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2008 Ergonomics Society - Staffing assessments and supervision


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Ergonomics Society Annual Conference. Getting the numbers right (staffing and workload)

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2008 Ergonomics Society - Staffing assessments and supervision

  1. 1. Tel: 01492 879813 Mob: 07984 284642 Getting the numbers right Staffing assessments and supervision
  2. 2. How do you know if you have the right number of people? Routines are getting done Not had a major accident Everyone is coping Comparable with others But could you get by with less?
  3. 3. Can’t look at staffing in absolute numbers Batch vs continuous Simple vs complex Manual vs automatic Specialist vs commodity Single site vs global business
  4. 4. Changes across the industry New technology More automation Less people Less layers of supervision Jobs have changed More passive More lonely More responsibility Organised differently.
  5. 5. Two methods developed as HSE research projects CRR 272/2001 - Assessing the safety of staffing arrangements for process operations in the chemical and allied industries Energy Institute User Guide 2004 RR 292/2004 - Different types of supervision and its impact on safety in the chemical and allied industry.
  6. 6. Coach Team Leader Reducing staffSupervisor Operator1 Operator2 Operator3 Operator5Operator4 Operator Operator Operator OperatorOperator
  7. 7. Rotating leadership Coach / mentor Team appointed leader Management appointed leader Traditional hierarchy True SMT Supervision is team led Supervision is management led Supervision Assessment – RR292 Supervision is a management function. It may be delivered by one or more individuals, Who may be within or external to the team There is no right or wrong organisation Each has inherent strengths and weaknesses.
  8. 8. Self-managed, multi-skilled teams Inherent strengths: Less ‘layers’ improves communication within teams Increased workforce involvement Team members have more variation Inherent weaknesses: Lack of leadership Poor communication external to the team Responsibilities less well defined & understood Higher training burden to maintain competence.
  9. 9. If you take the supervisor away, supervision still needs to happen Defining overall team workload Allocating day-to-day work priorities Allocating manpower for daily tasks Communicating operational information Problem solving/decision making Identifying competence requirements for tasks Assessing training requirements for team Measuring team performance Carrying out appraisals Implementing first-level discipline Investigating incidents Maintaining/updating procedures Providing leadership in emergency situations
  10. 10. About the method Acknowledges different methods of delivering supervision Assists in developing safer forms of supervision Useful when changes are being made Assists HSE inspectors in carrying out inspections Brings issues out into the open Helps verbalise how supervision is delivered in practice Identifies 5 Safety Assessment Principles (SAP).
  11. 11. SAP1 - Supervision is a critical management function This must be reflected in an organisation’s safety management system Level of rigor commensurate with risk Prioritised Same as other elements of equal risk POPMAR Policy, organisation and planning Measurement, audit and review.
  12. 12. Counterbalances Empowered teams more likely to deal with problems locally than refer up Empowered teams more likely to deal with problems locally than refer up SMS to define chain of command & tiers of responsibility
  13. 13. SAP2 - Supervision has a key influence on the way teams perform Method of delivery must be suitable for the team Arrangements must ensure all elements of supervision are performed In traditional teams they may all be performed by one person In modern teams this is distributed Everyone must understand how the team functions, including delivery of supervision Includes team members, management etc. Its importance/priority must be clear.
  14. 14. SAP3 - Individuals with supervisory role must have resources & opportunity Time to carry out their role Interaction with the people they are supervising Opportunity Skills Respect Experience in supervising How does someone learn? Continual improvement Operational knowledge.
  15. 15. SAP4 - Supervision of contractors must be properly managed Can have a significant impact on health and safety performance Need to understand why contractors are being used Arrangements to address all circumstances Short vs long-term contractors Different tasks Different activities (e.g. major shutdown) Both sides need to understand and participate Contracting and operating companies.
  16. 16. SAP5 - Organisation must ensure good leadership in emergencies Leadership not supervision Setting direction and providing support Less direct control - groups work autonomously Critical for effective and efficient response Roles clearly defined and understood Also for deputies Reliance on training, refresher training and emergency exercises.
  17. 17. Staffing assessment – CRR272 Challenges whether you are likely to have Enough people With the rights skills Who are able to work together To successfully deal with high demand situations The ‘physical’ ability to detect, diagnose and recover from scenario’s in time to prevent accidents Management and organisation in place to make sure arrangements are sustainable.
  18. 18. Assessment Methodology Physical assessment Consider high demand situations Decisions trees Pass/fail Ladder assessment Individual and organisational factors How high can you climb? Top rung considered to be industry best practice YES YES NO NO
  19. 19. Assessment of physical arrangements Are people where they need to be? To hear alarms, to read displays Are there enough people around? Will stand-by operators be able to leave their own units Will off-site staff travel in in enough time Can people do their tasks in the time available? Can field operators get from place to place in time Will the communications be reliable? Will the batteries last Eight decision trees provided to assess the adequacy of physical arrangements
  20. 20. Is Control Room (CR) continuously manned? Yes No Does the CR operator go into the field? What is the maximum time the CRO is away from CR? Mins. Where does the CRO go? Define: Is it more than the minimum time it takes to develop an unrecoverable scenario? Yes No Yes No
  21. 21. What happens if the CRO gets retained e.g. treating a process problem, or he falls over? What is the primary way that a process alarm or trip is detected when he is away? FAIL Sufficient Reliability? No Yes None Pager? External Alarm? 3rd Party? Other? No Yes
  22. 22. Physical assessment topics 1. Control room continuously manned Cover for meal and toilet breaks 2. Operator always at console Issuing permits, secondary consoles 3. Operators distracted Phone calls, visitors, alarms 4. Obtaining information Process data, drawings, documents 5. Calling for assistance Help with diagnosis 6. Number of people required Where are they, what will they be doing 7. Communications during response Radios, phones, backup 8. Additional activities Raising alarm, roll call
  23. 23. Ladder Assessments Assessment of individual and organisation factors Set of questions encourage assessment team to consider the key issues ‘Ladders’ provided to assess adequacy Each rung is a description of system attributes Start at the bottom, how high do you get? Minimum, acceptable levels are defined for each ladder.
  24. 24. Ladder assessment Rung Z Rung Y Rung B Rung A Minimum acceptable level Always start at bottom Better than statement? Rung Z achieved No No Rung Y achieved No Rung B achieved No Yes Agree with statement? Yes Agree with statement? Yes Agree with statement? Best practice achievedYes Industry best practice
  25. 25. Ladder topics Situational awareness Teamworking Alertness and fatigue (work pattern) Alertness and fatigue (health) Training and development Roles and responsibilities Willingness to initiate recovery actions Management of operating procedures Management of change Continuous improvement of safety Management of safety Automation
  26. 26. Physical assessments Scenario Tree 1 Tree 2 Oil leak Pass Pass Fire Fail Fail Etc. Pass Fail %Failed 33% 66% Reporting results Ladder 1 Ladder 2 Ladder 3 A A B A B C B C X Y Y Y Z Z Z Ladder assessments
  27. 27. Other considerations Routine workload More critical for plant with reliable trip systems that are easy to start and stop List tasks and approximate duration Should be significantly less than 100% loaded Plant disturbances Frequency Number of people involved and duration How do they impact on the routines?
  28. 28. Conclusions Two methods to assist assessments of staffing arrangements Give some objectivity Proven to provide a useful framework for assessments Particularly useful when considering changes Rarely a pure numbers game Alternatives to employing more people.
  29. 29. Common themes Over reliance on informal training Inadequate refresher training Too many distractions in control rooms Nuisance alarms Visitors, contractors, day staff No control on shift swaps, overtime, breaks etc. Very passive approach to stress and fatigue Poor management of the safety implications of organisational change (including staffing levels) Failure to consider human factors when automating.
  30. 30. Problems with change Financially driven ‘Trendy’ organisations Full impacts of change not understood No monitoring of the impacts of change Lack of objectivity in planning Inadequate staff to deal with foreseeable events Loss of practical and technical competence Assumption that change will be successful Lack of buy-in.