Last week, Check-6 attended the Offshore Well Control Conference here in Houston, Texas. The second year we've exhibit and presented at the event, this year Dan "Geezer" Gilkey presented Fighting the War on Human Error.
Gilkey, a former USMC AV-8B Harrier Instructor Pilot and Gulfstream Corporate Pilot, gave a compelling presentation on applying the best practices and lessons learned from the United States Marine Corps to the Oil & Gas industry. The struggles that the O&G industry is fighting are the exact same struggles in military aviation. Both industries are in the endless war on human error! Preventing human error is not just related to safety. While people are always our most valuable resource, human error consumes other valuable resources and is the perpetual enemy of performance and efficiency.
The lessons learned in military combat and aviation have a tremendous amount to offer to Oil & Gas, both in Human Factors training, and regulatory overcompensation. We have entered an era that will change the industry forever. Some safety practitioners feel that by piling on more policies and procedures into the organization, the organization will fix the people. Unfortunately, human error is inevitable and it’s personal. The only way to manage change a culture is through a systematic method of crosschecks, mutual support, and leadership.
The lessons learned in military combat and aviation have a tremendous amount to offer to Oil & Gas, both in Human Factors training, and regulatory overcompensation. We need to understand that we are human and will make errors. The only way to manage that fact is through a systematic method of crosschecks, mutual support, and leadership. Crosschecks are built on the knowledge of human behavior. If we know a human will fail under certain circumstances, we mitigate the circumstance through the use of standardized procedures and checklists. Mutual Support eliminates single point failures and adds another set of eyes to the job. A combat pilot never flies without his wingman! Mutual Support also implies a culture of continuous training and mentorship. Training frequency should not be measured in years, but in days. It should happen every day on every job.