Maintenance problems resulting from human error are resulting in an increasing number of accidents, says the Health and Safety Executive, which has just published new guidance.
The HSE says that although the general trend for accidents is downwards, the role of maintenance errors as the root of major accidents has increased. It cites a number of recent near-misses including a large release of natural gas form an offshore production platform and a spillage of highly flammable liquid at an onshore refinery. Fortunately in both cases there was no ignition.
Dr Paul Davies, HSE chief scientist and head of hazardous installations, said, "Studies show human factors contribute to up to 80 per cent of workplace accidents. HSE is actively tackling this by developing its own human factors guidance and applying it in its enforcement activities."
Improving Maintenance: A Guide to Reducing Human Error priced £16 is available from HSE Books. Tel 01787 881165, fax 01787 31995 or from www.hsebooks.co.uk