12 August 2015

Another successful Process Safety Seminar in Kuala Lumpur

6th Process Safety Seminar, Kuala Lumpur
What do salmon, frogs, dogs, Ugly Betty, space shuttles, fighter planes, primates, babies, Thor, apples, tennis balls and Coca Cola have to do with a Process Safety Seminar? Plenty.

Over 70 delegates from Malaysia, Singapore, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Croatia and Brunei discovered the connection and took away new insights into human factors in process safety.

Dr Christina Phang from ERM, chairing the RPSS for the third time, strived to make this the best ever and chose the theme “Influencing Human Performance”. Trish Kerin from IChemE Safety Centre (ISC) in her keynote address “The Human Side of Safety” used the Columbia Space Shuttle tragedy of 2003 to illustrate the ‘normalisation of deviance’. People within an organization become so accustomed to a deviant behaviour that they don’t consider it as deviant.

Ted ‘Bench’ Williams from Check-6 spoke on “Maximising Team Performance in High Reliability Organisations”. The key is Crew Resource Management which is the effective use of all available resources by individuals, crews and teams to efficiently and safely accomplish the mission or task. US Airways 1549 crash landing in the Hudson River in 2009 is a fine example of this. This aviation industry tool can be successfully applied elsewhere.

Asul Kahar bin Muda from PETRONAS shared their “Hearts and Minds Programme”. The programme arose with the occurrence in 2014 of fatalities at KM1 & OGT rigs. Using crew resource management supervisors are now highly engaged with contractor crews during job tasks. Srinivasan Ramabhadran from DuPont asserted that the “People Dimension” is the ”Key to Effective Implementation”. If we understand the people dimension and how people act, we can enable the creation of a risk management system that will achieve superior results.

Soon Boon Chew from Culture Lab talked about “The effect of culture & cognitive biases on organization accidents”. Besides cavemen and frogs he used the ‘dog’ system and sled dog mushers to help us understand human behaviour. He used these factors to discuss the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Alfred Seet from Shell presented “Implementing Human Factors in Design” which looked at Shell Group’s human-centred design approach in capital projects. Charles Van Schalkwyk from ERM talked about “The Role of Human Factors in developing Sustainable Safety Solutions.” After defining ‘human factors is about making it easy for people to do things right and hard for them do things wrong’ he went on to demonstrate the significant role HF can play in supporting operations intended to support critical tasks to reduce human unreliability.

Karen Jacka from Bumi Armada concluded the day with her paper “Performance Influencing Factors.” She said that humans are fascinating, perplexing and complex and showed the importance of PIFs by trawling through the major incidents of the last 30 years. The human anatomy is the easy part but the brain remains a mystery. More efforts must be directed at the human factors involved, understanding what it means to address PIFs is essential and recognizing the interdependencies between PIFs is important. Jacka also expertly summed up the day’s proceedings, weaving a thread through all the papers in preparation for the workshop the next day.

The next morning Jacka and Van Schalkwyk led delegates in a hands on workshop “Shaping Human Effectiveness” to show how to affect change and influence human performance. The workshop drew on the lessons from the previous day. This is where the apples, tennis balls and Coca Cola came in. The tasks had names like 5-cups, Quick Thinking, Swipe Swipe, Divided Attention, Survival, Minefield and Scavenger Hunt. It was a fun and interactive way to understand their own behaviour as well as a team’s behaviour.

Karl Rich, HF Consultant at Genesis Oil & Gas said, “A very enjoyable seminar. Well organized and good speakers.”

David Albert Chase from Megamas Training in Brunei commented, “A very well organized event that brought together some exceptional speakers. The two days were invaluable for my own development and understanding of the subject.”

Rony Joel da Costa from Timor GAP concluded it was excellent saying, “The 6th RPSS is remarkably outstanding with knowledgeable, competent and experienced presenters. Similarly the venue and the event organizer is great.”

Amirrudin Daud from Danisco Malaysia enthused, “The presenters provided a new perspective in looking at the human aspect of safety.”

Kamaleshwaran Ragavan from SBM Malaysia said, “Finally (an) emphasis on the ‘human’ where human factors are concerned. It is inspiring to see more focus on human factors improvement and how concepts have evolved over the years.”

Arman Harris Mustafa from FPG Oleochemicals remarked,”I am learning a new perspective from another industry. (There was) sharing (of) information and good discussion with all involved.”

My IChemE

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