Call for Human Performance Principles Concepts, Opportunity to Join Working Group

The Energy Workforce HSE Committee recently started a working group to examine human performance principles and is seeking foundational information.

The underlying basis of Human Performance stems from Dr. Todd Conklin’s “5 Principles of Human and Organizational Performance” (HOP). Conklin’s principles include:

  1. “Human error is normal.”
  2. “Blame fixes nothing.”
  3. “Learning is vital.”
  4. “Context drives behavior.”
  5. “How you respond to failure matters.”

The practical reality of any workplace is that humans will make mistakes. Companies that embrace these principles as a part of their Human and Organizational Performance (HOP) evaluation believe no organization will ever eliminate all errors — at least as long as humans are involved. The working group’s goal is to identify the ways that Member Companies can embrace human error and compile a list of industry best practices as to how those errors can build a safer place to work.

Analysis of Human Performance is most effective in companies that institute systems where it is easier to discuss (and subsequently learn from) errors rather than instilling the fear of making mistakes into the job. By accepting that humans make mistakes and blame won’t stop them, companies can use HOP to learn more about the context within which people work and respond to failure in a way that prevents catastrophe.

The HSE Human Performance Principles working group is in the process of gathering information from Member Companies on how their companies utilize the concept. If you have input to share or are interested in joining the working group, contact Director Environmental and Technical Phil DeBauche.


Phil DeBauche, Director, Environmental and Technical, writes about the Energy Workforce’s environmental and HSE efforts. Click here to subscribe to the Energy Workforce newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, activities and more.
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