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Title: Safety and situation awareness : 'keeping the bubble' in offshore drill crews
Author: Sneddon, A.
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2007
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Reduced awareness of one’s working environment (situation awareness [SA]) can be an important predictor of industrial accidents.  This thesis investigates SA in offshore oil and gas industry drilling crews, and the relationship between performance shaping factors on SA, and incident history. Study One (an incident analysis) found that of the three levels of SA, most incidents (67%) were caused by perceptual level problems. Study Two (interviews with drilling personnel) revealed that the main factors perceived to impact SA were fatigue, stress, workload, and level of experience. Indicators of reduced SA were any unusual change in character of the individual, blank expression, having to give repeated instructions, and a reduction in the work standards of the affected employee. Study Three (a questionnaire study) involved the development of a Work SA (WSA) rating scale, and found that increased stress and fatigue resulted in poorer WSA. Individuals who had experienced an accident during their offshore working history were found to have significantly lower WSA levels than accident-free individuals. The WSA factor of concentration appeared to mediate the relationship between stress and unsafe behaviour, suggesting that stress may cause unsafe worksite behaviour due to lack of concentration. Study Four ( a questionnaire study) found that increased fatigue led to poorer WSA, and individuals working variable shift patterns experienced more fatigue than individuals working fixed shifts. The level of compatibility of shifts with personal circadian rhythms did not appear to influence WSA. Regression analysis indicated that fatigue was the only significant predictor of WSA. Industry often accepts that features such as stress and fatigue exist offshore, but perhaps the finding that these ‘characteristic properties’ are proving to be detrimental to personnel’s awareness levels, and consequent safety and well-being, may encourage companies to reassess them in order to mitigate any potential effects suggested by the present research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available