by a decision, although at other times it is useful for the larger group to
have a sub-committee that involves more neutral participants.
Less desirable group decision rules are:

Plurality, where the largest bloc in a group decides, even if it falls short of a majority.
Dictatorship, where one individual determines the course of action.

Plurality and dictatorship are less desirable as decision rules because they do not require the involvement
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1.10 The Individual Decision Making Processes.


of the broader group to determine a choice. Thus, they do not engender commitment to the course of action
chosen. An absence of commitment from individuals in the group can be problematic during the
implementation phase of a decision.
There are no perfect decision making rules. Depending on how the rules are implemented in practice and
the situation, all of these can lead to situations where either no decision is made, or to situations where
decisions made are inconsistent with one another over time.
Principles.
The ethical principles of decision-making vary considerably.
Some common choices of principles and the methods which seem to match them include:

The most powerful person/group decides.


Method: dictatorship or oligarchy.
Everyone participates in a certain class of meta-decisions.
Method: parliamentary democracy.
Everyone participates in every decision.
Direct democracy, consensus decision making.

There are many grades of decision making which have an element of participation. A common example is
that of institutions making decisions which affect those they are charged to provide for. In such cases an
understanding of participation is crucial to understand the process and the power structures at play.
1.11 On-Line & Off-Line Processing.
In order to use any information, a human must first process the information.
This can be done in one of two ways:
1. Online processing.
2. Offline processing.
Online processing is classed as the decision making process regarding what action to take next (so in
effect, it is the moment-to-moment decision-making).
This in turn becomes the basis of habit-forming processes such as loading a machine in a certain way,
lifting a load in a certain way etc. In doing so, habits can bring about injury and so injuries can be caused
i.e. whilst moving the load, the operator does not see someone, and crashes into them causing an injury to
themselves.
Offline processing is classed as where the human can try to predict the results of a course of action in their
minds prior to the event unfolding. In order to achieve the right result however, knowledge of certain areas
must be held by the person - such as knowledge of the environment, the load, the people doing the work
etc.
Human Behaviour.
Later developments of these models by Hale and Glendon (1987) linked them to the work of Rasmussen
and Reason (Reason 1990), which classified human behaviour into three levels of processing:

Automatic, largely unconscious responses to routine situations (skill-based behaviour).


Matching learned rules to a correct diagnosis of the prevailing situation (rule-based behaviour).
Conscious and time-consuming problem solving in novel situations (knowledge-based behaviour).

The Skills, Rules, Knowledge (SRK) framework.


The Skills, Rules, Knowledge (SRK) framework or SRK taxonomy defines three types of behaviour or
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1.11 On-Line & Off-Line Processing.


psychological processes present in operator information processing (Vicente, 1999a). The SRK framework
was developed by Rasmussen (1983) to help designers combine information requirements for a system
and aspects of human cognition. In EID, the SRK framework is used to determine how information should
be displayed to take advantage of human perception and psychomotor abilities (Vicente, 1999b). By
supporting skill- and rule-based behaviours in familiar tasks, more cognitive resources may be devoted to
knowledge-based behaviours, which are important for managing unanticipated events.
The three categories essentially describe the possible ways in which information, for example, from a
human-machine interface is extracted and understood:
Skill-based behaviour.
A skill-based behaviour represents a type of behaviour that requires very little or no conscious control to
perform or execute an action once an intention is formed; also known as a sensorimotor behaviour.
Performance is smooth, automated, and consists of highly integrated patterns of behaviour in most skillbased control (Rasmussen, 1990). For example, bicycle riding is considered a skill-based behaviour in
which very little attention is required for control once the skill is acquired.
This automaticity allows operators to free up cognitive resources, which can then be used for higher
cognitive functions like problem-solving.
Rule-based level.
A rule-based behaviour is characterised by the use of rules and procedures to select a course of action in a
familiar work situation (Rasmussen, 1990). The rules can be a set of instructions acquired by the operator
through experience or given by supervisors and former operators.
Operators are not required to know the underlying principles of a system to perform a rule-based control.
For example, hospitals have highly-proceduralised instructions for fire emergencies. Therefore, when one
sees a fire, one can follow the necessary steps to ensure the safety of the patients without any knowledge
of fire behaviour.
Knowledge-based level.
A knowledge-based behaviour represents a more advanced level of reasoning (Wirstad, 1988). This type of
control must be employed when the situation is novel and unexpected. Operators are required to know the
fundamental principles and laws by which the system is governed.
Since operators need to form explicit goals based on their current analysis of the system, cognitive
workload is typically greater than when using skill- or rule-based behaviours.
1.12 Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology.
Psychology is defined as the scientific study of human behaviour, mental processes and how they are
affected and/or affect an individual or group's physical state, mental state, and external environment.
Its goal is to describe, understand, predict, and modify behaviour.
Psychology can be dated as beginning as early as Hippocrates in 400BC, or even before.
Sociology is defined as the study of society and human social action. It generally concerns itself with the
social rules and processes that bind and separate people not only as individuals, but as members of
associations, groups, and institutions, and includes the examination of the organisation and development of
human social life.
The sociological field of interest ranges from the analysis of short contacts between anonymous individuals
on the street to the study of global social processes. Most sociologists work in one or more specialities or
subfields.
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1.12 Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology.


Because sociology is such a broad discipline, it can be difficult to define, even for professional sociologists.
One useful way to describe the discipline is as a cluster of sub-fields that examine different dimensions of
society. For example, social stratification studies inequality and class structure; demography studies
changes in a population size or type; criminology examines criminal behaviour and deviance; political
sociology studies government and laws; and the sociology of race and sociology of gender examine
society's racial and gender cleavages.
Anthropology consists of the study of humanity. It is holistic in two senses: it is concerned with all humans
at all times and with all dimensions of humanity.
Anthropology is traditionally distinguished from other disciplines by its emphasis on cultural relativity, indepth examination of context, and cross-cultural comparisons.
1.13 The Effects on Behaviour at Work of Experience, Intelligence, Education & Training.
Experience.
Experience as a general concept comprises knowledge of, or skill in, or observation of some thing or some
event gained through involvement in, or exposure to that thing or event.
The history of the word experience aligns it closely with the concept of experiment. The concept of
experience generally refers to know-how or procedural knowledge, rather than propositional knowledge.
Philosophers dub knowledge based on experience "empirical knowledge" or "a posteriori knowledge". A
person with considerable experience in a certain field can gain a reputation as an expert.
Intelligence.
Intelligence is a most complex practical property of mind, integrating numerous mental abilities, such as the
capacities to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend ideas and language and learn.
Although many generally regard the concept of intelligence as having a much broader scope, for example
in cognitive science and computer science, in some schools of psychology, the study of intelligence
generally regards this trait as distinct from creativity, personality, character, or wisdom.
1.14 Education and Training.
The HSE defines training as meaning 'helping people to learn how to do something, telling people what
they should or should not do, or simply giving them information'.
Training isn't just about formal classroom training.
The HSE gives further detailed advice regarding the training of health and safety:
STEP 1. Decide what training your organisation needs.

Identify the skills and knowledge needed for people to do their job in a safe and healthy way.
Compare these against people's current skills and knowledge and identify the gaps.
Review your experience of injuries, near misses or cases of ill health.
Look at your risk assessments to see where information and/or training have been identified as
factors in controlling risks.
Consult employees or their representatives for their views.

Consider awareness training needs for directors, managers and supervisors, including: how you manage
health and safety; who is responsible for what; the cost to the business if things go wrong; how to identify
hazards and evaluate risks; and the hazards encountered and measures for controlling them.
STEP 2. Decide your training priorities.
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1.14 Education and Training.


Does the law require you to carry out specific training (e.g. first-aid training)?
Top priorities would include those where lack of information and/or training might result in serious harm,
and those which benefit the largest numbers of staff.
Consult employees or their representatives for their views. Training for new recruits and for people
changing jobs or taking on new responsibilities should always be a priority.
STEP 3. Choose your training methods and resources.
Don't forget that though there are many external trainers who can help you, much effective training can be
done 'in house'.
Choose your methods, for example:

Giving information or instruction.


Coaching or on-the-job training.
Training in the 'classroom'.
Open and distance learning.
In groups or individually; and
Computer-based or interactive learning.

Consider who can help you, by providing information, materials, training courses etc.
You could try for example:

Alliance of Sector Skills Councils (www.assc.org.uk).


Trade unions or trade associations.
Further education colleges.
Private training organisations.
Independent health and safety consultants.
Employer bodies (e.g. Chambers of Commerce).
And qualification-awarding bodies.

Look at www.businesslink.gov.uk and click on 'Employing people' or call 0845 600 9006 to find detailed
information and advice on skills and training, including:

The impact of training on business performance.


Identifying training needs.
Training methods.
How to set up in-house training.
How to evaluate your training.
How to find a training provider or course; and
Learning through networking with others.

STEP 4 Deliver the training.

Ensure the information is easy to understand and try to use a variety of training methods to deliver
your message.
Ensure the trainer has enough time to prepare themselves, their resources and the venue preparation is particularly important for people who are not experienced trainers.

STEP 5 Check that the training has worked.

Do your employees understand what you require of them?


Do they now have the knowledge and skills needed to work safely and without risk to health?

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1.14 Education and Training.

Are they actually working as they have been trained?


Has there been any improvement in your organisation's health and safety performance?
What feedback are you getting from line managers and the people who have been trained?
Is further information and/or training needed?
Was the most suitable training method used?
What improvements can be made?
Has there been a change in behaviour and practice?

It is important to keep records of training, even in-house training.


You should monitor training records so that refresher training can be given when needed.
2.0 Human Sensory Receptors and their Reaction to Stimuli.
When reacting to and involving yourself and others in matters of health and safety, the human senses are
required (sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell). The sensory system is used all the time in everyday life and
can be defined more professionally as:
A sensory system is a part of the nervous system responsible for processing sensory information. A
sensory system consists of sensory receptors, neural pathways, and parts of the brain involved in sensory
perception.
Commonly-recognised sensory systems are those for vision, hearing, somatic sensation (touch), taste and
olfaction (smell).
Receptive fields have so far been identified for the visual system, auditory system and somatosensory
system.
Sensory systems code for four aspects of a stimulus; type (modality), intensity, location, and duration.
Certain receptors are sensitive to certain types of stimuli (for example, different mechanoreceptors respond
best to different kinds of touch stimuli, like sharp or blunt objects). Receptors send impulses in certain
patterns to send information about the intensity of a stimulus (for example, how loud a sound is).
The location of the receptor that is stimulated gives the brain information about the location of the stimulus
(for example, stimulating a mechanoreceptor in a finger will send information to the brain about that finger).
The duration of the stimulus (how long it lasts) is conveyed by firing patterns of receptors.
Basic screening techniques refer to how, as humans, we screen out what we perceive to be of little use to
use at that given time. Certain tasks can become screened out such as typing on a keyboard or driving a
car.
2.1 Peception of Danger.
Perception of danger.
In psychology and the cognitive sciences, perception is the process of acquiring, interpreting, selecting and
organising sensory information.
Methods of studying perception range from essentially biological or physiological approaches, through
psychological approaches to the often abstract 'thought-experiments' of mental philosophy.
Danger is defined as:

Exposure or vulnerability to harm or risk.


A source or an instance of risk or peril.
(Obsolete) Power, especially power to harm.
2.2 Perceptual Set.

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2.2 Perceptual Set.


Perceptual set theory stresses the idea of perception as an active process involving selection, inference
and interpretation.
Perceptual set is a bias or readiness to perceive certain aspects of available sensory data and to ignore
others.
Set can be influenced by Expectation and Context.
Minturn and Bruner(1951) showed the middle figure in the following diagram would be more likely to be
perceived as a letter if presented amongst other letters, and a number if presented amongst other numbers:

12.
A 3 C.
14.

There is a readiness to see in a particular way that's based on expectations, experiences, emotions and
assumptions. A further example can be viewed online here:
http://www.psy.cuhk.edu.hk/tcchan/SensationPerception/SensoryPhysiology/DemoStart.htm
Perceptual Distortion.
Perceptual distortion is the lack of correspondence between the way a stimulus is commonly perceived and
the way an individual perceives it under given conditions.
2.3 Errors in Perception Caused by Physical Stressors.
Studies of risk perception examine the judgements people make when they are asked to characterise and
evaluate hazardous activities and technologies.
This research aims to aid risk analysis and policy-making by providing a basis for understanding and
anticipating public responses to hazards, and improving the communication of risk information among lay
people, technical experts and decision-makers.
This work assumes that those who promote and regulate health and safety need to understand how people
think about, and respond to, risk. Without such understanding, well-intended policies may be ineffective.
Fatigue as a concept is extremely hard to define, since everybody has their own idea of what being tired
means. Everybody is tired once in a while - the most common reason is, of course, lack of sleep.
Fatigue can also be caused by a wide range of illnesses and diseases. In such cases, a person usually
finds they suddenly (or even gradually) need more rest and sleep. This may affect their performance at
work. Fatigue is also common when you are feeling depressed.
Fatigue and shift work.
Many individuals work shift systems, work at night, or work very extended hours. Such working patterns
can lead to adverse effects upon health, particularly for night workers. Reduced levels of performance have
been associated with night working, which can also increase the likelihood of accidents and ill-health.
Some people experience severe fatigue at work. This can lead to poorer performance on tasks which
require attention, decision-making or high levels of skill. For safety-critical work, the effects of fatigue can
give rise to increased risks. However, all too often, fatigue is seen as a familiar and acceptable part of
everyday life. Working long hours may even be accepted in the culture of a workplace as 'the thing to do'.
Some organisations are starting to look carefully at three aspects of shift work:

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2.3 Errors in Perception Caused by Physical Stressors.

Risks to health.
Possible impact on safety; and
Effects on shift workers' social and family lives.

Health effects.
Shift work, especially night work, can lead to the following health problems:

Difficulty in falling asleep and staying asleep, difficulty in staying alert and awake at work.
Reduced quality and quantity of sleep, increased use of sleeping pills.
There may be a gradual build-up of sleep loss into a 'sleep debt'.
Gastrointestinal disorders. These may be linked to an increased tendency to eat snack meals at
work.
Respiratory problems. Asthma attacks may be worse at night. Allergic reactions may become
worse. Lung function declines at night, especially for those with chronic respiratory conditions.
Individuals taking regular medication may have problems with shift work. Dosages may need to be
altered to take account of variations of drug effectiveness due to the time of day.
A proportion of people find that they cannot cope with working shifts. They may experience health
problems which become acute only weeks after starting shift work, and they may need to move to
other duties.

Possible effects on safety.


Job performance may be poorer on shift work, especially when working night shifts. Tasks tend to be
completed more slowly at night, although this can be balanced by altering the workload.
In general, the early hours of the morning, e.g. between 02:00 and 05:00 present the highest risk for
fatigue-related accidents.
Sleep loss can lead to lowered levels of alertness. Cumulative sleep loss over a number of days can result
in a 'sleep debt' with much reduced levels of productivity and attention. Such sleep loss results from
working not only night shifts but also morning shifts with very early start times, and from 'on call' situations
where it may be difficult to plan when to sleep.
Social and family life.
Shift work, especially working rotating shifts, may have an impact on the social life of shift workers.
However, this depends on the shift schedule as well as the age, sex, number of children and perhaps the
personality of the shift worker. The quality of family life for the worker, and the ability to take part in leisure
activities may be affected by shift work.
What causes these negative effects?
There are a number of important influences including:
Biological rhythms.
We have built-in body clocks to regulate all important body functions. These clocks tell us when to be active
and when to rest. They also govern other physiological functions such as body temperature, hormones,
digestion and blood pressure.
The 24-hour biological rhythms from these clocks do not disappear even if there are changes to the
environment (lighting, noise, temperature) and your routine (no sleep, changes of meal routine). Even if you
are working nights, your body clock will still reduce your body temperature in the early hours of the
morning, lower your blood pressure and stop digestion. This will make you sleepier and less alert.
A night worker trying to sleep during the daytime will find it harder to get to sleep because their body clock
is telling them they should be awake. The reduced quality and quantity of sleep will lead to more fatigue as
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2.3 Errors in Perception Caused by Physical Stressors.


a 'sleep debt' builds up.
Time at work.
Human performance tends to deteriorate significantly when people have been at work for more than 12
hours. Below 12 hours, the evidence is less clear, and the extent to which fatigue occurs may depend on
aspects such as the adequacy of rest breaks, the nature of the work, and the working environment. The
effects of fatigue tend to be more marked if the task is monotonous or very repetitive.
Amount of sleep.
The daily rest between shifts needs to be adequate to enable shift workers to return to work fully rested. An
adult typically needs about seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
Rest days are valuable in allowing people to 'recharge their batteries' and to maintain their work
performance. The planning of rest days needs to take account of their frequency and the length of
'recovery' time available after blocks of shifts. Shift workers, especially night workers, benefit from regular
recovery periods of at least 48 hours. This is because shortened or interrupted sleep over a period of time
can result in their spending part of their rest day sleeping.
Shift rotation.
A shift pattern which changes about once a week is likely to be more difficult to adjust to than either a more
rapidly or a more slowly changing pattern.
Current thinking suggests that starting a shift later than the previous one (forward rotation) may create less
of a problem than starting a shift earlier than the last one (backward rotation).
A typical forward rotation roster would be mornings, afternoons then night shifts. Some shift patterns can
result in a short daily rest interval of perhaps only eight hours. This is particularly likely to lead to fatigue
through reduced sleep.
Managing the impact of shift work.
There is no one solution to the potential health and safety impact of fatigue and shift work. The 'best
practice' management approach, which will go beyond what is required by health and safety legislation, is
through a multi-component approach which includes:

Careful planning of shift rotas, taking into account knowledge of the effects of biological rhythms.
Reviewing maximum hours of duty and time for recovery.
Education of shift workers on sleep routines, nutrition, effects on family and social life, exercise.
Environmental design changes, especially those aspects which can improve alertness such as
temperature, lighting, and comfort levels.
Reducing the number of safety-critical tasks planned for the night shift.
Rotating jobs to reduce levels of boredom; and
Providing medical advice for shift workers, especially for those with existing medical conditions.
2.4 Perception & the Assessment of Risk, Perception & Limitations of Human Performance.

When do we act in a safe way?


If an occupational hazard exists, there are three aspects relevant to our decision about behaving
safely:

Being aware of the hazard and feeling personally at risk.


Believing that you can control the risks by your actions and the available equipment; and
Behaving safely.

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2.4 Perception & the Assessment of Risk, Perception & Limitations of Human Performance.
For each aspect, there are individual, job and organisational influences to consider.
Some key influences on whether a person will behave safely are:

You perceive the threat as severe.


You feel personally vulnerable.
You believe that the available action will be effective.
You are confident that you can carry out the protective behaviour.
The costs of responding are low; and
Your colleagues are carrying out the action.

Being aware of a hazard.


People are normally concerned with doing a good job rather than being consciously aware or concerned
about the occupational health and safety hazards in their workplace. At appropriate danger signals or for
certain critical tasks, we need to be able to switch over to a more conscious and focused way of thinking
about the risks and controls.
There are a number of influences on whether a person feels at risk from a hazard. A risk is seen as being
greater if we perceive it as having severe consequences, or if we feel personally vulnerable. For example, a
health worker's beliefs about the likelihood of contracting the HIV virus will impact on their perception of the
hazard as significant or not. If we feel that the available controls are of limited effectiveness then, in
extreme cases, this can lead to us dismissing the threat.
Overconfidence, over-optimism or over-familiarity may act to reduce our appraisal of a hazard as
significant. There are also well-known biases in individual risk perception which will influence our appraisal
of a hazard.
People are bad at judging probability, and especially bad at judging risk. This is important because accident
rates tend to be higher in groups of people who estimate risks as low. Typically, we underestimate the risks
attached to our own work. This tendency is greater in familiar situations, or where we choose ourselves to
take a risk.
People with different roles in the same workplace may judge risks differently. In general, we make a lower
risk estimation of our own job than of other jobs. For example, workers in the construction industry were
asked to estimate the risk of falls by different tradesmen. These included carpenters, tile layers, scaffolders,
painters and steel erectors. Each of these groups made consistent judgements but overestimated the risks
of trades other than their own by about 10%. They all underestimated their own risks.
Reducing error and influencing behaviour.
To improve our appreciation of risks, we need information about the hazard, risk estimates, exposure
modes, and available control measures. If individual workers can be made to feel personally vulnerable,
then this is also helpful.
Fear-inducing messages are not usually advisable, since people are more likely to reject a threatening fearinducing message and to assume that the message is for someone else. Constant pressure is needed to
make sure that judgements of risk are realistic.
Believing you can control the risks.
We ask ourselves how effective our actions might be in controlling the risks. We weigh up the benefits of
carrying out safe behaviours against the costs we will incur. For example, a construction worker may weigh
up the costs such as physical discomfort of wearing a hard hat in hot weather against the benefits. The
'costs' are typically time, reduced productivity and physical discomfort. We also consider how effective the
available actions or procedures may be, and whether we can carry them out. For example, if a health
worker believes that they will be able to dispose of used needles safely, this will influence their safe
behaviour.
Behaving safely.
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2.4 Perception & the Assessment of Risk, Perception & Limitations of Human Performance.
The work environment and the health and safety climate influence our safe behaviour. If supervisors and
managers appear to condone unsafe behaviour in order to achieve productivity goals, then safe behaviour
will be less likely.
Other barriers to safe behaviour include:

Equipment which is not readily available or in good order.


Not being trained to use the equipment provided.
A job which is designed in a way which makes it hard to behave safely; and
Other people's risk-taking behaviours.

A major influence will be what we see our colleagues. So, if very few other workers wear hearing protection
in a noisy environment then this will not encourage us to comply with the safe behaviour. Managers and
supervisors need to be aware that group social norms for safe behaviour exist. They need to set a good
example and positively influence such standards of behaviour. Maintaining safe behaviour is highly
dependent on safety culture including group norms and workplace influences.
Influencing safe behaviour.
There are a number of ways in which you can successfully influence safe behaviour at work, e.g.

By education and training.


Through improved ergonomic design; and
By introducing a goal-setting and feedback programme.

The approaches complement each other, and you may chose to consider more than one.
Reducing error and influencing behaviour.
Beliefs and knowledge are important determinants of safe behaviour. People need to know what the safe
behaviour is. Education and training are therefore vital.
Training should cover such key aspects as:

Knowledge of the work-related health and safety risks.


Training and feedback in the proper use of safety-related equipment and procedures.
Awareness of the benefits of carrying out safe behaviour; and
The views of managers and colleagues on risk-taking.

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2.4 Perception & the Assessment of Risk, Perception & Limitations of Human Performance.

2.5 Perception& Sensory Inputs -the Hale & Hale Model.


An article by Professor A. R. Hale and M. Hale, entitled "Accidents in Perspective", was published by the
National Institute of Industrial Psychology in 1971. This includes a model of accident causation which
includes the idea of perception. Professor Hale has written one of the chapters in Safety at Work by Ridley
(Ed.), in which a version of this diagram is shown and explained.
Professor Hale suggests that accident research dealing with accident proneness and unicausality shows
confused thinking. He suggests that his model (Figure 1) allows any accident to be investigated, and the
root cause determined, by finding the place, or places, on the model which represent(s) the major source of
error.
It follows that, if you have correctly determined the cause of the accident, then it is easier to find the
solution. In this case we are looking for human factors.
Figure 1. Accident Causation Model According to Hale and Hale
An individual's perception of a situation is based on two sources of data:

Information from the senses.


Expected information.

Both of these sources could be incomplete or incorrect. Physical defects of sight or hearing can affect the
presented information, while fatigue, stress or drugs can alter the expected information. From past
experience or some stereotyped expectation, we sometimes see a situation other than the actual one.
Other errors can occur in decisions as to possible actions and the internal processing of information. This
also involves some cost/benefit decision. Errors can occur because of our lack of knowledge, our ideas of
possible actions and in our estimate of effects of any action.
The action, whether good or bad, will affect the situation and so produces a feedback loop. New information
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2.5 Perception& Sensory Inputs -the Hale & Hale Model.


will be presented, and there is a possibility of a trial and error situation.
2.6 Individual Behaviour in the Face of Danger - Hale & Glendon Model.
Individual Behaviour in the Face of Danger.
The Hale and Glendon Model.
Details of this model are to be found in "Individual Behaviour in the Control of Danger" by Andrew R. Hale
and A. Ian Glendon, Elsevier 1987, Industrial Safety Series 2 (ISBN 0 444 42838 0 Vol. 2) (ISBN 0 444
42749 X (Series)).
Humans play important roles in most of the processes leading up to accidents, and in the majority of
measures aimed at accident prevention. Therefore, it is vital that models of the accident process should
provide clear guidance about the links between human actions and accidents. Only then will it be possible
to carry out systematic accident investigation in order to understand these links and to make predictions
about the effect of changes in the design and layout of workplaces, in the training, selection and motivation
of workers and managers and in the organization of work and management safety systems.
Early Modelling.
Up until the 1960s, modelling human and organisational factors in accidents had been rather
unsophisticated. These models had not differentiated human elements relevant to accidents beyond rough
subdivisions such as skills, personality factors, motivational factors and fatigue. Accidents were seen as
undifferentiated problems for which undifferentiated solutions were sought (as doctors two centuries ago
sought to cure many then undifferentiated diseases by bleeding the patient).
Reviews of accident research literature that were published by Surry (1969) and by Hale and Hale (1972)
were among the first attempts to go deeper, and offer a basis for classifying accidents into types reflecting
differentiated aetiologies, which were themselves linked to failures in different aspects of the mantechnology-environment relationships.
In both of these reviews, the authors drew upon the accumulating insights of cognitive psychology in order
to develop models presenting people as information processors, responding to their environment and its
hazards by trying to perceive and control the risks that are present.
Accidents were considered in these models as failures of different parts of this process of control that occur
when one or more of the control steps does not perform satisfactorily. The emphasis was also shifted in
these models away from blaming the individual for failures or errors, and towards focusing on the mismatch
between the behavioural demands of the task or system and the possibilities inherent in the way behaviour
is generated and organised.
Human Behaviour.
Later developments of these models by Hale and Glendon (1987) linked them to the work of Rasmussen
and Reason (Reason 1990), which classified human behaviour into three levels of processing:

Automatic, largely unconscious responses to routine situations (skill-based behaviour).


Matching learned rules to a correct diagnosis of the prevailing situation (rule-based behaviour).
Conscious and time-consuming problem solving in novel situations (knowledge-based behaviour).

The typical failures of control differ from one level of behaviour to another, as do the types of accidents and
the appropriate safety measures used to control them.
The Hale and Glendon model, updated with more recent insights, is depicted in Figure 2. It is made up of a
number of building blocks, which will be explained successively in order to arrive at the full model.

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2.6 Individual Behaviour in the Face of Danger - Hale & Glendon Model.

Figure 2. Individual problem solving in the face of danger.


2.7 Link to Deviation Models.
The starting point of the Hale and Glendon model is the way in which danger evolves in any workplace or
system.
Danger is considered to be always present, but kept under control by a large number of accidentprevention measures linked to hardware (e.g. the design of equipment and safeguards), people (e.g. skilled
operators), procedures (e.g, preventive maintenance) and organisation (e.g. allocation of responsibility for
critical safety tasks).
Provided that all relevant dangers and potential hazards have been foreseen and the preventive measures
for them have been properly designed and chosen, no damage will occur. Only if a deviation from this
desired, normal state takes place can the accident process start. (These deviation models are dealt with in
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2.7 Link to Deviation Models.


detail in the extract from a book on "Accident deviation models".)
The task of the people in the system is to assure proper functioning of the accident-prevention measures so
as to avert deviations, by using the correct procedures for each eventuality, handling safety equipment with
care and undertaking the necessary checks and adjustments.
People also have the task of detecting and correcting many of the deviations which may occur, and of
adapting the system and its preventive measures to new demands, new dangers and new insights.
All these actions are modelled in the Hale and Glendon model as detection and control tasks related to a
danger.
2.8 Problem Solving.
The Hale and Glendon model conceptualises the role of human action in controlling danger as a problemsolving task.
The steps in such a task can be described generically as in Figure 3:

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2.8 Problem Solving.

Figure 3. Problem-solving cycle.


This task is a goal-seeking process, driven by the standards set in step one in Figure 3. These are the
standards of safety which workers set for themselves, or which are set by employers, manufacturers or
legislators.
The model has the advantage that it can be applied not only to individual workers faced with imminent or
future danger, but also to groups of workers, departments or organisations aiming to control both existing
danger from a process or industry and future danger from new technology or products at the design stage.
Hence safety management systems can be modelled in a way consistent with human behaviour, allowing
the designer or evaluator of safety management to take an appropriately focused or a wide view of the
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2.8 Problem Solving.


interlocking tasks of different levels of an organisation (Hale et al. 1994).
Applying these steps to individual behaviour in the face of danger, we obtain Figure 4. Some examples of
each step can clarify the task of the individual.
Some degree of danger, as stated above, is assumed to be present all the time in all situations. The
question is whether an individual worker responds to that danger. This will depend partly on how insistent
the danger signals are, and partly on the worker's own consciousness of danger and standards of
acceptable level of risk. When a piece of machinery unexpectedly glows red hot, a fork-lift truck approaches
at high speed, or smoke starts seeping from under the door, individual workers skip immediately to
considering the need for action, or even to deciding what they or someone else can do.

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2.8 Problem Solving.

Figure 4. Behaviour in the face of danger.


2.9 Individual Behaviour in the Face of Danger - Hale & Glendon Model. (cont'd).
These situations of imminent danger are rare in most industries, and it is normally desirable to activate
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2.9 Individual Behaviour in the Face of Danger - Hale & Glendon Model. (cont'd).
workers to control danger when it is much less imminent. For example, workers should recognise slight
wear on the machine guard and report it, and realise that a certain noise level will make them deaf if they
are continuously exposed to it for some years.
Designers should anticipate that a novice worker could be liable to use their proposed new product in a way
that could be dangerous.
To do this, all persons responsible for safety must first consider the possibility that danger is, or will be
present. Consideration of danger is partly a matter of personality and partly of experience. It can also be
encouraged by training, and guaranteed by making it an explicit part of tasks and procedures at the design
and execution phases of a process, where it may be confirmed and encouraged by colleagues and
superiors.
Secondly, workers and supervisors must know how to anticipate and recognise the signs of danger. To
ensure the appropriate quality of alertness, they must accustom themselves to recognise potential accident
scenarios - that is, indications and sets of indications that could lead to loss of control and so to damage.
This is partly a question of understanding webs of cause and effect, such as how a process can get out of
control, how noise damages hearing or how and when a trench can collapse.
Just as important is an attitude of creative mistrust. This involves considering that tools, machines and
systems can be misused, go wrong, or show properties and interactions outside their designers' intentions.
It applies "Murphy's Law" (whatever can go wrong will go wrong) creatively, by anticipating possible failures
and affording the opportunity of eliminating or controlling them.
Such an attitude, together with knowledge and understanding, also helps at the next step - that is, in really
believing that some sort of danger is sufficiently likely or serious to warrant action.
Labelling something as dangerous enough to need action is again partly a matter of personality; for
instance, it may have to do with how pessimistic a person may be about technology. More importantly, it is
very strongly influenced by the kind of experience that will prompt workers to ask themselves such
questions as, "Has it gone wrong in the past?" or "Has it worked for years with the same level of risk with
no accidents?".
The results of research on risk perception, and on attempts to influence it by risk communication or
feedback on accident and incident experience are given in more detail in other articles.
Even if the need for some action is realised, workers may take no action for many reasons:

They do not, for example, think it is their place to interfere with someone else's work.
They do not know what to do.
They see the situation as unchangeable ("it is just part of working in this industry").
Or they fear reprisal for reporting a potential problem.

Beliefs and knowledge about cause and effect, and about the attribution of responsibility for accidents and
accident prevention are important here. For example, supervisors who consider that accidents are largely
caused by careless and accident-prone workers will not see any need for action on their own part, except
perhaps to eliminate those workers from their section.
Effective communications to mobilise and coordinate the people who can and should take action are also
vital at this step.
The remaining steps are concerned with the knowledge of what to do to control the danger, and the skills
needed to take appropriate action. This knowledge is acquired by training and experience, but good design
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2.9 Individual Behaviour in the Face of Danger - Hale & Glendon Model. (cont'd).
can help greatly by making it obvious how to achieve a certain result so as to avert danger, or to protect
one's self from it - for instance, by means of an emergency stop or shutdown, or an avoiding action.
Good information resources such as operations manuals or computer support systems can help
supervisors and workers to gain access to knowledge not available to them in the course of day-to-day
activity.
Finally, skill and practice determine whether the required response action can be carried out accurately
enough and with the right timing to make it successful.
A difficult paradox arises in this connection: the more alert and prepared that people are, and the more
reliable the hardware is, the less frequently the emergency procedures will be needed, and the harder it will
be to sustain the level of skill needed to carry them out when they are called upon.
2.10 Links with Behaviour Based on Skill, Rules & Knowledge.
The final element in the Hale and Glendon model, which turns Figure 3 into Figure 1, is the addition of the
link to the work of Reason and Rasmussen.
This work emphasised that behaviour can be evinced at three different levels of conscious control - skillbased, rule-based and knowledge-based which imply different aspects of human functioning, and are
subject to different types and degrees of disturbance or error on account of external signals or internal
processing failures.
Skill-based. The skill-based level is highly reliable, but subject to lapses and slips when disturbed, or when
another, similar routine captures control.
This level is particularly relevant to the kind of routine behaviour that involves automatic responses to
known signals indicating danger, either imminent or more remote.
The responses are known and practised routines, such as keeping our fingers clear of a grinding wheel
while sharpening a chisel, steering a car to keep it on the road, or ducking to avoid a flying object coming at
us.
The responses are so automatic that workers may not even be aware that they are actively controlling
danger with them.
Rule-based.
The rule-based level is concerned with choosing from a range of known routines or rules the one which is
appropriate to the situation - for example, choosing which sequence to initiate in order to close down a
reactor which would otherwise become over-pressurised, selecting the correct safety goggles to work with
acids (as opposed to those for working with dusts), or deciding, as a manager, to carry out a full safety
review for a new plant rather than a short informal check.
Errors here are often related to insufficient time spent matching the choice to the real situation, to relying on
expectation rather than observation to understand the situation, or to being misled by outside information
into making a wrong diagnosis.
In the Hale and Glendon model, behaviour at this level is particularly relevant to detecting hazards and
choosing correct procedures in familiar situations.
Knowledge-based. The knowledge-based level is engaged only when no pre-existing plans or procedures
exist for coping with a developing situation.
This is particularly true of the recognition of new hazards at the design stage, of detecting unsuspected
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2.10 Links with Behaviour Based on Skill, Rules & Knowledge.


problems during safety inspections, or of coping with unforeseen emergencies.
This level is predominant in the steps at the top of Figure 1. It is the least predictable and least reliable
mode of operation, but also the mode where no machine or computer can replace a human in detecting
potential danger and in recovering from deviations.
Putting all the elements together results in Figure 1, which provides a framework for both classifying where
failures occurred in human behaviour in a past accident, and analysing what can be done to optimise
human behaviour in controlling danger in a given situation or task, in advance of any accidents.
2.11 Video: Managing Human Error.
Please wait for the video to buffer before pressing play.
Alternatively you can download the video to watch at your convenience.
Download Video
3.0 Human Failure Classification.
Classification of human failure: HSG 48 "Reducing Error and Influencing behaviour"
This model of human failure is based on the work of Rasmussen and Reason.
The model divides human failures into two types:

Violations.
Errors.

Violations are deliberate deviations from the rules and can be divided into three types : situational, routine
and exceptional.
Errors are divided up into skill-based errors and mistakes. Skill based errors are divided into slips of action
and lapses of memory. Mistakes are further divided into rule based mistakes and knowledge-based
mistakes.
Violations.
A violation is a deliberate deviation from a rule or procedure. Most violations are motivated by a desire to
carry out the job despite prevailing constraints, and very rarely are they motivated by wilful acts of sabotage
or vandalism. Violations can be sub-divided into routine, situational and exceptional.
Routine

Situational

Exceptional

Breaking rules or procedures


has become a normal way of
working within the work
group due to: the desire to
cut corners, the perception
that the rules are too
restrictive, the belief that the
rules no longer apply, lack of
enforcement of the rules,
new workers not realising
that routine violations are
taking place. Means of
reducing such violations can

These rarely happen and only


Breaking the rules is due to
when something has gone
pressures from the job, such wrong. To solve a problem,
as: time pressure, insufficient employees believe that a rule
staff for the workload, the right has to be broken. It is falsely
equipment not being
believed that the benefits
available, extreme weather
outweigh the risks. Means of
conditions. Risk assessments reducing such violations
should help identify the
could include: training for
potential for such violations, dealing with abnormal
as will good two-way
situations, risk assessments
communication.
to take into account such
violations, reduction of time

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3.0 Human Failure Classification.


include: routine monitoring,
removal of unnecessary
rules, ensuring rules are
relevant and practical,
explaining the reasons for the
rules, improved design to
reduce the likelihood of
cutting corners, involvement
of the workforce in drawing
up the rules.

pressures on staff to act


quickly in novel situations.

If the above are common causes of human failures, the failures themselves can be categorised into various
types involving errors and violations.
The following diagram illustrates this point.

The above model operates with the notion that all human failures can be categorised as either human error
or violations, depending on whether or not intention was involved with the failure.
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3.0 Human Failure Classification.


Errors.
A human error is defined as an action or decision which was not intended, but which involved a deviation
from an accepted standard and which led to an undesirable outcome. Errors can be sub-divided into slips,
lapses and mistakes.
Slips

Lapses

These rarely happen and only


when something has gone
wrong. To solve a problem,
Forgetting to carry out
employees believe that a rule an action, losing our
has to be broken. It is falsely
place in a task or
believed that the benefits
forgetting what we had
outweigh the risks. Means of
intended to do. Often
reducing such violations could linked to interruptions
include: training for dealing with and distractions. A
abnormal situations, risk
simple checklist to follow
assessments to take into
can help to reduce the
likelihood of lapses
account such violations,
reduction of time pressures on occurring
staff to act quickly in novel
situations.

Mistakes

Where we do the wrong thing,


believing it to be right. The failure
involves our mental processes
which control how we plan,
assess information, make
intentions and judge
consequences. Rule-Based
Mistakes occur when our
behaviour is based upon
remembered rules or procedures.
Knowledge-Based Mistakes are
often related to incomplete
information being available.

Errors are more likely to occur where there are:

Work environment stressors.


Extreme task demands.
Social and organisational stressors.
Individual stressors.
Equipment stressors.

Risk assessments should therefore identify where such factors are present and assess the likelihood of
errors taking place and their consequences.
Error control and reduction should take into account the need:

To address the conditions and to reduce the stressors,


To design plant and equipment in order to either prevent slips or lapses occurring, or to increase the
chances of detecting and correcting such errors,
To ensure that arrangements for training are effective,
To design jobs to avoid the need for tasks which involve complex decisions, diagnoses or
calculations,
To provide proper supervision,
To check that job aids such as procedures are clear, concise, available, up-to-date and accepted,
To monitor that the measures taken to reduce error are effective.
3.1 Human Error to Major Disasters.

These are further covered in other elements in this unit:

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3.1 Human Error to Major Disasters.

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3.1 Human Error to Major Disasters.

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3.1 Human Error to Major Disasters.

3.2 Flixborough: Video.


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3.3 Piper Alpha: Video.
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3.4 Seveso: Video.


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3.5 Chernobyl: Video.
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3.6 Three Mile Island: Video.
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3.7 Bhopal: Video.
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4.0 Improving Individual Human Reliability in the Workplace.
Job satisfaction and Appraisal schemes.
Job satisfaction relates to one's feelings or state-of-mind regarding the nature of work. Job satisfaction can
be influenced by a variety of factors, e.g. the quality of the employer-supervisor relationship, the quality of
the physical environment, degree of fulfilment, etc.
Frederick Herzberg's motivation and hygiene factors.
Frederick Herzberg's book 'The Motivation to Work', written with research colleagues B Mausner and B
Snyderman in 1959, first established his theories about motivation in the workplace.
Herzberg's work, originally on 200 Pittsburgh engineers and accountants, has become one of the most
replicated studies in the field of workplace psychology.
Herzberg was the first to show that satisfaction and dissatisfaction at work nearly always arose from
different factors, and were not simply opposing reactions to the same factors, as had always previously
been believed.
He showed that certain factors truly motivate ('motivators'), whereas others tended to lead to dissatisfaction
('hygiene factors').
According to Herzberg, humans have two sets of needs; one as an animal to avoid pain, and two as a
human being to grow psychologically. Certain parallels can clearly be seen with Maslow.
Herzberg's research proved that people will strive to achieve hygiene needs because they are unhappy
without them, but once satisfied the effect soon wears off - satisfaction is temporary.
Examples of hygiene needs (or maintenance factors) in the workplace are:

Policy.
Relationship with supervisor.
Work conditions.

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4.0 Improving Individual Human Reliability in the Workplace.

Salary.
Company car.
Status.
Security.
Relationship with subordinates.
Personal life.

True motivators were found to be completely different factors, such as:

Achievement.
Recognition.
Work itself.
Responsibility.
Advancement.
Personal growth.

To what extent is money a motivator?


This question commonly arises when considering Herzberg's research and theories, so it's appropriate to
include it here.
People commonly argue that money is a primary motivator. For most people, money is not a motivator despite what they might think and say.
And for all people, there are bigger more sustaining motivators than money. Surveys repeatedly show that
other factors motivate more than money.
For example, a survey by Development Dimensions International published in the UK Times newspaper in
2004 interviewed 1,000 staff from companies employing more than 500 workers, and found many to be
bored, lacking commitment and looking for a new job. Pay actually came fifth in the reasons people gave
for leaving their jobs.
The main reasons were lack of stimulation and no opportunity for advancement - classic Herzberg
motivators. 43% left for better promotion chances, 28% for more challenging work; 23% for a more exciting
place to work; and 21% more varied work.
Lots of other evidence is found in life, wherever you care to look.
Consider what happens when people win big lottery prizes.While many of course give up their 'daily grind'
jobs, some do not.
They wisely recognise that their work is part of their purpose and life-balance.
Others who give up their jobs do so to buy, or start and run, their own businesses. They are pursuing their
dream to achieve something special for them, whatever that might be. And whatever it means to them, the
motivation is not to make money, otherwise why don't they just keep hold of what they've got? Why risk it
on a project that will involve lots of effort and personal commitment? Of course the reason they invest in a
new business venture is that pursuing this sort of plan is where the real motivators are found achievement, responsibility, personal growth, etc. - not money.
The people who are always unhappy are those who focus on spending their money. The lottery prizewinners who give up work and pursue material and lifestyle pleasures soon find that life becomes empty
and meaningless. Money, and spending it, is not enough to sustain the human spirit. We exist for more.
Money is certainly important, and a personal driver if you lack enough for a decent civilised existence, or
you are striving for a house or a holiday, but beyond this, money is not - for the vast majority of people - a
sustainable motivator in itself.
Factors affecting job satisfaction.

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4.0 Improving Individual Human Reliability in the Workplace.


Leading to dissatisfaction:

Company policy.
Supervision.
Relationship with the boss.
Work conditions.
Salary.
Relationships with colleagues.

Leading to satisfaction:

Achievement.
Recognition.
Work itself.
Responsibility.
Advancement.
Growth.

4.1 Explanation of the Importance of Interview & Selection; On- & Off-the-Job Training.
Interview and selection.
Competency-based (or behavioural) interviews are based on the premise that past behaviour is the best
predictor of future behaviour.
Interviewers seek to obtain information about candidates' past behaviour in certain situations. Competencybased interviews are structured, with questions that relate directly to the essential criteria/competencies
required for the post.
Research into recruitment and selection methodology suggests that structured, competency based
interviews can be one of the most reliable and accurate forms of assessment.
Competency-based interview questions have been asked for some time in Highways Agency selection
interviews, but have not always been labelled as such.
A good recruitment and selection interview should assess candidates against each essential
criterion or competency, asking questions about:

Past behaviours and performance.

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4.1 Explanation of the Importance of Interview & Selection; On- & Off-the-Job Training.

Learning from past behaviours.


Future adaptability to new post.
Knowledge and understanding of issues in relation to the post.

What happens in a situational interview?


The interviewer will ask you a series of questions along the lines of:

Describe a situation when you.


Give an example of a time when you.

When you have answered these, the interviewer may prompt you for further information. When you have
exhausted one topic, the interviewer will move on to the next, leaving little opportunity for discussion. At the
end of the interview, there may be an opportunity for you to ask your own questions.
This format may seem rigid, unnatural and unfriendly to many interviewees but, as well as providing
evidence of competencies relevant to the job, it is also seen as a fair and equitable method of selection,
since all candidates are asked exactly the same questions.
What competencies is the interviewer looking for?
This will vary according to the job, but competencies of importance to many recruiters of new and
recent graduates include:

Communication skills.
Negotiation.
Persuasiveness.
Teamwork.
Decision-making.
Problem solving.
Planning and organisation.
Coping with pressure.

On the job training.


Advantages:

Training an employee in their own working environment, on equipment with which they are familiar
with, and people they know can help them gain direct experience to a standard approved by the
employer.
Employees may find that they have more confidence to use the equipment if they are supervised
and guided.
Employees may feel more at ease being taught or supervised by people they know rather than
complete strangers.
Managers or supervisors can assess improvement and progress over a period of time, and this
makes it easier to identify a problem, intervene and resolve problems quickly.
This type of training is also productive, as the employee is still working as they are learning.
As training progresses and the employee begins to feel more confident, this confidence will allow
them to work at a higher standard and ultimately be more productive.
Training "on-the-job" would also prove an opportunity to get to know staff to whom they might not
normally talk.
Mentoring or training on-the-job can work out very cost effective.

Disadvantages:
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Teaching or mentoring is a specialisation in itself; unless the person mentoring or training has the
skills and knowledge to train, this would mean that the training would not be done to a sufficient
standard.
The person teaching or mentoring may not be given the time to spend with the employee to teach
them properly, which would mean substandard training has been achieved and learning has only
been half-done.
The trainers may posses many bad habits and pass these on to the employee being trained.
If the trainer has been given limited time to train the employee, this would mean that the skill or
knowledge has not been fully understood.
If a trainer has been brought into the company externally they might not be familiar with the
equipment fully or layout and this would waste time.

Off the job training.


Advantages:

If the course has been designed by staff members, it can be delivered to fit in with the employee's
regime and workload, so it does not affect productivity.
Can work out extremely cost effective as no hotel fees, trainer fees or extra equipment are incurred,
all is provided in-house and in work time.
Depending on the course, employees are able to meet other employees, perhaps from other
branches or departments they would not have normally met.
As employees are familiar with the trainer and the environment in which they are being taught, this
would help them to feel more relaxed.
The person developing the course would be able to gauge the level of ability and content for the
course to be taught.
The course would be more relevant and adaptable to the needs of the company.

Disadvantages:

Extra Audio or Visual aids to aid learning (whiteboard, overhead projector, projector, video etc.)
might not be available, and so this would mean courses might be basic or substandard.
As a member of staff may be delivering the course rather than an experienced trainer, the
employees might not take the course seriously and this might hamper learning.
Employee rivalry and banter may mean that employees bypass the course and undervalue its
content as they think they know better, or have better ways of doing it.
Depending on the teaching skills of the employee training the members of staff, they might not be
able to gauge the existing abilities, knowledge, skill or need for training, and so employees
attending the course might already know what is being taught.
If the need for training has not accurately been gauged this would result in the work space being
wasted where it could have been utilised more productively.
If resources are limited, equipment available may be different from that used by the employees, and
this would be counter-productive.
Employees may feel devalued if they are sent on an internal training course to improve skills rather
than learn new ones, and so courses have to be selected and promoted to the employees very
carefully and sensitively.
4.2 Behavioural Safety Schemes.

On 28th June 2002, the HSE published a report on behavioural safety. It was the result of research that
aimed to promote a more widespread application of behavioural safety principles to improve health and
safety.
Dr. Norman Byrom of the HSE's Nuclear Safety Directorate said that he was keen to get organisations to
extend behavioural safety principles more widely, beyond the frontline staff, to encourage behaviour that
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4.2 Behavioural Safety Schemes.


supported a health and safety management system as well as the development of a positive health and
safety culture.
The report can be accessed here: http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/crr_htm/2002/crr02430.htm
Promoting safe behaviour at work is a critical part of the management of health and safety because
behaviour turns systems and procedures into reality. Statistics from the workplace indicate that in 80-90%
of all accidents, employee behaviour provides an important link. Whilst some may challenge these
statistics, it is certain that employee behaviour does contribute in a large proportion of accidents.
The safety of the workplace is influenced by a number of factors, such as the organisational environment,
management attitude and commitment, the nature of the job or task and the personal attributes of the
individual.
In order to successfully introduce a behavioural safety process, it is important to focus on identification and
reinforcement of safe behaviour and the reduction of unsafe behaviour. This is one means of improving
safety performance.
Whilst it is appropriate to focus on altering unsafe behaviour into safe behaviour, this should not divert
attention from analysing the origins of unsafe behaviour. To concentrate solely on changing individual
behaviour without looking at necessary changes to organisation, management, motivation and reward, the
physical work environment, tools and equipment can result in treating the symptom only, without
addressing the underlying causes of unsafe behaviour.
Whilst behavioural-based safety programmes are applicable to most work environments, they are probably
best-suited to an organisation that already has a good safety management system in place.
Research has shown that behaviour modification techniques can be effective in promoting critical health
and safety behaviours, as long as they are implemented effectively, and management continues to support
them. The behaviour modification programmes currently in use focus mostly on promoting safe behaviour
among frontline staff, but as Dr Byrom has stated above, the focus needs to be shifted to include all
aspects of an organisation's structure.
Behavioural safety techniques seek to improve health and safety risk control by promoting behaviours
critical to health and safety. These techniques are based on a large body of psychological research into the
factors influencing behaviour. This research has led to the development of a range of behavioural
modification techniques. Health and safety behaviour observation and feedback programmes can promote
desired behaviours by introducing positive reinforcement for behaving safely. The positive reinforcement is
provided through positive feedback.
This approach concentrates on the measurable behaviours critical to safety, and recognises workers as
mature human beings with a genuine interest in their own well-being and who can thereby influence their
own safety. Measuring 'at risk' behaviours is a proactive safety performance measure as distinct from the
reactive traditional measurement of accident rates.
Typically behaviour-based safety systems consist of:

Identification of behaviours which could contribute to or have contributed to accidents (agreed by


management and employees).
A system of ongoing observations (as identified and defined) and feedback (intervention); typically
peer-to-peer and employee-driven combined with positive verbal feedback, information collection
and problem-solving to improve the identified behaviours and the management system that
produced them.
Use of the information to identify corrective actions.

Behaviour based safety systems are typically introduced in organisations with established safety
management system committed to continuous improvement, one of their particular strengths is the direct
practical and visible involvement of employees at all levels. Implementation of a system does require time
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4.2 Behavioural Safety Schemes.


and commitment and in particular strong visible management support.
The HSE has issued the following guidelines on behavioural safety programmes; as with all HSE
guidelines, it is trenchant advice and should be studied carefully for what it tells us about the use of such
programmes - http://www.hse.gov.uk/humanfactors/topics/behaviouralintor.htm
Why is it commonly used?

Significant number of accidents reportedly caused by inappropriate behaviour.


Good vehicle for management and workforce participation.
Can improve the visibility of managers.
Behaviours and actions influence culture through attitudes and perceptions.
Behaviours determine the performance of systems.

Key features:

Define 'safe' and 'unsafe' behaviour.


All involve observation of behaviour in the workplace.
By managers and/or peers.
With/without targets.
Provide feedback.
Reinforce safe behaviour.
're-educate' unsafe behaviour.
Feedback ranges from on-the-spot specific feedback and discussion, to impersonalised general
data.

Advantages:

Discussing safety in the workplace.


Learning to communicate constructively.
Management visibility.
Employee engagement in safety.
Managers/supervisors (when involved).
Learn to observe.
Learn to act promptly on unsafe acts.
Can learn about safety leadership.
Learn to think about aspects of human factors.
Can provide some leading indicators for safety.
Can actually change behaviour ("cognitive dissonance").
Will identify dangerous situations.

Pitfalls:

Rule violation vs good rules?


BIG, disciplined effort required.
Very often fails through lack of real commitment or discipline.
Some changes will be expensive.
Not 'owned' by everyone.
'Off the peg' or consultant-led programmes can fail because of poor fit with local style/culture
(UK/US).
Trust levels amongst management and employees must match.
Lack of friendly communication/Directive style of management.

More pitfalls:
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4.2 Behavioural Safety Schemes.

May not be compatible with other messages.


Focus on easy, intuitive issues.
Tend to ignore low probability, high consequence risks. 'Boots not leaks' - can draw attention away
from process safety.
Can shift onus away from management onto individual.
Don't address significant impacts of management behaviour.
'Big brother' /blame culture /Oh no, not another programme. ..
High short-term expectations.
Failed programme - worse situation than start.

Inspection & assessment issues:

What is the evidence that behaviour change will improve safety? (as opposed to better procedures
or easier to use equipment for example).
How is the programme linked to the Safety Management System (SMS)?
How do they address tough issues? (i.e. costly remedial work, time pressure)
Do they understand the programme and its strengths and weakness (i.e. competence)?
Are programme goals linked to other goals, i.e. team working?
What happens when an observation card is completed? (workforce experience vs. management
view)
Are they knowledgeable, intelligent customers?

Advice for companies considering behavioural approaches.


Some Do's and Don'ts:

Be sure that it is really what you need right now.


Find out (from employees) whether signals they get from management about safety are the first
issue to address.
Network with others - not only those suggested by the consultants.
Learn what you can from alternative techniques available.
Make sure the system is your own, in style, language, presentation etc..
Pilot, and only roll-out when confident of success.
Use it as a dialogue - and that means LISTEN to your employees!
Spend considerable effort to get good, strong facilitators who understand safety.
Make sure that participants focus on root causes of behaviours.

Don't:

Underestimate the effort and planning required.


Be over-optimistic.
Get carried away and lose focus on other aspects of safety.
Believe that the 'Heinrich triangle' works for occupational ill-health, minor personal injuries and
major accidents.
Bother at all unless you're confident that you already have a strong SMS and a safe workplace and
senior management can be made to think it was their idea all along.
Increasing the effectiveness /chance of success.
Ownership - developed in-house is best.
Good fit with organisations needs, culture and SMS.
Commitment (involvement is better) from management.
Good communication and understanding of programme.
Approach seen as 'fair and just' - trust.
Managers act as role models.

Summary.
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4.2 Behavioural Safety Schemes.


There are many advantages to doing Behavioural Safety but these programmes (and cultural change) take
time, resources and a concerted effort - as well as senior management commitment.
The programmes are a useful addition to the toolkit for occupational safety, but provide limited benefits for
the control of major hazards. Their inherent bias is towards measurable success; they can pull the focus
away from the basics of SMS and process safety. They must address engineering and systems as well,
and include workforce and management behaviours. The effectiveness of the programme largely depends
on existing culture.
In the end, it can be seen that rather than being a panacea for the problems of accident and health and
safety issues, it is a system that may or may not work for the individual business or company. Common
sense and a level head will give a better indication of the suitability of behavioural safety programmes than
the initial rush of enthusiasm for a 'new way of doing things'.
5.0 Organisational Factors.
A number of organisational factors have been found to be associated with good safety performance.
The key ones are:

Effective communication - a high level of communication between and within levels of the
organisation, and comprehensive formal and informal communications.
Learning organisation - the organisation continually improves its own methods and learns from
mistakes.
Health and safety focus - a strong focus by everyone in the organisation on health and safety.
External pressures - pressures from outside the organisation including a buoyant financial state of
the organisation, and the impact of regulatory bodies.
Committed resources - time, money and staff devoted to health and safety, showing strong
evidence of commitment.
Participation - staff at different levels in the organisation identify hazards, suggest control
measures, provide feedback, and feel they 'own' safety procedures.
Management visibility - senior managers show commitment and are visible 'on the shop floor'.
Balance of productivity and safety - the need for production is properly balanced against health
and safety so that the latter are not ignored.
High quality training - training is properly managed, the content is well-chosen and the quality is
high. Counting the hours spent on training is not enough.
A clean and comfortable working environment - including general housekeeping, the design and
layout of the plant.
Job satisfaction - confidence, trust and recognition of good safety performance impact.
Workforce composition - a significant proportion of older, more experienced and socially stable
workers. Workers in this group tend to have fewer accidents, lower absenteeism and less turnover.
5.1 The Influence of Formal & Informal Groups Within an Organisation.

Organisational Communication.
Organisational Communication provides the basis for understanding virtually every human process that
occurs in organisations.
You need to be aware of communication skills that you should possess in order to meet organisational
expectation.
These may start you down the path to a career as a communication professional in an organisation or as
an academic scholar in the field.
Areas of Organisational Communication:

Theory.
Gender.

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5.1 The Influence of Formal & Informal Groups Within an Organisation.

Diversity.
Conflict.
Relationships.
Culture.
Structure.
Leadership.
Non verbals.
Climate.
Technology.
Consulting.
Ethics.
Vision/Mission.

Organisational Communication Structure.


The most central idea in the functionalist perspective of organisational communication.
Definition: System of pathways through which messages flow. Patterns of interaction among people who
comprise the organisation (who communicates with whom?)
Types of Organisational Communication Structure:

Formal.
Informal.
Structural Task.

Think of an organisation to which you've belonged that fits each of these organisational structures.
Formal Communication Structure.
Definition: Communication through officially designated channels of message flow between organisation
positions. Usually found in organisational charts, policy manuals, or hierarchical structures
Types of Formal Communication.
1. Downward Communication.
2. Upward Communication.
3. Horizontal Communication.
Downward Communication.
Definition: Communication that flows from upper to lower (such as manager to employer or superior to
subordinate).
Types of messages:

Job instructions,
Job rationales,
Procedures and practices information,
Feedback and indoctrination.

Pro: it is efficient (fast).


Con: it has managerial control.
Upward Communication.
Definition: Transmission of messages from lower to higher levels of the organisation (such as
communication initiated by subordinates with their superiors).
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5.1 The Influence of Formal & Informal Groups Within an Organisation.


Types of messages:

Performance on the job,


Job-related problems,
Fellow employees and their problems,
Subordinates' perceptions of organisation policies and practices,
Tasks and procedures.

Pro: promotes morale among all employees.


Con: not enough superiors encourage subordinate.
Horizontal Communication.
Definition: Flow of messages across functional areas at a given level of an organisation (this permits
people at the same level to communicate directly).
Type of messages:

Facilitates problem solving,


Info sharing across different work groups,
Task coordination between departments and project teams.

Pro: Effective.
Con: Not efficient (time consuming).
Informal Communication.
Definition: Episodes of interaction that do not reflect officially designated channels of communication.
The 'grapevine' emerges from social and personal interests of the employees rather than formal
requirements of the organisation. Informal communication is inherent and a necessary aspect of
organisation life.
Pro: Creates a relaxed, comfortable climate.
Con: Should not become a substitute for an ineffective, formal system.
Organisational Culture.
Definition: Socially constructed reality
Purpose of cultures:
1. Cultures offer an interpretation of an institution's history that members can use to decipher how they
will be expected to behave in the future.
2. Cultures can generate commitment to corporate values or management philosophy so that
employees feel they are working for something in which they believe.
3. Cultures serve as organisational control mechanisms, informally approving or prohibiting some
patterns of behaviour.
4. Some types of organisational cultures are associated with greater productivity and profitability.
Organisational Culture.
Organisational culture is not just another piece of the puzzle; it is the puzzle. From our point of view, culture
is not something an organisation has; a culture is something an organisation is.
Questions:
1. Can cultures be created?
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5.1 The Influence of Formal & Informal Groups Within an Organisation.


2. Can cultures be altered?
3. What is the connection between culture and interpretation?
5.2 The Procedures for Resolving Conflict & Introducing Change.
Potential sources of conflict can be grouped as:

Differing motivations.
Misunderstanding of individual roles.
Differing cultures and objectives.
Differing priorities and levels of commitment.

There are two ways that are utilised to resolve conflicts:


Unitary Approach: Management may be to blame for not communicating the organisation's aims to the
workforce. This in turn gives the workforce a misunderstanding of the aims of the organisation and where
best they should serve.
Accordingly, by solving the roots of the conflict, a better organisation can be made in terms of team morale
and motivation and working conditions.
Pluralist Approach: Various groups make up the organisation and as such different needs, expectations
and interests will be present. Conflict will therefore in some cases be inevitable.
In order to resolve the conflict, a balancing of the various groups must be achieved. With management
working with the trade unions or employees' representatives, a resolving of the conflict is more likely.
5.3 Workplace Representation on Safety Committees.
What should consultation be about?
Consultation with employees must be carried out on matters to do with their health and safety at
work, including:

Any change which may substantially affect their health and safety at work, for example in
procedures, equipment or ways of working.
The employer's arrangements for getting competent people to help him or her satisfy health and
safety laws.
The information that employees must be given on the likely risks and dangers arising from their
work, measures to reduce or get rid of these risks and what they should do if they have to deal with
a risk or danger.
The planning of health and safety training; and
The health and safety consequences of introducing new technology.

How should consultation take place?


The Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations (SRSCR) 1977.
If an employer recognises a trade union and that trade union has appointed, or is about to appoint, safety
representatives under the SRSCR 1977, then the employer must consult those safety representatives on
matters affecting the group or groups of employees they represent.
Members of these groups of employees may include people who are not members of that trade union.
The Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations (HSCER) 1996.
Any employees not in groups covered by trade union safety representatives must be consulted by their
employers under the HSCER 1996.
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5.3 Workplace Representation on Safety Committees.


The employer can choose to consult them directly or through elected representatives. If the employer
consults employees directly, he or she can choose whichever method suits everyone best. If the employer
decides to consult his or her employees through an elected representative, then employees have to elect
one or more people to represent them.
Employers do not have to provide information of which they are not aware, or if it:

Would be against the interests of national security or against the law.


Is about someone who has not given his or her permission for it to be given out.
Would - other than for reasons of its effect on health and safety - harm the business; or
If the employer has got the information in connection with legal proceedings.

What is the difference between the roles of trade union safety representatives and elected representatives
of employee safety (representatives elected by groups of employees not covered by trade union safety
representatives)?
Under the SRSCR 1977, the roles of trade union safety representatives are:

To investigate possible dangers at work, the causes of accidents and general complaints by
employees on health and safety and welfare issues and to take these matters up with the employer.
To carry out inspections of the workplace particularly following accidents, diseases or other events.
To represent employees in discussions with health and safety inspectors and to receive information
from those inspectors; and
To go to meetings of safety committees.

The employer must set up a safety committee if two or more trade union safety representatives ask for one.
The separate HSCER 1996 give elected representatives of employee safety the following roles:

To take up with employers concerns about possible risks and dangerous events in the workplace
that may affect the employees they represent.
To take up with employers general matters affecting the health and safety of the employees they
represent; and
To represent the employees who elected them in consultations with health and safety inspectors.

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5.3 Workplace Representation on Safety Committees.

6.0 Job Factors.


The effect of job factors on the probability of human error:

Poor work planning, leading to high work pressure.


Lack of safety systems and barriers.
Inadequate responses to previous incidents.
Management based on one-way communications.
Deficient co-ordination and responsibilities.
Poor management of health and safety.
Poor health and safety culture.
6.1 The Application of Task Analysis.

Task analysis is a system whereby a human performing a task is observed to see how they interact with
systems. The process is designed to enable hazards to be identified and in turn rectified. By breaking the
task down into its composite stages, hazards can become easier to identify.
The task itself can be completely and more thoroughly risk-assessed.
6.2 Influence of Process & Equipment Design on Human Reliability.
Good ergonomic design can help with a range of problems. Some of the most obvious are to do with body
size; e.g. work surfaces that are uncomfortable to sit at because they don't allow sufficient clearance for
users' legs. The layout of controls and displays can influence the safety of a system.

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6.2 Influence of Process & Equipment Design on Human Reliability.


Typical problems include:

Switches which can be inadvertently knocked on or off.


Control panel layouts which are difficult to understand.
Displays which force the user to bend or stretch to read them properly.
Critical displays which are not in the operator's normal field of view.
Poorly identified controls which the operator could select by mistake; and
Emergency stop buttons which are difficult to reach.

The following lists some factors which are important in the ergonomic design of controls.

Size (relative to force required).


Weight (relative to user's position).
Resistance (to prevent accidental use).
Feedback (to user's senses).
Texture (slip, grip, glare issues).
Coding by colour (differences need to be visible to user).
Coding by shape (simple forms are easier to identify between).
Coding by texture.
Coding by size.
Location.
Compatibility (between displays and controls).
Stereotypes (usual way of operating, e.g. switching a control on by pressing down).

If you find an ergonomic problem, a minor alteration may be all that is necessary to make a task easier and
safer to perform. For instance, height-adjustable chairs allow individual users to work at their preferred work
height, platforms may help operators to reach badly-located controls (but beware of allowing access to
danger points).
If shadows or overall lighting levels are a problem, local lighting for particular tasks may be an easily
adopted solution.
Always make sure that any alterations are evaluated by the people who do the job, and take care that a
change introduced to solve one problem does not cause difficulties somewhere else (e.g. for maintenance
staff).
6.3 The Employee & Workstation as a System.
Ergonomics is about ensuring a good 'fit' between people and the things they use.
People vary enormously in height and weight, in physical strength, in ability to handle information and in
many other ways.
Ergonomics uses information about human abilities, attributes and limitations to ensure that our equipment,
work and workplaces allow for such variations. For example, a car built for only 'average' sized drivers
might require larger people to crouch, while smaller people may be unable to reach the pedals. This is
clearly unacceptable, so designers use information about variations in size, reach and so on to produce
cars that most people can operate comfortably, conveniently and safely.
Designing tasks, equipment and workstations to suit the user can reduce human error, accidents and illhealth. Failure to observe ergonomic principles can have serious consequences for individuals and for the
whole organisation. Effective use of ergonomics will make work safer, healthier and more productive.
If you look at the circumstances surrounding incidents and near-misses in your workplace, you
may find problems such as people being:
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6.3 The Employee & Workstation as a System.

Unable to see important displays.


Unable to reach controls.
Unable to work in a comfortable position.
Overloaded with too much information at one time; and
Inattentive because there is too little to do.

The people who do a particular job are in a good position to identify especially awkward or difficult tasks.
Remember that they may also have become used to a poor design. Some jobs may be extremely tiring or
liable to cause aches and pains.
Observation of how people actually use equipment can highlight ergonomic problems.
Makeshift adaptations to machines such as lengthened levers, extra labels on switches, blocks of wood or
cushions used to alter working positions, can be a sign that the design of the equipment or the job needs
attention.
Medical and sickness absence records may reveal patterns of injury or complaint that could be associated
with particular jobs.
Table 1 below shows some of the questions that can be used to identify mismatches between
abilities and attributes of people and the demands of the equipment with which they work.

6.4 Elementary Physiology & Anthropometry.


What is physiology?
Physiology is the study of "how the body works" A key concept in physiology is "homeostasis", which is a
term used to describe how all the body processes work together to provide normal function, and to adapt to
external (e.g. temperature, oxygen levels) and internal (e.g. disease) challenges to our body systems.
Studies cover the whole spectrum of the living organism, ranging from experiments involving molecular
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6.4 Elementary Physiology & Anthropometry.


biology to measurements made in whole animals or human subjects. Ongoing research provides new
information about male and female reproductive systems, the process of birth, and the physiology of the
foetus and newborn. Studies in neurophysiology attempt to unravel mysteries of the brain with respect to
control of eye and limb movements, and the neural control of the circulation. Cardiovascular research
includes the study of normal and abnormal heart rhythms, mechanisms of contraction of the heart, agerelated changes in heart function and the influence of the kidney in control of blood pressure.
Studies in cellular physiology examine how the stomach is protected from its own acid, how nerve and
muscle cells communicate with each other, how bone cells make and breakdown bone, and how various
hormones are produced, secreted and involved in controlling cell function.
Physiology provides the basic information for understanding the normal function of the body, explains how
normal function may be altered in pathological conditions, and provides insight for developing strategies to
manage and treat various diseases and conditions.
What is anthropometry?
Anthropometry is the comparative study of sizes and proportions of the human body, and in
particular:

Body size.
Shape.
Strength.
Working capacity.

It is traditionally used to design tools etc. for use when a user is constrained in posture e.g. chairs/seats
and workstations.
More recently, it is being applied to the design of computers etc.
Researchers at Cranfield studied the layout of the displays and controls of a lathe and designed the ideal
man for operating this lathe. The layout of the lathe controls and the shape of Cranfield man is illustrated
below:

The ideal lathe operator should be 4.5ft (1372mm) tall, 2ft (610mm) across the shoulders, and have an 8ft
(2348mm) arm span!
6.5 Ergonomics.
A useful information leaflet entitled INDG90 Understanding Ergonomics at work has been published by the
Health and Safety Executive and helps explain some of the myths, hazards and remedies surrounding
ergonomics.
First though, let's provide a definition of ergonomics:
Most people have heard of ergonomics and think it is something to do with seating or with the design of car
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6.5 Ergonomics.
controls and instruments. It is, but it is much more.
Ergonomics is the application of scientific information concerning humans to the design of objects, systems
and environment for human use. Ergonomics comes into everything which involves people. Work systems,
sports and leisure, health and safety should all embody ergonomics principles if well-designed. Ergonomics Society
The following extracts are taken from INDG90 Understanding Ergonomics at work:
You may have heard of the term 'ergonomics'. This is sometimes referred to as 'human factors'. Not
everyone really understands what ergonomics is, what it does, how it affects people and how
understanding ergonomics can improve health and safety in the workplace.
It is aimed at anyone who has a duty to maintain and improve health and safety and who wants to gain
insight into ergonomics. It gives some examples of ergonomics problems and simple, effective advice on
what can be done to solve them.
To assess the fit between a person and their work, ergonomists have to consider many aspects.
These include:

The job being done and the demands on the worker.


The equipment used (its size, shape, and how appropriate it is for the task).
The information used (how it is presented, accessed, and changed).
The physical environment (temperature, humidity, lighting, noise, vibration); and
The social environment (such as teamwork and supportive management).

Ergonomists consider all the physical aspects of a person, such as:

Body size and shape.


Fitness and strength.
Posture.
The senses, especially vision, hearing and touch; and
The stresses and strains on muscles, joints, nerves.

Ergonmists also consider the psychological aspects of a person, such as:

Mental abilities.
Personality.
Knowledge; and
Experience.

By assessing these aspects of people, their jobs, equipment, working environment and the interaction
between them, ergonomists are able to design safe, effective and productive work systems.
Applying ergonomics to the workplace:

Reduces the potential for accidents.


Reduces the potential for injury and ill-health; and
Improves performance and productivity.
6.6 Ergonomic Design in Relation to Human Reliability.

Production Process Control Panels.


The Three Mile Island nuclear accident.
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6.6 Ergonomic Design in Relation to Human Reliability.


The accident began at 4 a.m. on Wednesday, March 28, 1979, with failures in the non-nuclear secondary
system, followed by a stuck-open pilot-operated relief valve (PORV) in the primary system, which allowed
large amounts of nuclear reactor coolant to escape. The mechanical failures were compounded by the
initial failure of plant operators to recognize the situation as a loss-of-coolant accident due to inadequate
training and human factors, such as human-computer interaction design oversights relating to ambiguous
control room indicators in the power plant's user interface. In particular, a hidden indicator light led to an
operator manually overriding the automatic emergency cooling system of the reactor because the operator
mistakenly believed that there was too much coolant water present in the reactor and causing the steam
pressure release.The Three Mile Island nuclear incident illustrates the need for good ergonomics.
One of the factors leading to the reactor core damage and radioactive water loss at Three Mile
Island was a poorly designed control panel that featured:

Controls that went off scale.


Key indicators that were sited out of view.
Hundreds of alarms there were illogically arranged with no means of isolating the unimportant ones
were provided.

Figure above: President Jimmy Carter touring the Three Mile Island (TMI-2) control room on July 9th,
1979.
Factors to be considered when designing control panels:

Displays and controls should be easily identified.


Displays should be clear and not affected by glare or reflections from general lighting of the
environment.
Operators should be positioned so that they can see the relevant instrumentation.
Controls should be easily operated.
Audible warnings are clearly understood.

Crane Cab Controls.


At the request of the Department of Scientific and Industrial research (DSIR) the ergonomics group at
British Iron and Steel Research Association (BISRA) became involved in the redesign of crane control
cabs. BISRA came into existence following the Second World War and received its income initially from a
levy on steel companies within the British Iron and Steel Federation. One of the problems with the existing
design of these types of machinery was that little thought had been given to the field of vision required by
the driver. As a result of the building a workshop model the crane cab was redesigned and enabled sight
lines to be determined for the cab driver, thereby increasing the safety of the cab as a whole.
Aircraft Cockpit.
Poor design of controls and instruments in aircraft cockpits in aircraft in use in the second World War meant
that pilots often made fatal mistakes such as operating the flaps instead of the undercarriage and
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6.6 Ergonomic Design in Relation to Human Reliability.


misreading altimeters. Ergonomics and human factors concerns are important in the design of modern
cockpits. The layout and function of cockpit displays controls are designed to increase pilot situation
awareness without causing information overload. In the past, many cockpits, especially in fighter aircraft,
limited the size of the pilots that could fit into them. Instrument panels are now almost wholly replaced by
electronic displays which are themselves often re-configurable to save space. While some hard-wired
dedicated switches must still be used for reasons of integrity and safety, many traditional controls are
replaced by multi-function re-configurable controls or so-called "soft keys". The layout of control panels in
modern airliners has become largely unified across the industry. The majority of the systems-related
controls (such as electrical, fuel, hydraulics and pressurization) for example, are usually located in the
ceiling on an overhead panel. Where a traditional cockpit relies on numerous mechanical gauges to display
information, a glass cockpit uses several displays driven by flight management systems that can be
adjusted to display flight information as needed. This simplifies aircraft operation and navigation and allows
pilots to focus only on the most pertinent information.
A-26 Invader.

Figure Above: Cockpit of the A-26 Invader aircraft used in II World War.
CNC Lathe.
As we have seen from the anthropometrics of the ideal lathe operator covered earlier, it is unsurprising that
lathes and CNC lathes are now designed to ergonomic principles. Ergonomically improved lathes ensure a
healthy posture for the lathe operator at work, whether sitting or standing. The operator also has a good
view of his work. The CNC automatic lathe uses an easily operating interface but high quality controller and
prevents splashing and leaking; easy to clean and maintain.

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6.6 Ergonomic Design in Relation to Human Reliability.

6.7 The Relationship Between Physical Stressors & Human Reliability.


What is stress?
HSE defines stress as "the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand
placed on them"
Pressure is part and parcel of all work and helps to keep us motivated. But excessive pressure can lead to
stress which undermines performance, is costly to employers and can make people ill.
Why do we need to tackle stress?
Research commissioned by the HSE has indicated that:

About half a million people in the UK experience work-related stress at a level they believe is
making them ill.
Up to 5 million people in the UK feel "very" or "extremely" stressed by their work; and
A total of 12.8 million working days were lost to stress, depression and anxiety in 2004/5.

HSE's key messages on stress are:

HSE is working with businesses to enable them to manage work related stress more effectively.
work-related stress is a serious problem. Tackling it effectively can result in significant benefits for
organisations.
there are practical things organisations can do to prevent and control work related stress.
stress is a management issue which you as a manager can help resolve.

Further information for those experiencing stress and for their managers:
Introduction.
If you are currently experiencing or are managing someone who feels they are experiencing ill-health as a
result of excess pressure at work, the following information may be helpful.
This page is designed to help you find suitable sources of support and/or help to enable you to deal with
your or your member of staff's personal circumstances.
Please note: HSE is not able to offer medical advice to individuals. If you feel that excess pressure or
stress at work is affecting your health, it is recommended that you seek the advice of your GP.
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6.7 The Relationship Between Physical Stressors & Human Reliability.


HSE is only able to provide information on occupational health matters at an organisational level. However,
while HSE's focus is on preventing stress at work, HSE recognises that no matter how effective or rigorous
your organisation's stress policy is, some people may still be exposed to levels of pressure they experience
as excessive, which may lead to discomfort or even ill-health.
Who should be consulted when someone is experiencing stress and stress-related illness?
Depending on the circumstances you will need to consider who else it would be appropriate to involve. For
example, if the issue is pressure at work, it may be enough to involve just the individual and their line
manager (or their manager if the problem is with the immediate manager), or additionally a TU/employee
representative if desired by either party.
However if excessive pressure has lead to ill-health or absence from work, you may wish to consult (with
their consent) the individual's GP, psychiatrist or other health professional involved in their recovery.
Other people to consider consulting could include HR/personnel, OH or workplace counsellors.
All relevant parties should work together to:

Understand the situation, including causes and possible solutions;


provide support to the individual.
Develop a plan to tackle the stressors/pressures (the causes of stress) that is acceptable to all,
particularly to the individual and their line manager; and
Assess whether anyone else is experiencing problems and if a broader organisational intervention
is required.

What can managers or employee representatives do to help staff suffering from stress?
Your first course of action should be to check that there are adequate organisational arrangements in
place, and that a risk assessment has been conducted recently. If one has not been done recently, this
should be a priority.
You should arrange to speak with your member of staff/the employee to find out how you can help them,
both in the immediate future and longer term. It might also be helpful to contact their GP in writing if they
have seen one and give their consent for you to do this.
If you would like to improve your skills in managing/supporting people with stress-related problems, focus
on introductory courses in communication skills, and develop an understanding of mental health problems,
symptoms and the link between these symptoms and possible ill-health.
What can I do if I think I am suffering from stress?
Pressure at work can be good for you, but if the experience of pressure gets too much, you may begin to
feel stressed.
Irrespective of the source of your stress, you should speak to your manager or someone else you feel
comfortable talking to in your organisation.
If it is work-related, your employer has a duty to take reasonable steps to try to resolve the problem. If it is
not work-related they may be able to support you in some way or help to take some pressure off you at
work while you resolve the stress in your personal life.
It is important to take action at a personal level and to review your lifestyle to see if you can identify any
contributing factors.

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6.7 The Relationship Between Physical Stressors & Human Reliability.


A simple checklist might include:

Eating on the run, or in a disorganised manner.


Smoking, or drinking excessively.
Rushing, hurrying, being available to everyone.
Doing several jobs at once.
Missing breaks, taking work home with you.
Having no time for exercise and relaxation.

In some cases, prolonged stress can lead to physical and/or mental ill-health. If you think you are currently
experiencing stress-related ill-health you may benefit from a discussion with your GP.
For general healthcare information, you may find the Developing Patient Partnerships website useful.
Question 1.
_____ is the comparative stuffy of sizes and proportions of the human body. Traditionally used to design
tools etc. for use when a user is constrained in posture e.g. chairs/seats and workstations. More recently it
is being applied to the design of computers etc.
Question 2.
The Skills, Rules, Knowledge (SRK) framework or SRK taxonomy defines three types of behaviour or
psychological processes present in operator information processing (Vicente, 1999a). The SRK framework
was developed by?
Question 3.
Task analysis is a system whereby a human performing a task is observed to see how they interact with
systems.
Question 4.
_______ ________ believed that workers are not just concerned with money, but could be better motivated
by having their social needs met whilst at work
Question 5.
_____________ theory suggests that individuals engage in social comparison by comparing their efforts
and rewards with those of relevant others
7.0 Behavioural Change Programmes.
Why is it commonly used?

Significant number of accidents reportedly caused by inappropriate behaviour.


Good vehicle for management and workforce participation.
Can improve the visibility of managers.
Behaviours and actions influence culture through attitudes and perceptions.
Behaviours determine the performance of systems.

Key features:

Define 'safe' and 'unsafe' behaviour.


All involve observation of behaviour in the workplace.
By managers and/or peers.
With/without targets.
Provide feedback.
Reinforce safe behaviour 're-educate' unsafe behaviour.
Feedback ranges from on-the-spot specific feedback and discussion, to impersonalised general

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7.0 Behavioural Change Programmes.


data.
Advantages:

Discussing safety in the workplace.


Learning to communicate constructively.
Management visibility.
Employee engagement in safety.
Managers/supervisors (when involved).
Learn to observe.
Learn to act promptly on unsafe acts.
Can learn about safety leadership.
Learn to think about aspects of human factors.
Can provide some leading indicators for safety.
Can actually change behaviour ("cognitive dissonance").
Will identify dangerous situations.

Pitfalls:

Rule violation vs good rules?


BIG, disciplined effort required.
Very often fails through lack of real commitment or discipline.
Some changes will be expensive.
Not 'owned' by everyone.
'Off the peg' or consultant-led programmes can fail because of poor fit with local style/culture
(UK/US).
Trust levels amongst management and employees must match.
Lack of friendly communication/Directive style of management.

More pitfalls:

May not be compatible with other messages.


Focus on easy, intuitive issues.
Tend to ignore low probability, high consequence risks.
'Boots not leaks' - can draw attention away from process safety.
Can shift onus away from management onto individual.
Don't address significant impacts of management behaviour.
'Big brother' /blame culture /Oh no, not another programme.
High short-term expectations.
Failed programme = worse situation than start.

Inspection & assessment issues:

What is the evidence that behaviour change will improve safety? (as opposed to better procedures
or easier to use equipment for example).
How is the programme linked to the Safety Management System (SMS)?
How do they address tough issues? (i.e. costly remedial work, time pressure).
Do they understand the programme and its strengths and weakness (i.e. competence)?
Are programme goals linked to other goals, i.e. team working?
What happens when an observation card is completed? (workforce experience vs. management
view)
Are they knowledgeable, intelligent customers?

Advice for companies considering behavioural approaches: Some Do's and Don'ts
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7.0 Behavioural Change Programmes.


Do's:

Be sure that it is really what you need right now.


Find out (from employees) whether signals they get from management about safety are the first
issue to address.
Network with others - not only those suggested by the consultants.
Learn what you can from alternative techniques available.
Make sure the system is your own, in style, language, presentation etc.
Pilot, and only roll-out when confident of success.
Use it as a dialogue - and that means LISTEN to your employees!
Spend considerable effort to get good, strong facilitators who understand safety.
Make sure that participants focus on root causes of behaviours.

Don't:

Underestimate the effort and planning required Be over-optimistic.


Get carried away and lose focus on other aspects of safety.
Believe that the 'Heinrich triangle' works for occupational ill-health, minor personal injuries and
major accidents.
Bother at all unless:
o You're confident that you already have a strong SMS and a safe workplace.
o Senior management can be made to think it was their idea all along.

Increasing the effectiveness /chance of success:

Ownership - developed in-house is best.


Good fit with organisations needs, culture and SMS.
Commitment (involvement is better) from management.
Good communication and understanding of programme.
Approach seen as 'fair and just' - trust.
Managers act as role models.

Summary:

There are many advantages to doing Behavioural Safety.


But these programmes (and cultural change) take time, resources and a concerted effort - senior
management commitment.
A useful addition to the toolkit for occupational safety, but limited benefits for the control of major
hazards.
Bias towards measurable success; can pull focus away from basics of SMS and process safety.
Must address engineering and systems as well Include workforce and management behaviours.
Effectiveness of programme largely depends on existing culture.
7.1 Focusing on Behaviour.

Focusing on behaviour.
While most safety professionals now accept that the majority of workplace accidents are caused by a
combination of employee, employer, job and workplace factors, the outdated view was that on-the-job
accidents and injuries were the direct result of carelessness and unsafe behaviours. This led to a focus on
discipline and training and to the promotion of health and safety incentive programmes which have had little
proven success in the long term.
Typical questions asked about people at work are:

How can we motivate our workforce to take more care?

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7.1 Focusing on Behaviour.

Why won't people use their personal protective equipment (PPE)?


Why did they take that risk?

The traditional reaction to these types of questions is to try to change an individual's attitudes, motivation,
risk perception or behaviour through the use of safety posters, safety campaigns or health and safety
training. The overriding tendency is to focus on the individual and to exclude other factors relating to the
job, the workplace organisation and environment, and the safety climate. However, as illustrated in this
guidance, all of these aspects play a role in determining motivation, attitudes, and health and safety-related
behaviour at work.
Sometimes arrangements for controlling particular risks make it necessary for people to behave in a certain
way, e.g. to follow a specific procedure or to wear PPE. In high risk situations such reliance on individual
behaviour is recommended as a 'last resort' control measure. It is better to eliminate or control the hazard in
ways which are not reliant on human behaviour. However, there are ways of promoting higher levels of safe
behaviour.
When do we act in a safe way?
If an occupational hazard exists there are three aspects relevant to our decision about behaving
safely:

Being aware of the hazard and feeling personally at risk.


Believing that you can control the risks by your actions and the available equipment; and
Behaving safely.

For each aspect there are individual, job and organisational influences to consider.
Some key influences on whether a person will behave safely are:

You perceive the threat as severe.


You feel personally vulnerable.
You believe that the available action will be effective.
You are confidant that you can carry out the protective behaviour.
The costs of responding are low; and
Your colleagues are carrying out the action.

Being aware of a hazard.


People are normally concerned with doing a good job rather than being consciously aware or concerned
about the occupational health and safety hazards in their workplace. At appropriate danger signals or for
certain critical tasks we need to be able to switch over to a more conscious and focused way of thinking
about the risks and controls.
There are a number of influences on whether a person feels at risk from a hazard. A risk is seen as being
greater if we perceive it as having severe consequences or if we feel personally vulnerable. For example, a
health worker's beliefs about the likelihood of contracting the HIV virus will impact on their perception of the
hazard as significant or not. If we feel that the available controls are of limited effectiveness then, in
extreme cases, this can lead to us dismissing the threat. Overconfidence, over-optimism or over-familiarity
may act to reduce our appraisal of a hazard as significant. There are also well-known biases in individual
risk perception which will influence our appraisal of a hazard.
People are bad at judging probability and especially bad at judging risk. This is important because accident
rates tend to be higher in groups of people who estimate risks as low. Typically we underestimate the risks
attached to our own work. This tendency is greater in familiar situations or where we choose ourselves to
take a risk.
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7.1 Focusing on Behaviour.


People with different roles in the same workplace may judge risks differently. In general we make a lower
risk estimation of our own job than of other jobs. For example, workers in the construction industry were
asked to estimate the risk of falls by different tradesmen. These included carpenters, tile layers, scaffolders,
painters and steel erectors. Each of these groups made consistent judgements but overestimated the risks
of trades other than their own by about 10%. They all underestimated their own risks.
To improve our appreciation of risks we need information about the hazard, risk estimates, exposure
modes, and available control measures. If individual workers can be made to feel personally vulnerable
then this is also helpful. Fear-inducing messages are not usually advisable since people are more likely to
reject a threatening fear-inducing message and to assume that the message is for someone else. Constant
pressure is needed to make sure that judgements of risk are realistic.
Believing you can control the risks.
We ask ourselves how effective our actions might be in controlling the risks. We weigh up the benefits of
carrying out safe behaviours against the costs we will incur. For example, a construction worker may weigh
up the costs such as physical discomfort of wearing a hard hat in hot weather against the benefits. The
'costs' are typically time, reduced productivity and physical discomfort.
We also consider how effective the available actions or procedures may be and whether we can carry them
out. For example if a health worker believes that they will be able to dispose of used needles safely, this will
influence their safe behaviour.
Behaving safely.
The work environment and the health and safety climate influence our safe behaviour. If supervisors and
managers appear to condone unsafe behaviour in order to achieve productivity goals then safe behaviour
will be less likely.
Other barriers to safe behaviour include:

Equipment which is not readily available or in good order.


Not being trained to use the equipment provided.
A job which is designed in a way which makes it hard to behave safely; and
Other peoples' risk-taking behaviours.

A major influence will be what we see our co-workers doing. So if very few other workers wear hearing
protection in a noisy environment then this will not encourage us to comply with the safe behaviour.
Managers and supervisors need to be aware that group social norms for safe behaviour exist. They need to
set a good example and positively influence such standards of behaviour.
Maintaining safe behaviour is highly dependent on safety culture including group norms and workplace
influences. The topic of safety culture is introduced on page 39 of this guidance.
Influencing safe behaviour.
There are a number of ways in which you can successfully influence safe behaviour at work, eg:

By education and training.


Through improved ergonomic design; and
By introducing a goal-setting and feedback programme.

The approaches complement each other and you may chose to consider more than one.
Beliefs and knowledge are important determinants of safe behaviour. People need to know what the safe
behaviour is. Education and training are therefore vital.

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7.1 Focusing on Behaviour.


Training should cover such key aspects as:

Knowledge of the work-related health and safety risks.


Training and feedback in the proper use of safety-related equipment and procedures.
Awareness of the benefits of carrying out safe behaviour; and
The views of managers and colleauges on risk-taking.
7.2 Behavioural Programmes in Depth.

Behavioural programmes in depth.


It is estimated that in up to 80 per cent of work-related accidents, employees' behaviour - in the form of acts
or omissions - is a contributing factor.1 Such behaviour can pave the way for many pre-existing factors to
come together in a negative event. There are many reasons why employees engage in 'at-risk' behaviour at
work.
Some examples are:

Cutting corners to save time: how often do employees decide not to use personal protective
equipment (PPE) because a task may only take seconds to complete? In this example, the at-risk
behaviour (the failure to use PPE) has the instant perceived benefit of saving time.
Ergonomic factors: inappropriately placed machine controls may lead to ad hoc and potentially
dangerous access arrangements.
Accepted practice: the job may have always been done in that way.
Reinforcement of at-risk behaviour by the actions of supervisors: this may also undermine
employees' confidence in the management's commitment to manage concerns such as safety.
Misunderstanding at-risk behaviour: employees may be unaware, or have a low perception, of the
risks associated with a particular task or activity. This could be due to insufficient information or
training.
Instinctive risk-taking behaviour: some people are more naturally inclined than others to take risks.

The emphasis of the behaviour-based approach to safety is, as the name suggests, on employees'
behaviour. Through influencing behaviour, this system can reduce injury rates.
The behaviour-based approach to safety is focused exclusively on the observable, measurable behaviours
critical to safety at a particular facility. This is a task-oriented view of behaviour, and it treats safe behaviour
as a critical work-related skill. It should not be confused with inspections and audits of the workplace for
unsafe conditions.
Behavioural safety is part of a natural progression of safety management from highly prescriptive
approaches, through the engineered or procedural systems which most progressive companies have long
since established, to a system which recognises workers as mature human beings with a genuine interest
in their own well-being, who contribute best when they can see that they themselves can have an influence
on their own safety. To achieve this transition is to change the culture of the work group involved, so this
approach will not provide instantaneous results. In addition, behaviour-based approaches to safety
improvement are most effective when the engineered and procedural systems are working properly.
How does behaviour-based safety work?
In the various systems it is possible to recognise a number of common features:

Significant workforce participation.


Full engagement of the workforce in the programme is an essential part of behavioural safety.
Without this engagement it is difficult to bring about improvement.
Targeting specific unsafe behaviours.
The programme focuses on the small percentage of unsafe behaviours that are responsible for a

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7.2 Behavioural Programmes in Depth.

large percentage of an organisation's accidents or incidents, which can be identified through a


systematic examination of an organisation's accident and incident records. Getting employees and
management working together to understand the reasons for unsafe behaviours and identify and
agree targets for change helps to promote ownership and agree common behavioural measures.
Observational data collection.
Trained observers regularly monitor their colleagues' safety behaviour against agreed measures.
Making an observation is like taking a photograph - it provides a snapshot of a moment in time. The
greater the number of observations, the more reliable the data become, as the employees' true
behavioural pattern can be established. It is important to understand the context of the observation
data - for example, the number of observations and the number of people observed. Additionally,
more frequent observations increase the probability that there will be an improvement in the level of
safe behaviour, as people tend to alter their behaviour if they know it is being observed and
measured. A variable feature is the frequency of observation and who carries it out - generally, if
everyone participates in observations, it engenders a collective sense of ownership of the process.
Data-driven decision-making processes.
The data from the observation process allow you to measure safety performance. You can then
examine trends in these data to identify the key operational areas that need improvement. It is then
possible to reinforce employees' safe behaviour while implementing corrective actions where unsafe
behaviours continue.
Organised improvement intervention.
The planned intervention often begins with briefing sessions within those work areas and
departments that will be involved. This is followed by the formation of volunteer groups, such as a
steering committee and observers, who then receive training in observation and feedback
techniques. The project team oversees the development of the process in the organisation, from the
initial analysis of accident and incident data through to the performance monitoring, goal setting and
progress reviewing stages.
Regular focused feedback on continuing performance.

Feedback is the key ingredient of any type of improvement initiative.


In behavioural safety systems, feedback usually takes three forms:

Verbal feedback to people at the time of observation.


Visual feedback on charts placed in strategic locations in the workplace; and
Weekly/monthly briefings where detailed observational data are provided about specific employee
behaviours.

In combination, these forms of feedback provide a basis for targeting focused improvements.
A requirement for visible continuing support from managers. It is vital that managers show visible
leadership and commitment to the process.
They can demonstrate this through:

Allowing the observers sufficient time to conduct their observations.


Giving praise and recognition to those working safely.
Encouraging employees to report health and safety concerns.
Providing the necessary resources and assistance for remedial actions to be taken.
Promoting the initiative whenever and wherever they can.
7.3 Barriers to Implementation.

Behavioural safety programmes have made a substantial contribution to improving health and safety
performance in several industrial sectors.

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7.3 Barriers to Implementation.


However, there are a number of difficulties that may arise during their implementation.
Workforce concerns, including:

Issues about 'spying' on colleagues.


Seeing the programme as another initiative that will not last.
Worries that workers will be blamed for accidents.
Disagreements over safe practices.

Management issues, including:

Insufficient management support for the approach.


Expectations of a 'quick fix', leading to loss of commitment when improvements come more slowly.
Organisational changes that may lead to low morale and loss of key players.
Autocratic management style.
Inconsistent behaviour of managers when enforcing agreed safety behaviours and rules.

Questions of programme suitability, including:

Using an 'off the shelf' solution that may not suit the culture of the organisation.
Inappropriate training material.
Not involving all supervisors in the process, leading some to abandon their responsibility for safety.
Using the programme to address unrelated issues.
Conflicts with payment and reward schemes.
7.4 A Case Study in Successful Behavioural Modification.

The study was conducted in aircraft manoeuvring areas of a major UK airport for a US-based international
airline, with approximately 400 employees including support staff.
Procedure.
Management briefing.
During the planning stages, an hour-long briefing was given to line management and HR personnel to
explain the philosophy behind the behavioural approach, outlining their role and the need for their
commitment.
Developing measures of safety performance.
Safety critical behaviours were identified using accident records and interviews with key personnel.
Measures of critical behaviours were developed for three areas of concern: manual handling, vehicle
operations and general ramp safety.
Training the observers and observing safety performance.
Initially 35 observers were trained to observe and measure their colleagues' safety performance and
provide verbal feedback. They represented both managers and employees and were drawn from all
operations. The key criteria for their selection were that they were respected by their peers, were
committed to improving safety and had good communications skills. The observations took around 20
minutes and were undertaken at different times to ensure that they reflected a true picture of safety
performance.
Determining a baseline.
Straight after the observers were trained, data were collected over a four-day period. In total, 60 snapshots
of safety performance provided a baseline figure for each of the three areas of concern. On the basis of
this, targets for improvement were set.
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7.4 A Case Study in Successful Behavioural Modification.


Establishing improvement goals.
At the end of the baseline period, all observers and representatives from senior management attended a
'goal setting' meeting. The objectives of the meeting were to determine goals that were challenging but
achievable for improvements in safety performance across the three measured categories, and to discuss
any barriers to improvement that had been identified during the baseline observations.
Feedback and follow-up.
Following the goal setting, feedback charts were placed around the ramp and short PowerPoint
presentations were shown in staff rooms throughout the day and posted on an internal computer network.
On average, 110 observations were undertaken per month. The results of the observations were posted
every week and included information on the issues that had improved the most and those that had the
worst scores.
Additional observers were trained in order to provide extra cover during busy periods and holidays, to
replace observers who had left the programme and, more importantly, to cascade the programme
throughout the ramp operation.
Results.
During the first 19 months, the percentage of behaviour observed as safe increased from an average of 70
per cent to 79 per cent (see Figure 3 opposite). Over the next five years, the programme evolved to
address other safety issues and received two ground handling awards. It has also been recognised by the
company's insurers in the form of reduced employers' liability premiums.
Conclusion.
This study shows that applying a behavioural approach to safety is effective for ramp operations. Despite
recent economic trouble in the sector, the scheme had positive effects on safe behaviour, work methods,
communication and industrial relations, as well as reducing the occurrence of accidents and related costs

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