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Improving offshore safety by managing human risk

The safety and predictability of offshore operations could be greatly improved by a ground-breaking new project that seeks to address the risks posed by human behaviours in the oil and gas industry.

The project, which is supported by the Oil & Gas Technology Centre in partnership with Premier Oil and OPEX Group, will use predictive technologies, data science and psychology to help organisations understand their unique ‘behavioural DNA’. 

By working with leading behavioural psychologists, predictive technology specialists OPEX Group have devised a new diagnostic service that provides key insights into the behavioural profile of individuals; helping organisations to gain a clear picture of the levels of behavioural risk across their workforce and operations.

Stephen Ashley, Digital Transformation Solution Centre Manager for the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, said: “Advances in digital technology present a significant opportunity to improve the safety of operations offshore. We’ve seen predictive analytics and data science deliver improvements in production and efficiency, and we want to achieve even greater gains for safety. We look forward to working with OPEX and Premier on this exciting project.”

Jamie Bennett, CEO of OPEX Group, explains more about the project; “Despite decades of training programmes, tightening of procedures and investment in safety cultures, the task of proactively managing human risk remains one of the greatest challenges facing the oil and gas industry today.  Research shows that human errors contribute to as many as 90% of incidents.

“Current approaches to understand safety behaviours rely on surveys that give us an insight into what employees think and feel.  The piece of the puzzle that is missing - a blindspot - is an understanding of how these individuals are going to act and behave - and the impact those behaviours will have on offshore operations.

“Through this project we will use predictive technologies and data science to analyse behavioural insights gained from core crews and correlate it to vast amounts of historic incident data from Premier’s offshore assets. 

 “Our aim is to work alongside Premier to greatly strengthen the safety and predictability of their offshore operations in what has previously been a difficult area to quantify in the oil and gas industry."