Human Factors - Organisational Change

Organisational changes such as reduced staffing levels, third party contractors, department mergers, or changes to roles & responsibilities are usually not assessed and controlled as well as plant or process changes. Such changes including improvements can, if inadequately thought out or poorly implemented, have a detrimental effect on safety.

The Sea Gem pioneered the oil and gas industry in the British North Sea when it discovered oil in September 1965. However, celebrations were short-lived when just three months later, on December 27, 1965, the platform collapsed. 19 out of a 32-person crew died in the tragedy. A number of recommendations for changes to platform structural design were implemented across the industry. Two significant changes were the introduction of the OIM role offshore and the requirement for a standby support vessel onsite.



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"Every organisation has room to improve its safety. While “Old View” thinking attaches “Blame” to the individual as an erratic component in “Safe Systems”. New View thinking explores the culture within an organisation and improvements which can be made to the relationships that affect the individual and the choices they make. By identifying and implementing changes in a constructive, inclusive manner an organization will improve it’s safety culture."

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Human Factors Organisational Change - Regulatory Requirements

Regulator Guide - Offshore

  • There should be a formal process for the management of organisational change which includes the types of changes that will be looked at and how the impact on safety critical roles/activities will be looked at.
  • Risk assessment of organisational change should be proportionate to the changes and should include consideration of task mapping, competence, workload and scenario assessments.
  • The workforce is meaningfully engaged at all stages of the change process and particularly when key decisions associated with the change are being made.
  • Control measures are specific to the risks identified e.g. phased changes, increase in supervision for transition periods.
  • There is a process of assuring that all actions necessary for managing safety are implemented before key changes are implemented.
  • The effectiveness of the change should be monitored and reviewed, e.g. KPIs.

Onshore COMAH

  • No specific criteria


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