25 February 2013

Human factors makes its mark in Australia

Engineer oil refinery

Following an overwhelmingly positive response to the proposal to run IChemE’s Human factors in health and safety professional development course in Australia, the first of four modules was just completed in Perth, WA. The near-capacity audience of enthusiastic delegates came from Australia and Malaysia’s oil, gas and chemical process industries.

The course is a result of IChemE and The Keil Centre joining forces to respond to the pressing need to understand and address the underlying causes of human and organisational failures within the chemical and process industries, which can have a catastrophic outcome for both employees and industry.  The programme is structured around the Great Britain Health and Safety Executive’s “top-ten” human and organisational factors topics, which are equally relevant to the Australian chemical and process engineering industry.

Course director Ronny Lardner observed that, unlike the UK, currently Australia has no nationally agreed definition of human factors in health and safety, with each state having different health and safety regulators who place a varying degree of emphasis on human factors.

“The course participants responded particularly well to the syndicate work, the mix of workshop leaders and topics, along with the invaluable opportunities for networking with like-minded peers."

Lardner adds that there was a real sense of enthusiasm during the training and in particular, during the networking sessions.  As a result, an online forum is currently being set up so that course participants can liaise with each other outside of the programme.

The next module is set for Perth on 29 – 30 May, followed by the third and fourth modules on 4-5 September and 5-6 February 2014.  Places are still available for delegates interested in attending some or all of the remaining modules which are designed to work as stand-alone training modules or form a full Human Factors training course.

Contact IChemE for further information about this programme.

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IChemE is a registered charity in England & Wales (214379), and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 039661).