HOIS project C16-04 Human factors Phase 2: Human Factors guidance to improve reliability of non-destructive testing in the Offshore oil and gas industry


It is well established from cross-industry trials and experience that the reliability of NDT inspection can be significantly affected by human performance issues.  Examples of major trials where human factors (HFs) on inspection have been assessed include the HSE PANI Project, PISC III in the Nuclear industry, the US Ageing Aircraft Programme and the NIL POD trials.  A common misconception is that the source of poor reliability is the inspector; this neglects the many other factors such as environment, organisation, team and procedure that impact on reliability.

This paper outlines results from a new project on human factors in offshore inspection started in 2015 within the HOIS offshore inspection JIP (www.hois.co.uk ) to raise awareness of the influence of human factors on the effectiveness and reliability of inspections in the offshore and onshore oil & gas industries.

Phase 1 of the work reported in NDT2016 examined general issues, lessons learnt from past trials, offshore experience, and the human factors relevant to the individual stages of an offshore inspection work scope. Key factors identified were the competency of operator and inspector staff, corrosion awareness, good communication between operator and the inspection teams, knowledge of the local areas being inspected and damage history, the importance of a well-qualified offshore inspection engineer (OIE) offshore, good access and scaffolding, real or perceived time pressure, and experience of inspectors in in-service inspections (ISI).

Phase 2 has developed a general human factors guidance document for NDT in the Oil & Gas sector and specific human factors guidance including: reporting protocol and proformas for internal visual inspection (IVI) of vessels; visual inspection for external corrosion; and manual ultrasonics (MUT) for corrosion assessment and wall loss.

Current work in 2018 is focussed on usability of the HF guidance and facilitating uptake by the industry, a simple step-by-step graphical approach has been developed for the guidance using ‘Bow-tie’ plots to show the key human factors effects and mitigation possible at each stage in an offshore inspection workscope; as well as simple ‘what does good look like’ checklists.
The paper will give an update on the project and key findings.