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BLOG – 04.03.20

Meet the Expert: David Livermore

David Livermore
Human Factors Consultant/ Safety Manager (Scotland Hub)

What does your role cover?

As a Human Factors Consultant, I support the overall Operational Performance team in Xodus. Operational Performance focuses on system performance as a whole and views safety and productivity as complimentary, rather than opposing forces.  There is a focus on improving “work” and safety is considered an emergent system property. My role has a focus on:

+ Ensuring human performance can be relied upon and delivered where it is needed.
+ Ensuring engineered and organisational controls and barriers are as robust as possible, against the loss of human reliability.

Although the brief is wide and diverse, this is primarily achieved through understanding front line worker interactions with equipment and their role within wider socio-technical systems and the organisation in general.  This is applicable to both design and operation.

Biggest misconception about your job?

Human Factors Engineering (HFE) assessments are often seen as adding little value to the design and operation of assets.  This is mainly due the oil and gas industry relying on generic HFE approaches to issues such as equipment design and has not fully embraced a systems approach, which considers cognitive psychology, human behaviour, working environment and organisational factors.

This may have been acceptable in the past, but the landscape of the Oil and Gas industry has changed significantly over the past few years.  The drive to reduce Operational Expenditure (OPEX), increase platform efficiency and meet industry initiatives such as Net Zero, has resulted in significant innovation and a rapid uptake in the use of technology.

The knock-on effect of these changes is the creation of increasingly complex “socio-technical” environments which are difficult to control; with system predictability becoming more and more limited during both design and operation.

By not adopting a systematic approach to HFE which considers front line worker interactions with equipment (and their role in the wider system and organisation) the true efficiency/ performance of a system will never be released.

Why speak to Xodus about the Operational Performance capability? 

With simple problems, one individual or discipline might have all the answers.  But with complex problems like how to improve operational performance of an asset, a single discipline won’t have all the relevant insights.  Diversity, both in thought and expertise is required.

I firmly believe that Xodus is one of a very small number of companies, which has the range and depth of knowledge and expertise to do Operational Performance properly.  Backed up by our Innovation and Technology teams (which includes data scientists, software developers and User Experience (UX) designers), we are able to help clients understand operational problems and how best to solve them.  This starts from early in appraise, all the way through to operation and even decommissioning.

My role as an HFE Consultant is just one component of this diverse integrated team.

If you would like information on any of our operational performance or technical safety and risk services, please get in touch.

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