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Human Factor Engineering (HFE)

Human Factor Engineering study comprises to create a safe and effective working environment. The study will provide the consolidated procedure to design and construction of equipment, products, work systems, management systems and tasks. The objective is to provide equipment and systems that reduce the potential for human error, increase system availability, lower lifecycle costs, improve safety and enhance overall system performance.

Significance of HFE study:

There are two main objective to addressing HFE in the design of a process plant.

  1. To protect the comfort, health, safety and well-being of personnel.
  2. To minimize the risk of design which induces human performance issues, leads to major incidents and other adverse events.

Why HFE:

HFE study shall be conducted in every industry for the improved performance of the organization with less production downtime and more efficient maintenance. Understanding the risks involved in predicting the problem which in-turn includes predicting the risk of probable accident / loss scenarios. Establishing the appropriate design and right layers of protection to control risk to a tolerable level. Study shall improve the management approach to major accident hazards which is by reduce likelihood of human error, improved recovery from human errors and more efficient response to the emergency situation.

Common issues:

  • Poorly designed equipment
  • Out of date / unworkable procedures
  • Poor communications
  • Inadequate Shift handovers
  • Inadequate training / Competence
  • Inappropriate time pressure / Targets
  • Frequent distractions
  • Unclear Roles and Responsibilities
  • Poor Situational Awareness

Benefits of HFE:

  • Carefully addressed Human-Machine Interface (HMI)
  • Sufficient space around the equipment for installation and maintenance / operation purpose
  • Proper sight-lines for lifting and laydown from crane
  • Logical sequence support in equipment layout
  • Manual operating valves placed at a proper height and orientation.
  • Ease of access to equipment during operation
  • Plan & procedure for support logical and effective workflow
  • No hindrance of non-failed parts to access maintainable item
  • Equipment placed with proper spacing without affecting walkway
  • Equipment placed with proper orientation
  • Design will include proper planning of storage and laydown area
  • Highly visible signage and labelling in normal work areas
  • Consideration of design of stair, ladder, steps and walkways in proper.

Report Output:

HFE Study report provides a practical, cost-effective and balanced approach to applying HFE on oil & gas projects. The report outlines design requirements for the selection, location and orientation of valves / equipment in oil & gas / petrochemical / other industries.

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