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Tuesday 25th April, 16:00, session 2

How can understanding human factors contribute to creating an integrated system for medicines in the UK?
Dr Brian Edwards on behalf of the CIEHF’s Pharmaceutical Ergonomics & Human Factors Special Interest Group

What is the background to the workshop? Since the inception of the Pharmaceutical Ergonomics and Human Factors Special Interest Group (SIG), a series of sub-groups have been set up with membership from different parts of the system looking at various aspects of improving human performance. The four active groups concern: (1) modelling the system for medicines in the UK, (2) introducing human factors into existing training courses for drug safety, clinical research and pharmacists, (3) evaluating how best to perform human factors studies with medicines, and (4) how to apply technology in the system. Being an interdisciplinary activity, such a SIG will appeal to those who would like to apply their talents to an important public health activity. This will introduce new ideas for research themes and collaboration and maybe even opportunities for employment as a ‘pharmaceutical system scientist’.

What is the purpose of your workshop? Learn about progress of this SIG in this time of change, address preconceptions about the pharmaceutical system and how the need for Human Factors expertise is greater than ever.

Who is your intended audience? Mature students, and experienced systems and human factors practitioners, who enjoy a challenge and who wish to actively contribute to improve a vital UK system in a state of flux.

What key skills, tools or knowledge do you want your participants to take away? Understand the system complexity, challenges and knowledge gaps that exist and where their expertise and competency might fit in.  Learn basics of a medicine’s lifecycle from experienced pharmaceutical professionals and challenge existing preconceptions about how medicines get to patients.

What activities will you use to engage your participants and help them learn? The SIG has identified the following four intractable problems: (1) Medication errors: what is an acceptable number?  (2) Describing the system: who is in charge?  (3) Drug shortages: inevitable or not?  (4) Training: we can all be safe can’t we? After being given some assumptions, the group will be divided into four to come up with a roadmap of systems-based and human factors orientated solutions which they should then present back to the whole group.

Tuesday 25th April, 16:00, session 3

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for staff fatigue
Jeremy Mawhood, Office of Rail and Road

What is the background to the workshop? Fatigue contributes to a significant number of incidents across many industries and transport modes.  Because so many factors influence fatigue, regulators are encouraging companies to implement a more holistic approach to minimising risks from fatigue, by implementing a multi-faceted fatigue risk management system.  Companies are often uncertain how to measure how well their fatigue controls are working.

What is the purpose of your workshop? The workshop’s aim is to invite, discuss and compare suggestions on Key Performance Indicators for staff fatigue, to help practitioners make a start on developing a menu of possible fatigue KPIs as one part of an organisation’s fatigue control measures.

Who is your intended audience? Anyone involved in or interested in managing risks from staff fatigue.

What key skills, tools or knowledge do you want your participants to take away?
The workshop will try to help participants:

  • Recap or learn about some of the acknowledged factors which affect fatigue
  • Share and discuss with peers from a mixed background some pros and cons of possible KPIs
  • Gain an understanding of what sorts of fatigue KPIs are likely to be effective, and which less so

What activities will you use to engage your participants and help them learn? Lead a brief recap / summary of acknowledged factors which contribute to fatigue, and why having sensible fatigue KPIs helps an organisation manage its fatigue risks (5-10 mins?)

  • Brainstorm in small groups (4 or 5) some broad types / categories of possible KPIs (20 mins?)
  • Re-convene to feedback on brainstorm to fellow participants (10 mins?)
  • Add in pre-prepared ideas for KPIs and break into groups of 4 or 5 again for a card-sorting / sticky-note optioneering exercise on favoured and less-favoured options (20 mins?)
  • If there’s time, share any key learning points with fellow participants (10 mins?)

Wednesday 26th April, 11:30, session 2

Development of an Educational Framework for Human Factors in Healthcare
Dr Dave Murray, HF Lead for Health Education England – North East, Consultant Anaesthetist, James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough
Mr Mark Hellaby, North West Simulation Education Network Manager, NHS Health Education England – North West

What is the background to the workshop? Healthcare is becoming increasingly more aware of the importance and benefits of Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFE); however there is still confusion surrounding the underlying domains and their content. For many, HFE is synonymous with team working, non-technical skills and crew resource management. Often individuals are unaware of other domains such as human interaction with the working environment, organisational culture, equipment and technology, systems and processes, and external influences. The result of this is that many educational sessions are advertised as providing human factors training whereas they in-fact only focus on discrete elements like team-working. For the learner this causes confusion and gives the impression that they now “know about” HFE.

We have been developing a human factors educational framework that maps to the International Ergonomics Association competencies. It also links in with the General Medical Council Generic Professional Capabilities, and the HEE Commission on Education and Training for Patient Safety. It defines learning outcomes at four different levels. It also provides examples of behaviour and makes it explicit what HFE in healthcare “looks like” at each level.

Example of behaviour at each level within the “Environment” domain:

1 – Awareness  (Has awareness of basic principles of HFE and can recognise how these apply in performing their own role).
Behaviour: Demonstrates awareness of how human performance is affected by the physical environment such as heat, light, noise, layout.

2 – Practitioner (Has integrated and developed HFE principles into their everyday role):
Behaviour:  Sets up own workspace to optimise performance of a task.

3 – Facilitator (Has a greater working knowledge of ergonomics and human factors and is involved with developing this within individuals & the organisation):
Behaviour: Can lead redesign of stockrooms & ward layouts.

4 – Expert (Has a high level of knowledge of HFE, often through professional qualifications, and is able to apply this at operational and strategic level).
Behaviour: Able to develop organisational guidance for commissioning of new wards that adhere to HFE principles.

This helps to “create a common language” for HF in healthcare (HEE Commission recommendation). This will mean that learners, and those involved in delivering and commissioning training, can better understand the underpinning levels and domains covered. Additionally it is hoped that it will assist in standardising the common mental model of HFE and allow education to better target the needs of the healthcare workforce.

The success of this will be dependent on close collaboration between healthcare workers and ergonomists to ensure relevant educational outcomes are set at the correct level in order to improve integration of HFE into healthcare and that there are no obvious omissions.

What is the purpose of your workshop? This workshop will be a two-way process, to raise awareness of the framework and seek feedback and input from ergonomists and healthcare workers such that the framework is better able to describe and potentially shape delivery of HFE education within healthcare.

Who is your intended audience?

  • Ergonomists with an interest in the healthcare sector.
  • Those involved in professional standards in HFE and delivery of HFE education
  • Healthcare workers who are interested in integrating HFE into the delivery of healthcare.

What key skills, tools or knowledge do you want your participants to take away?Attendance at this workshop will allow delegates to shape the delivery of HFE education in healthcare such that it is better able to deliver benefits to patients.

Delegates will have a better understanding of the different levels of competence within HFE, and a better understanding of what HFE “looks like” within healthcare.

Wednesday 26th April, 11:30, session 4

Assessment of safety culture: achieving a practical and successful assessment
Michael Wright, Ludmila Musalova and Rebecca Canham, Greenstreet Berman Ltd

What is the background to the workshop? It is widely accepted that an effective safety culture is a pre-requisite and enabler of effective safety performance. Over past decades many safety culture assessment methods have been developed and applied to good effect. This workshop explores recent developments in the assessment of safety culture and lessons learnt from practice in how to achieve a successful assessment.

The first development relates to the need to define the area of safety being assessed, such as occupational safety versus process safety. Experience shows that an organisation’s safety attitudes and behaviours can vary from one aspect of safety to another. For example, in 2005, the Texas City oil refinery explosion killed 15 workers and injured more than 170 others. Quotations from the Chemical Safety Board’s (CSB) incident report (the ‘Baker Report’) included: “BP has emphasized personal safety but not process safety,” and “…a very low personal injury rate at Texas City gave BP a misleading indicator of process safety performance”. This exemplifies how an organisation can excel in one aspect of safety but not in another.  This leads to the question of whether safety culture assessments need to be specific to a defined area of safety or can assessments cover safety more generally.  Lessons learnt from the defence sector indicate there may be circumstances where the area of safety needs to be defined and where assessment may need to be specific to an area of safety.

A second development relates to the method for assessing responses. Some methods present results, to support identification of relative strengths and weaknesses through, say, average ratings provided across a set of survey questions. Other methods will also grade or categorise results using scales such as the Pathological to Generative scale advocated by Patrick Hudson. There are a number of competing categorical approaches which enable results to be rated in absolute terms and to provide a qualitative indication of the type of culture in an organisation. Whilst previous categorical assessment methods have been qualitative, such as workshops, there are recent examples of also translating questionnaire and other forms of assessment into categorical assessments of safety culture maturity.

Thirdly, whilst some methods focus on a single tool, such as employee questionnaires, others have moved towards a toolkit approach, such as using questionnaires and workshops in combination.  This reflects at least two considerations. First, doubts about the validity of assessments have raised the question of how best to boost the confidence that can be placed in results, which has led to the option of using a battery of methods and triangulating results, as a form of cross validation. Secondly, a battery of methods is sometimes advocated to fulfil the complementary goals of both measuring and understanding safety culture. A toolkit approach is being piloted in the UK defence sector, offering lessons learnt from a range of safety culture assessment methods, their respective roles, advantages and disadvantages.

Practical experience offers many lessons learnt in safety culture assessment, including those for the form of assessment, interpretation of results and validation of results.

What is the purpose of your workshop? Attendees will gain insight into latest safety culture assessment methods; practical advice on how to carry out effective safety culture assessments; and the opportunity to understand different approaches currently being taken by fellow attendees with regards to the assessment of safety culture.

Who is your intended audience? Anyone who is involved in promoting health and safety or improving safety performance.

What key skills, tools or knowledge do you want your participants to take away?Participants will learn:

  1. Recent developments in safety culture assessment, such as:
    1. The case for defining the area of safety being assessed, such as occupational safety versus process safety.
    2. Recent examples of also translating questionnaire and other forms of assessment into categorical assessments of safety culture maturity.
    3. Moves towards a toolkit approach, such as using questionnaires and workshops, and the need for cross validation.
  2. Considerations and top tips with regards to the practicalities of culture assessment, such as:
    1. Scoping, communications and engagement
    2. Securing responses and participation
    3. Checking and validating responses
    4. Interpreting and presenting findings
    5. Linking to safety actions

What activities will you use to engage your participants and help them learn?
We would envisage a brief scene setting talk followed by a series of interactive exercises including:

  1. A whole group discussion defining ‘safety’.
  2. Small group exercise in defining the different roles and forms of assessment, and the implications for the selection of assessment methods.
  3. A whole group discussion exploring approaches to culture assessment currently being implemented by attendees/organisations represented.
  4. Small group critique of alternative ways of analysing and interpreting results
  5. An ‘ask the expert’ session on the practicalities of assessment

Thursday 27th April, 09:30, session 4

Reflective Practice Workshop
Abigail Fowler

What is the background to the workshop? Reflective Practice was mentioned at the CIEHF Conference in 2016 as a potentially useful tool for Ergonomists and Human Factors experts. Reflective Practice is a process to analyse your decision making, encourage self learning and focus attention. The Reflective Practice workshop ran successfully as an East Midlands regional CIEHF event in June 2016.  The sixteen attendees unanimously agreed the workshop would be of relevance and interest to the wider conference community.

What is the purpose of your workshop? The workshop will provide an overview of Reflective Practice, the benefits of application and the opportunity to test a method for participants to determine what method suits them best.

Who is your intended audience? All Ergonomist or Human Factors students and experts interested in learning more about Reflective Practice.

What key skills, tools or knowledge do you want your participants to take away?  They will understand the principles and benefits of Reflective Practice and be able to decide how they could apply it to their own work.

What activities will you use to engage your participants and help them learn?Following an initial introduction, participants will be encouraged to consider a project or situation they have faced that would benefit from Reflective Practice. They will then work in small groups of 4-6 people to discuss a selection of Reflective Practice tools. The whole group will then contrast the different tools to determine if a particular method is preferred by all participants or whether different methods suit difficult work applications.

Date & place

25 - 27 April 2017
Staverton Estate, Daventry, Northamptonshire

Organised by


Human Applications
Osmond Ergonomics
Greenstreet Berman
K Sharp
Towergate Insurance
Scandinavian Business Seating
Want to sponsor this event?
Contact Adam Potter at Redactive Media on 0207 880 7555 or email