Human factors briefing note no. 17 – Performance indicators

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  • Published: July 2011
  • REF/ISBN: 9780852936085-17
  • Edition: 2nd
  • Status: New

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Monitoring performance is a key element of an organisation’s safety management system. This should comprise both ‘proactive’and ‘reactive’ monitoring. Proactive monitoring relies on leading indicators –signs that provide some measure of the adequacy of an organisation’s risk controls before there is a problem; reactive monitoring relies on lagging indicators – evidence that shows how those risk controls have performed once a problem occurs.

Why performance indicators?

A number of guides are available for developing performance indicators (see References). These are very useful and should help to clarify this sometimes confusing area of risk control. The purpose of this briefing note is to describe how to develop performance indicators for the human and organisational factors covered in this resource pack. Case studies 1 and 2 refer to process safety. All process safety events are loss of integrity of systems that should provide a barrier between the hazard and anything that could be damaged by the hazard. Human and organisational factors form part of those systems and barriers. The use of human factors performance indicators is therefore the proactive and reactive measurement of the effectiveness of these barriers using leading and lagging indicators.

The issue of performance indicators related to human factors remains controversial and problematic. This briefing note is provided as an item for discussion and to advance progress on this issue, and should not be taken as mature guidance.

Human factors briefing notes - Resource pack includes the complete collection of briefing notes,contained in their own folder.

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