Indicators for operational safety: A simplified method for development of indicators
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Reviews focusing exclusively on technical factors and barriers in preventing major accidents have been conducted for several years. However, investigations of adverse events demonstrate that human and operational factors are contributing causal factors in most accidents. Methods have been developed to measure the condition of operational safety, but the challenge is that these methods are time consuming, and it is therefore desirable to develop a simplified method for measurements. By using a simplified method to perform these measurements, it will be possible to measure the organizational conditions more regularly, which is preferable. Qualitative methods have been used in the work with this master thesis, and literature has mainly been gathered through a literature search and discussions with safety practitioners,mostly the employees at Safetec. Presence on meetings has also occurred, and the most relevant meeting was the presence on a kick-off of one of Safetec’s projects, dealing with development of major accident indicators for a minor oil company. The main part of the task has been to develop a simplified method for finding indicators that can be used to measure organizational safety. To be able to do this, effort has been made to understand and describe the current methods used, and also to get an overview over the earlier work in the field, to get an overall understanding of both the positive and negative aspects of these currently used methods and measurements. An important part of the work has been to reveal and discuss the most important properties for a set of organizational indicators. To extract the most important of these properties is difficult, but in general, one can say that the most important property is that the indicators should be quantifiable, which mean that they have to be visible and comparable. Additionally, is it important that the information gained in relation to the indicators should not be too general, and the set of indicators should embrace widely, while it is still recommended to limit the number of indicators in a set to a number between four and seven. Effort has been given discussing the differences need for indicators for monitoring the risk for respectively occupational accidents and major accidents, and the differences between monitoring technical and organizational factors. Another major discussion has been on the leading and lagging indicators. The conclusion is that they both have their positive and negative aspects; and as a overall conclusion one can claim that the organizational safety ideally should be both proactively and reactively monitored. By choosing a proper collection of lagging and leading indicators, will the strengths and weaknesses of the individual indicators be compensated by the rest of the set of indicators. As said, the main result of this master thesis is a proposed simplified method to use for developing organizational indicators. The proposed method is also tested with a simplified example, and the method’s advantages and disadvantages are also illustrated. The wish of as implified method is fulfilled, but one can though question whether such a simplified method is sufficient enough to develop usable indicators for practical use in the industry.