Situation Awareness Offshore: Relevant Influencing Factors and Risks Conference Paper uri icon


  • Offshore operations are an inherently hazardous activities that can result in catastrophic outcomes. The amalgamation of different hazards, constraints, and demands on offshore platforms can presents a substantial threat to the performance, productivity, and safety of workers. For most industrial accidents, there is a causal chain between human errors and organizational conditions. An investigation into the Macondo incident identified failures of situation awareness (SA) and risk perception as root causes of the disaster. Improving worker SA has become an important objective for the Oil and Gas industry. SA is a distinct, safety critical component for workers operating in complex, high-risk, and interactive work environments. Possession and maintenance of good quality SA is important for personnel whose work can be hazardous, complex, and pressured by time constraints. The drilling environment can change suddenly and for a drill crew, with an improper decision or inattention, the end result can be loss of life, severe injury, and cost millions of dollars in production loss. Offshore workers need to acquire and integrate information under operational conditions while contending with competing sources of information for their attention. SA can serve as a predictor of performance and has been particularly important where technical and situational complexity impacts the decision making efforts of the driller. A scoping literature review was conducted in order to identify how the influencing factors of elements of human factors on personnel and environmental safety, operational costs, and loss of time. Numerous databases were searched (e.g., EBSCOhost, Medline, PsychInfo, Science Direct) in combination other databases search using key terms: human factors or ergonomics and offshore with all of the following: drilling, production, fatigue, situation awareness, cognitive, oil and gas, as well as a search for human factors offshore and ergonomics offshore and human error offshore. Finally, our primary studies search was supplemented with a search of papers and abstracts within conferences. The fields of interest included stress, fatigue, interface design, human machine interaction, automation, safety culture and safety climate, risk perception and awareness. The purpose of this research was to present a summary of the current literature on the status of the oil and gas industry with regard to the adoption and integration of Human Factors methods, principles, and processes. Specific objectives were to summarize the state of the science regarding situation awareness for offshore operations, understand the importance of situation awareness for this environment, and determine key influencing factors that could affect drillers’ performance.

author list (cited authors)

  • Hoyle, W. S., & Peres, S. C.

citation count

  • 0

publication date

  • September 2017