Industrial safety experts are trained to look at all the contributors to an incident. Administrative, engineering, human factors are taken into consideration. Current behavioral safety methodology has the luxury, and the curse, of hindsight bias. Every error and misstep looks obvious and foolish now that the people involved know the outcome. This type of determination doesn’t help the people who have made the wrong decisions.
UX designers have developed the techniques and strategies to seek out errors in design before their products come to market and continually test and improve these designs. This process includes lessons learned in the past while also applying the science of human behavior to designs well before error is encountered. The UX techniques and strategies can be applied to Industrial Safety well before error, injury, or lives are put in jeopardy.
Safety and Usability in the Oil and Gas Industry
Usability in the Oil and Gas worker is a matter of life and death. Operational behaviors involving risk must be driven by procedures – that is the law. Traditionally documents are well written and technically accurate but are not engineered for usability. The results can be fatal. Usability engineering save lives. We can demonstrate, with real world examples, how usability engineering can reduce accidents.
Behavior driving procedures cannot be crafted with the traditional tools of technical writing. Users are not readers. The pressures of regulatory compliance, process complexity, and a wide spectrum of risk require documents to compensate for human behavioral needs. By applying research about human behavior, the Petrochemical industry is adopting behavioral methodologies to make the workers safer and more efficient. Safety and Usability cannot be separated.