Human factors briefing note no. 22 – Willingness to act

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  • Published: October 2016
  • REF/ISBN: 9780852936085-22
  • Edition: 1st
  • Status: Current

This document is freely available to all registered users of this site.

HF Briefing note 22 coverWillingness to act describes the willingness of employees to make decisions to shut down operations, stop production, release product overboard, etc. in order to prevent a potential emergency situation. A key example is whether an operator would press the emergency shutdown (ESD) button in a plant when required. From the management viewpoint, ESD operation is encouraged if there is a danger to life or to the whole plant, but frequent ESD operation could cause significant operational problems, safety issues and lost revenue through business interruption.

Why willingness to act?

Failure or hesitation to act has contributed to high profile incidents; however, operators face a dilemma when deciding whether to act. Will the operator be punished? Is it the right decision to take? Will it result in extra work etc.?

One of a series of 23 briefing notes, each briefing note includes:

  • an introduction to each human factors topic;
  • checklists of questions to gauge whether your company has a problem;
  • guidance on what the company or management can do to address each HF issue;
  • 'negative' and 'positive' case studies (illustrating both the consequences of an issue and potential solutions);
  • suggested performance indicators (PIs) for the HSE 'key topics', and
  • further reading lists.

The briefing notes will be of interest to anyone wanting to gain an overview of human factors or of particular human factors issues they are facing, and to managers who are looking to apply practical solutions to solve these issues.

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