Understanding Human Factors Behavioural Based Safety SOL-X Holistic Approach

Sponsored Article by SOL-X

What are Human Factors in Safety?

What are human factors? Human Factors are the physical, psychological, and social characteristics that affect human interaction with equipment, systems, processes, other individuals, and work team(s).

It is the environmental, organisational and job factors, and human and individual characteristics, which influence behaviour at work in a way which can affect health and safety

Why Human Factors?

The Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) issued a briefing paper in October 2020 on “The OCIMF Human Factors Approach – A framework to materially reduce marine risk”. It aims to improve safety and environmental protection in the maritime industry by considering human factors when providing guidance and recommendation. OCIMF’s goal for coming up with this paper is to reduce risk to workers, ships, and terminals by systemically addressing the systems and latent conditions that influence errors, actions, and decisions.

OCIMF believes that human factors are to be adopted as it:
i) is most widely recognized;
ii) addresses all individual, system, and organisational issues;
iii) is best supported by institutions that cater to human-centred disciplines and
iv) is consistent and goes beyond International Maritime Organisation (IMO) requirements associated with the human element.

The Behavioural Based Safety programme is an established method of implementing human factors in the workplace.

What is Behavioural Based Safety (BBS)?

It is a methodology for implementing safety programmes which emphasises the risk enablers that are created due to human factors. It is intended to address the effects of a given procedure, work method, selected control measures, training, machinery/equipment design, environmental conditions (human factors), etc. on how it influences a person to perform the task safely.

The methodology relies on allowing persons to work as is and a third person observing them performing the task1 end-to-end, intervening only if there is imminent danger. At the completion of the task or at a suitable stop point, the observer2 will have a positive non-judgemental discussion with the worker(s) on the observations made. The two-way discussion will revolve around why certain practices are being done, regardless of if it is good or detrimental to the worker’s safety.

The discussion will then help to validate and raise issues regarding:

1) the effectiveness of current practices
2) hazards or unsafe conditions that the task performer faces which are unconsidered by the supervisor/office personnel.
3) the safety culture and perception of the need for safety during work.

During the discussion, good practices will be commended and positively enforced and if a new control measure, work method, or procedural suggestion is “found”, it will be considered in future safety review sessions. Negative observations discussion will revolve around why it was performed as such, with the intention to determine if there are gaps in the current safety programmes. Suggestions from both parties on how to improve the situation will follow, with both parties agreeing on a way forward to perform the task in a safer manner. This will also provide empowerment for change, especially to the end user (i.e. worker) of safety programmes.

The discussion does not become a channel to reprimand or used to penalise the observed worker. If this occurs, future BBS Observation (BBSO) will be skewed as the trust between the observer and task performer is effectively negative.

The information gathered in the observation phase will be collated and analysed to identify if there are any weak signals to indicate an underlying issue. Together with feedback from the worker, a fit-for-purpose solution can then be implemented to prevent an incident. Positive behaviours and practices are also picked up and these measures will be implemented where possible, enabling the worker to be empowered in ensuring that the worksite is safe.

The cycles of a BBSO programme will allow continuous engagement of the leaders with the front liners, creating a safer worksite where human factors are being taken into consideration.

SOL-X helps to facilitate and enable BBSO cycles

1. Safe work practices are implemented, and safety culture is promoted within the organisation (Defined Safe Work Behaviour)

SOL-X Control Of Work streamlines step-by-step smart safety workflows, to improve compliance assurance, Control Of Work planning and execution. The solution offers integrated Permits-to-Work, which includes Detailed Risk Assessments, safety checklists, gas readings, Electrical Isolation Certificate (EIC) with remote office approvals and enclosed space monitoring.

This ensures compliance safeguards as when the worker is preparing a permit at key stages, he needs to enter location and time stamp verification such as EIC sign offs. The roles and approval controls are also customized to different levels of authority for specific workflows, using unique worker identification.

The whole process ensures the right person is at the right place at the right time conducting the right task. There is proactive worker behaviour change as the worker is empowered to take ownership and accountability for the tasks performed.

2. Real Time Operations Monitoring (Observe Behaviours)

Live dashboard in SOL-X solution enables near real-time worksite wide visibility of front-line operations through its display of live worker location, identity, and their active tasks. This ensures more efficient workflow management with up-to-date Permits-to-Work time validity.

From real-time operations monitoring, it also provides a holistic overview of cumulative risk and high-risk work activities. Responsible Authority will be alerted with Crew Assist notifications if workers happen to encounter difficulties in performing their tasks or are feeling unwell. This results in improved response, better worker communication and turnaround time on critical tasks.

On the other hand, workers can perform on-site safety checks and permit documentation, and signoffs in offline mode with mobile approvals using their Intrinsically Safe devices. This enhances compliance and improves productivity and turnaround times by working anywhere on the worksite.

3. Situational awareness of conditions on the ground, from the worker level up to the office personnel (Real Time Feedback)

Most of the fundamental pillars of BBS can be managed through the solution. With the availability of wearables for every worker, crucial information with regards to the working conditions, hazard exposure periods, and other work-related hazards faced by the worker can be detected.

Immediate remediation actions can be performed by the Superior and/or any persons with authority at any point in time whenever he or she reviews the current situation or trends emerging. The information therein is made accessible for persons in the organisation across the hierarchy. This includes empowering the workers themselves in performing their own preventive actions when they are alerted of a dangerous situation.

It also reinforces positive behaviour, for example, when the worker is exposed to heat stress environment, and alerts to notify them to hydrate and take short breaks as needed. When real-time interventions like GeoFence alerts, which workers receive on their wearables while approaching hazardous zones, they immediately avoid that area. Workers often get engrossed with their tasks so this could also be a good tool to break the monotonous routine and carry out Take-Five.

4. Ensured quality of data for information that is gathered by SOL-X (Analyse Data)

With the near instantaneous information transfer and the conditions that the workers face on the worksite, data for formulating safety programmes can be ensured that they are of good quality. This can help the organisation in having confidence that their targeted safety programmes are based on sound observational data sets.

In addition, active sensors on the wearable enable the capture of worker insights and leading indicators that bring about better efficacy of corporate wellness programmes and HSSE plans. This also empowers workers with near real-time data to manage immediate risks when the wearable monitors worker safety and wellbeing through important health signals, notifications, and recommendations. Workers can also take ownership by recording their working hours via their wearables. Responsible Authority may step in to proactively manage worker workload if there are leading indicators of potential work hours violations.

5 & 6. Ready-made analytics and possible solutions for organisational usage, backed by an experienced team of Safety Personnel and AI (Positive Safe Behaviour Reinforced/Set Goals For Behaviour Change)

From the data gathered from observations on the ground, SOL-X will be able to generate actionable insights into the possible underlying root causes to issues that are being identified. These insights can also be used for standardisation and sharing of best practices, and leading indicators for continuous improvements such as benchmarking high-risk activities fleetwide, and time spent preparing and executing permits. Organisations can then pinpoint in a more efficient and faster manner to tackle issues that can impact safety performance and try to aim for non-compliance towards zero incidents.

In summary, SOL-X solution empowers the organisation to take the necessary steps in improving the safety conditions and practices across all levels via metrics that are being measured and accessible in real-time. Over time, the worker will be empowered, trained, and inclined to be safe as this becomes a habit.

You may find us at sol-x.co or contact us at for further enquiries.

About SOL-X
SOL-X is a leading IIoT safety technology product brand centered on human factors. Combining deep maritime knowledge with Internet of Things capabilities and predictive Artificial Intelligence, our focus is on improving safety and compliance outcomes, increasing operational productivity, and enhancing workers well-being. SOL-X is an industry leading Behavioral Based Safety solution that combines an enhanced Control Of Work with a holistic approach to worker well-being in improving worker health and safety culture.
For more information, please visit https://sol-x.co

Media Contacts
Magellan X Pte Ltd.
Eric Graffagnino / Gladys Ng
Chief Marketing Officer / Associate Director, Marketing & Communications
+65 8866 0172 / +65 9145 6677

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