Human Factors Conference 2017


Welcome to the event blog for Human Factors Conference 2017! Get ready to take off to a land of immersive learning experiences, interactive sessions, exhibits and multi-agency networking. This unique UK inter-agency Human Factors Conference, set underneath the wings of the iconic Concorde, will bring together professionals from Healthcare, Aviation and the Fire and Rescue Service.

Day One

Simon Woodward, Chief Fire Officer at Manchester Airport, opens up the conference with housekeeping and introduces the Human Factors app.

He then welcomes our first speaker, Pilot and Founder of Clinical Human Factors Group, Martin Bromiley, OBE. Martin discloses how he has spoke at many events but highlights how imposing speaking under the concorde is and how it is ‘really something special.’ He begins by describing himself as ‘just someone who uses this stuff to get through my working day.’

“Many of you who put yourself in harms way for the sake of others, you are heroes.”

Taking an overview of the science of human factors, Martin starts by analysing human factors from the perspective of a pilot, looking at system design and the cognitive and social behaviours of the crew involved.

Martin now talks emotionally and movingly about his own personal story concerning his late wife Elaine with amazing bravery. This was a turning point to him ‘focussing on human factors in healthcare.’ Martin describes his need for closure, he ‘didn’t want to blame anyone’ but wanted answers. He recounts the process and inquest which found that there were human factors error.

He concludes with his definition of ergonomics:

Next up we have Dr Heather Gallie, Consultant Neuroanaesthetist at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, who has been the driving force behind this multi-agency innovative event. She embarks with a love letter to the concorde as a pinnacle of human design.

Concorde meaning agreement and harmony between people in french.

Heather then goes on to discuss the SHELL model which the whole two day event is based around. This model can be used both retrospectively but “more importantly prospectively becomes first level of threat management. Using this we can change ourselves, our teams and our environments.”

S oftware
H ardware
E nvironment
L iveware (individual)
L iveware (group)

We are having our first break, a great chance for some mutli-agency networking!

And we’re break with our next speaker, Thomas Jun, Engineer by trade, Lecturer at Loughborough Design School and Co-founder of the Human Factors and Complex Systems Research Group leads our Human Factors and Systems Design.

Thomas begins by describing the development of human factors as a concept from the 1970’s and expresses the individualistic focus on the practice from the 1970’s – 1990’s. Thomas talks us through the timeline of development of methods for sociotechnical systems and safety.

Thomas now shows the two contrasting views on the South Korea Ferry Accident with a fascinating animation discussing the human factors that affected the fate of the ferry. The focus of the accident investigation is not just to identify people to be punished but to understand economic, social and political factors influencing human behaviour.

Ultimately our safety in the future relies on how we view
accidents and what actions we take thereafter.

We break for lunch with delegates enjoying simulations, concorde tours and good old fashioned networking!

We are back! Simon introduces our next speaker, Jeff Goulding, Assistant Director of Human Factors at Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Freedom to Speak Up Guardian who explores incident reporting and organisation learning. A nurse by background, Jeff started clinical skills training which led to his role within Human Factors and Organisational Learning.

‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast and operations excellence for lunch and everything else for dinner’ attributed to Peter Drucker 2009

Jeff discusses the importance of organisational learning highlighting staff surveys as he explains “perception is everything – opinions are based on perception… there is a need for a just culture.” He discusses how the post incident event analysis is vital to help shape organisational learning and improve processes and workflow and this can be done preemptively through small tests of change and quality improvement.

Now time for some interactivity! Simon Hamilton, Fire Service Station Manager for Manchester Airport now introduces several case studies for delegates to review and then tables break off for discussions.

Simon now takes to the stage to bring together these discussions and asks teams to highlight a specific factor that has contributed to the case study which leads to a lively debate regarding the perception of priority.

We now welcome Professor Jon Cole who begins with an apology to those easily offended. His session will explore the analysis of physiological effects on decision-making in continuously evolving situations and major incidents and decision making in the armed police & fire service.

He starts by introducing his area of expertise, neuroscience, studying how the brain functions at critical points, commonly threats to life. This work has taken him across the world and he has noticed a lack of shared understanding in a room full of different disciplines.

Jon specialises in police using firearms, airport fire and rescue, pre hospital trauma life support, emergency departments. He explores how the brain reacts when put into a position of danger or higher alertness where rationalisation has been violated. Jon now poses concepts for the delegate to think about:

What a fantastic session! Great feedback from the audience, very engaging speaker.

As the first day is drawing to a close, Roger Koukkoullis, Operations Safety and Commercial Director, Airports Operators Association, summarises what has been a fascinating day under the wings of the concorde. Thanking organisers Heather Gallie and Simon Hamilton for all their hard work, todays speakers and the delegates.

We now enter the evening soiree with Manchester Airport Choir welcoming us into the evening session. After a fantastic dinner, we settle in to hear from Captain Mike Bannister who describes the highs and lows of his concorde career spanning 26 years including commanding and flying the final Concorde commercial flight from New York to London on Friday October 24th 2003.

And that’s it for an unforgettable day under the concorde! We’ll be back live blogging and tweeting from Manchester Airport Runway Centre tomorrow for Day 2!

Day Two

We’re back for day two with a fantastic line up of speakers all under the magnificent concorde!

Simon Woodward opens up day two introducing Captain Jim Harlow who leads a session on situational awareness. We’re off to a flying start with Captain Jim, a pilot and lead of Human Factors group is a non-technical and simulation trainer who explores what situational awareness is, how it can be generated, maintained, trained and its role in critical incidents.

2/3 of accidents are due to a loss of situational awareness.

Captain Jim discusses the misconceptions surrounding situational awareness, “it is not a method for training, it is a factor.” He now describes the three levels of situational awareness:

First level – Perception (noticing)
Second level – Comprehension (understanding)
Third level – Projection (thinking ahead)

Captain Jim believes that there is ideally there is a fourth level – what didn’t we notice? Where we work is so complex, with so many factors, that it is unachievable to get things absolutely 100% right, but it is the aspiration of doing so that is key. Jim identifies “huge problems” of distraction, ambiguity and fatigue.

“Compliance is a killer”

Captain Jim concludes his session by repeating “review, review, review”. No human is perfect. Simon now joins Captain Jim on stage as he answers questions from our delegates.

We’re back from the first break with our next session Importance of Teamwork with Dr Jane Carthey who will discuss establishing the importance of teamwork in the context of dynamic, high-stakes situations and scenarios. Dr Carthey was previously Assistant Director of Patient Safety (South) and Head of Research at the National Patient Safety Agency, where she led work on being open and safety culture. Jane begins by highlighting her three lessons to optimise teamwork, how do you get the best out of the team.

Fit and Synergy

Leadership Behaviours

Team Self-Regulation

Mark Susca now takes to the stage with our second interagency group task to help focus and consolidate your learning and get you thinking about Non Technical Skills with particular attention to Standards of Practice (SOPs).

  • Agreed set of practices by experts
  • Create a safe & efficient working environment, allowing things do be done efficiently (but not recklessly)
  • Prevents a drift in sticking to procedures, SOPs are markers of standardised group practices
  • Allows people who don’t know each other to know what the other person is doing e.g. 2 pilots who speak different languages will understand what the other is doing
  • Method of team self-regulation
  • If two people are acting differently, are they wrong? Or is the SOP wrong?
  • SOPs prevent the phrase of “oh, that’s the way we do it here”

Mark now asks the tables to break away and come up with a SOP on making the perfect cup of coffee!

We now break for lunch as the delegates enjoy tours of the impressive British Airways concorde!

We begin the afternoon with a Threat and Error Management session with Pilot Gus Nash who explores how to identify potential hazards, threats and errors and how we can optimise safety using crew resource management or cockpit resource management (CRM). CRM is a set of training procedures for use in environments where human error can have devastating effects. Used primarily for improving air safety, CRM focuses on interpersonal communication, leadership, and decision making in the cockpit.

75% of all aircraft accidents are caused by humans.

Introducing the TEM (Threat, Error, Undesired Aircraft State) model, Gus applies this across industry.

Following on from Gus is Dr John Rutherford, Consultant Anaesthetist at Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary, on non-technical skills assessment who poses the question, are you born safe or can you be trained? Johns session will uncover our understanding what behavioural markers are, how assessments are calibrated and how these assessments can aid performance.

10,000 hours of practice makes perfect

After another short break, we are back with our final speaker Brian Welsh Senior Fire Officer from Merseyside Fire & Rescue. When responding to major tri-service incidents, communication plays a critical role. Brian discusses how we can pull together ideas about SOP’s and interagency working discussed previously in the group exercise this includes JESIP principles and joint organisational learning (JOL) highlighting the importance of SOPs and communication.

“We are a community. It’s US!”

And finally Heather Gallie, Human Factors Conference Programme Lead, who concludes this amazing event and thanks Simon Woodward and Haelo.

“Go! Dare to be supersonic.”

We’ve landed! That’s all from Human Factors Conference 2017, it has been exciting, insightful and informative with fantastic content, speakers and entertainment all under neath the majestic concorde. Thank you to Heather Gallie and Simon Hamilton for organising this event. You can review all the learnings from the past two days on Twitter using #HFC17.

What do you think?

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