Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Effective Procedures & Human Performance - Part 2

In his thought-provoking session at the 2012 Fatality Prevention Symposium, Fisher It’s Rob Fisher pointed to these five criteria as critical to effective work instructions:
  1. They must be available. 
  2. They must be workable. 
  3. They must be intelligible.
  4. They must be correct—and this applies to both technical accuracy and usability and technical accuracy. 
  5. They must be consistently reinforced. 
One effective approach is to use the WITH model:
  • Work environment
  • Individual capabilities
  • Task demands
  • Human nature
According to Fisher, this model can be used in JHA development, pretask assessment, observations and investigations.

To write effective procedures, a SH&E manager also should consider these guidelines to avoid error traps:
  1. Minimize field decisions. Don’t force the user to make a decision with little or no guidance for making the decision. Phrases such as if necessary and where appropriate are error provocative. 
  2. Minimize difficulty. The more difficult the procedure, the greater likelihood workers will deviate. 
  3. Minimize multiple (and embedded) actions. One step should not contain more than three actions, and required actions should never be buried in a note, caution or warning. 
  4. Avoid vague terms and misleading information. Misleading information is incorrect information that is difficult to detect, meaning workers don’t recognize that it is incorrect, which can cause critical steps to be missed.
  5. Avoid conflicting instructions. Procedures should not contain elements that people don’t expect to see. Procedures should not require “contrary to normal actions," and should not contain inconsistent words, expressions or formatting.