Method Process Safety

What is a Human Factor Assessment inProcess Safety

Human operators are a central part of the control, monitoring and maintenance of complex systems. However, humans can and do make mistakes. Failure to recognise the Human Factor can increase the risk of having a serious incident.

Through applying human factors theory, principles and techniques to design =Method can work with you to design systems and procedures which minimise the risk from human errors and optimise overall system performance.

Human Error is commonly defined as a failure of a planned action to achieve a desired outcome.

Types of human failure

Understanding human failure in Process Control - Human Error

Human error is an unintentional action or decision.

Understanding human failure in process control - Violations

Whereas Violations are intentional– deliberately doing the wrong thing.

Performance Shaping Factors

The likelihood of human errors occurring is affected by a number of “Performance Shaping Factors”. These can exist at all levels of an organisation, and if poorly managed can increase the chance of human error.

Human Factors Assessments

Our experienced team can undertake Human Factors Assessments to identify the possible effects on human performance and factors which increase the chance of human error. This can include:

=Method’s experts can help you to assess the level of risk and identify mitigations to reduce it to a tolerably safe level.

Human Factors within LOPA

Layer of Protection Analysis is a semi-quantitative risk assessment technique. We find that during the LOPA process, teams often identify the potential for human error as a potential “initiating cause” for an incident, but then do not know how to proceed.

For example, there might be hazardous consequences if an operator misses out a process step or carries it out twice. In the past, a standard probability factor for human error would have been applied to this. However, we are increasingly seeing the HSE challenge the use of databook values for human error in LOPA, and ask for a more detailed justification.

A =Method human factors risk assessment can not only provide a realistic frequency to use in LOPA, but also provides a structured method for operating companies to evaluate and adapt their ways of working to minimise the chance of errors.

Contact =Method about Human Factors Assessments

Our approach is flexible and is tailored to meet your specific requirements. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Human Factors Assessment Services

Human Reliability Assessments

Applying qualitative and quantitative techniques to assess human contribution to risk.

Function and task analysis

Understanding how people behave by observing them in the workplace.


Identying potential hazards generated by people.

Workload assessments

Assessing the demand of the task undertaken by people.

Advice on HMI and Ergonomic design

To ensure compliance with legislation and international standards. Training on human factors, preventing human error and improving human performance.

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