Guidance to Best Practices
The accidents mentioned above and many others have inspired a study to identify the common mistakes within all of them. The study revealed that the accidents were all consequences of: Failure to take into account the inherent ambiguity within a single or different natural languages Failure of taking account the differences of mental models about the plant status hold by different people performing the job. Failure in judgement of what information is crucial for efficiency and safety, which also contributed to ambiguity in capturing the information being delivered.
Dependence to a single means of communication. Most of the accidents used papers as a single means of communications. It has been noted that written messages often failed to deliver the intended meaning of communicators. Lack of procedures which specified how to conduct an effective shift handover (Lardner, 1992) Specifically, in terms of effective communication, there are few identified barriers, they are: Sometimes, the message may be wrongfully interpreted because the intended message could is within irrelevant and unwanted information –or more often referred to as ‘noise’
There is an inherent factor of ambiguousness in most natural languages Problems in communication channels may sometimes contribute to misinterpretation of information Problems that rises from overconfidence
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(Lardner, 1992) Taking account of the lesson taken from previous studies, there are several general steps to increase the health and safety standard of managing shift handover, they are: Making sure that effective shift handover communication a high priority Making communication skills as important criteria in hiring personnel for shift tasks Develop communication skills of existing staff Providing workers and supervisors with specific procedures to conduct and effective shift handover.
Design for a greater reliance for written communication in 12 hour shift operation, with longer times of shift handovers. Some personnel might have been absent for some periods, consequently, more effort of briefing there personnel are required Maintenance poses a greater risk of accidents, therefore, in anytime possible, the activity should be designed to fit into a single shift to eliminate some risks of communication failure. (Lardner, 1992)
Furthermore, the best handover communication activity should be specifically performed in this manner: Face-to-face Two way, so both personnel can contribute to the effort of ensuring clear and accurate communication Using more than one means (verbal and writing) Based on previous analysis of information requirements of the next shift. There must be specification of key information required by incoming personnel to update their mental model of plant status.
Performed in adequate time and space in order to ensure the proper exchange of disambiguate information (Kragt and Landerweerd, 1974)
Fleming, Mark. 2001. ‘Effective Supervisory Safety Leadership Behaviors in the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry’. Offshore Technology Report [online] Available at: www. hse. gov. uk/research/otopdf/1999/oto99065. pdf Flint, Rhona H. n. d. ‘Crew Resource Management for Teams in the Offshore Oil Industry’. Team performance Management [online]. Available at: www.apmforum.com/strategy/crmoil.pdf