Supporting individuals to improve their safety performance

We are all human. Our actions have consequences and those actions can be influenced by many factors. The Step Change in Safety Human Factors Workgroup seeks to understand and appreciate how mental and physical limitations can impact on safe working activities.

Human factors is an established science that incorporates many disciplines, including anatomy, physiology, physics and biomechanics, to understand how people perform in different situations. It also explores the relationship between humans and the tools and equipment they use in the workplace and their working environment.

The objective of the Human Factors Workgroup is to improve the basic knowledge and understanding of human factors to ensure that human factor-related risks are properly managed and controlled through practical application.

Along with working with the industry, the Human Factors workgroup is committed to sharing knowledge and findings with regulators.


Contact Workgroup

To contact the Human Factors workgroup, e-mail


Our Human Factors workgroup supports companies and individuals in improving safety performance within the oil and gas industry by demonstrating how a range of human factors can impact safety.

An integral part of the workgroup is the free Human Factors online self-assessment tool, which enables companies, worksites and individuals to audit their relationship with different human factors. It helps guide people towards improving their safety performance.

The workgroup reviews the information collected from the free online self-assessment tool to ensure that relevant Safety Alerts, Safety Moments and case studies are produced to address issues raised.

The workgroup works in conjunction with other Step Change in Safety workgroups, helping to highlight the important role of Human Factors. It also holds a quarterly forum to review industry themes and share learnings openly and honestly, with lessons from incidents shared by the HSE.

A series of Webinars and Forums are held throughout each year and can be booked here: Step Change in Safety | Events . These events offer an opportunity to learn more about the work being done by the workgroup and allow attendees to gain a better understanding of how to apply human factors within their organisation. Visit the events page for more information.

Step Change in Safety is committed to working with the UK oil and gas industry to continually improve safety and make the region the safest oil and gas province in the world in which to work. The Human Factors workgroup is helping to achieve that.


  1. David Jamieson
    David Jamieson
    Human Factors Lead
    Shell UK Ltd

    David Jamieson is Human Factors Lead at Shell, a Chartered Member of the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors and he has 23 years of experience of working in Human Factors, firstly in consultancy and for the last 12 years with Shell Upstream UK. While at Shell, David has developed the strategy and been responsible for the HF programme of work for the business, including safety critical task analysis, HF input to investigations, organisational change, HF in projects and HF assurance.

    David has been involved with the Step Change HF Working Group since around 2015 in which time he has been working with the team to actively promote best human factors practice in a way which will provide real practical value to Step Change member companies.

    View Linkedin Profile
  2. Dr. Jared Dempsey
    Dr. Jared Dempsey
    Director of Kognivate

    An industrial psychologist, Jared has spent over 20 years researching, teaching and consulting in the area of human behaviour and human factors. He has a fascination with how people manage risk. Chartered by the British Psychological Society and a Fellow with the Higher Education Academy, Dr. Dempsey is passionate about making human factors accessible and meaningful for everyone.

Human Factors Sub-topics

At Step Change in Safety we have divided Human Factors in 12 more manageable sub-topics that cover people, plant and process.

Human Factors Online Assessment Tool

The Human Factors online assessment tool – Human Factors; How to take the next steps – is designed to be relevant to everyone working in the oil and gas industry. It allows companies, worksites and individuals to explore their current relationship with human factors in order to understand where their strengths lie and identify areas for improvement.

Each question set takes no longer than 10 minutes to complete. Upon completion of each question set you receive instant feedback on each of the categories assessed. All of the data which is collected remains anonymous.

This tool is free for members and their workforce to use, and aims to guide people towards improving their safety performance.

Download Human Factors Case Studies

A selection of human factors case studies, available to download, which may provide a safety moment for your meetings. Download all 12 in one file or each individually.

All 12 Human Factors case studies

Download All 12 Human Factors case studiesFiletype: pdf

1 Top Drive Drilling Unit

Download 1 Top Drive Drilling UnitFiletype: pdf

2 Electrical Isolation Case Study 1

Download 2 Electrical Isolation Case Study 1Filetype: pdf

3 Management Understaffed Case Study 1

Download 3 Management Understaffed Case Study 1Filetype: pdf

4 Isolating the wrong valve Case Study

Download 4 Isolating the wrong valve Case StudyFiletype: pdf

5 Cutting the wrong Pipe Case Study 0

Download 5 Cutting the wrong Pipe Case Study 0Filetype: pdf

6 Falling Through open Grating Case study

Download 6 Falling Through open Grating Case studyFiletype: pdf

7 Counter Intituative Controls Case Study

Download 7 Counter Intituative Controls Case StudyFiletype: pdf

8 Procedure Issue flare fire Case Study

Download 8 Procedure Issue flare fire Case StudyFiletype: pdf

9 Gas Water Injection Case Study

Download 9 Gas Water Injection Case StudyFiletype: pdf

10 Fatigue Case Study

Download 10 Fatigue Case StudyFiletype: pdf

11 Lifting back hook Case Study 0

Download 11 Lifting back hook Case Study 0Filetype: pdf

12 Injury whilst helping Case Study

Download 12 Injury whilst helping Case StudyFiletype: pdf

Cross-Industry Knowledge Sharing

Worker fatigue is an issue of concern in any industry. Here are some useful examples from other industries in managing fatigue, including PDF files - kindly provided by external organisations - and links to webinars on our YouTube channel.

Latest Alerts & Moments

Our searchable catalogue of hundreds of Safety Alerts and Safety Moments are all designed as learning resources that can help improve workplace safety.

Upcoming Events

Events, forums and webinars focused on improving workforce safety. View our upcoming events below.

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