From 17 – 19 August 2015, Dr Albert Boquet, Associate Professor of Human Factors and Systems at Daytona College of Arts and Sciences, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, USA, conducted a masterclass in Human Factors and Error Management at SIM University (UniSIM). The seminar, funded by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency, and co-organised by UniSIM's School of Science and Technology and Centre for Continuing and Professional Education, brought together participants from diverse backgrounds to learn how to manage "human error" at the workplace using innovative methods.
During the intensive three-day seminar, Dr Boquet introduced the participants to human factors theories and concepts. Besides teaching them how to identify and classify different causes of errors using the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS), he also explained the Human Factors Intervention Matrix (HFIX) – a tool for mapping intervention strategies onto the specific forms of human error identified in the HFACS model. Highlighting that the traditional approach to managing workplace accidents has always been to punish the operator who blundered, Dr Boquet urged safety professionals to look beyond the "sharp end" of the accident chain and to change from a "blame culture" to a "just culture".
By the end of the masterclass, the participants had learnt how to turn errors into information, information into knowledge, and knowledge into effective error management solutions, which they could apply in their various industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality and education. Many of them provided feedback that they found the seminar to be an "eye-opener" and requested for more of such sessions to be conducted.
Associate Professor Chui Yoon Ping, Head of the Human Factors in Safety programme at UniSIM, shared that the University hopes to organise more of such masterclasses as this is a good way of connecting with safety professionals from various industries and propagating human factors know-how.
Dr Albert Boquet sharing practical examples and case studies with the masterclass participants.
Dr Albert Boquet (1st row, 5th from left) and Associate Professor Chui Yoon Ping (1st row, 6th from left),
Head of the Human Factors in Safety programme at UniSIM, together with the masterclass participants.