CORDIS - EU research results

Innovation through human factors in risk analysis and management

Final Report Summary - INNHF (Innovation through human factors in risk analysis and management)

The InnHF project - Innovation through Human Factors in risk analysis and management financed under EU FP7 Marie Curie Actions Initial Training Networks FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN: Project ID 289837 had the following aims:
• to offer a multidisciplinary training in the field of risk assessment and maintenance management integrated with human factors, in tight contact with companies and universities;
• to strengthen and structure initial training of researchers in system engineering at European level;
• to attract students to scientific careers;
• to provide trained researchers with the necessary skills to work in industry; and,
• to improve career perspectives by broad skills development.

From the training point of view 13 ESR and 6 ER were recruited and trained through a series of network-wide actions that allowed their skills to be enriched in order to obtain professional figures, for academia and companies, able to understand and manage both the technicalities related to risk assessment and maintenance and the human and organisational factors with an integrated approach.
This integrated view, together with the methodologies and the tools developed within the project, allows a more effective decision-making in the field of application (being it industrial production, manufactory, consultancy and so on).
The exposure of the ESRs and ERs to multiple environments, academic and commercial, and the multidisciplinary approaches from different engineering domains and the human factor, from the applied psychology domain, expanded their knowledge, sensitivity and open-mindness, as testified by the successful cooperative work the researchers from different domains were able to carry on, merging their competencies in a wider view.
This enhanced capacity has been particularly appreciated in the companies, being them partners of the project or involved only for case studies, that actively supported the researchers during their on-site activities.
The case studies, that covered a variety of applications (automotive industry and different suppliers, pharmaceutical, food manufacturing and process plants and control systems) allowed the consortium to drive the following conclusions:.

1) The risk-based decision-making, both for safety and for productivity, when carried only on technical aspects without taking into accounts human and operational factors (HOF), suffers of shortcomings that, depending on safety culture of the company and of its resources, could also become critical in terms of possible consequences for safety and productivity and, thus, of economical impact.

2) Despite to the initial intention of the project, it seemed not possible to define a single methodology able to address the HOFs jointly with the technical aspects that could be adequate for all the applications. The reason is partially related to the large number of approaches and methodologies, with very different levels of details, that are used in the different domains of possible application; on the other hand, some difficulties rised in trying to completely substitute a consolidated assessment methodology with a new one, when no other (political?institutional?) forces help driving the modification, which was supported only by the higher effectiveness of the results.

3) A framework for the joint assessment of technical and HOFs and their impact on productivity, safety, quality and sustainability, has been developed and declined for the different domains of application the researchers were involved in. The proposed solutions were directly adopted in the companies in which they have been devised or tested.

Within the possible exploitable solutions proposed, as methodologies and/or approached, the following can be listed:
- Food supply chain risk analysis
- Integrated ATEX –HOF analysis
- Methodology for Human and Organizational Factors assessment in process industries - MEDIA
- Advanced techniques for Prognostic Health Management
- Physiological Measurement of Operators
- Failure Prediction for risk management in pharmaceutical plants
- Risk registry

This framework, the methodologies and tools for the possible applications and their validation in the industrial domains constitute the scientific results of the InnhF project. Those results together with the actions for their dissemination are illustrated in the documents available at: