Recently, there has been much discussion regarding incorrect procedure use being related to many of the incidents in industrial settings. This has justifiably led to many focusing on procedure presentation, design, and accuracy. At the same time there is some discussion a-foot that there may be an over-reliance on procedures and too little analysis of the entire human system integration and human machine interface.
Based on insights from observations of and interviews with workers in industrial settings doing procedures, applications of two standard Human Factors methods (user testing and task analysis) are applied to three typical reason that operators do not adhere to procedures.
The analyses presented here illustrate that the basic method of user testing (field validation for this paradigm) can be leveraged to decrease the likelihood of mismatches between the standardized procedure and the methods used in the field as well as the methods used for on the job training. Further, task analyses can be used to identify what type of supports (e.g., check lists, in hand written procedures) will best support human performance for performing different types of tasks given the frequency that these tasks are performed.
The chief usefulness of the information available in these discussions is in the application of basic Human Factors methods to a problematic domain for many industriesprocedure adherence. By using methods designed to identify and accommodate the capabilities and constraints of the human, the quality and adherence of standardized procedures can be improved. Moreover, the results of this work can serve as a springboard for more exploring more productive operational safeguards that properly account for missteps and errors that sometimes lead to hazardous situations.