One of the PHMSA CRM inspection questions (B1-5) contains this bullet point: Shift change operations should not conflict or interfere with controller vigilance during the fulfillment of command actions or critical communications with field personnel.
In my readings, I saw this quote from Seneca:
Fortune falls heavily on those for whom she’s unexpected. The one always on the lookout easily endures.
One of the responsibilities of pipeline controllers, and others in safety-critical jobs, is to know what to do during abnormal and emergency events. In other words, be prepared for the unexpected and mindful of the appropriate actions to take. Be on the lookout, and avoid error traps that we are susceptible to in the modern world.
There is a series of books by Karl E. Weick and Kathleen M. Sutcliffe that have helped me develop error management programs for high reliability organizations: Managing the Unexpected: Assuring High Performance in an Age of Complexity (2001); Managing the Unexpected: Resilient Performance in an Age of Uncertainty (2007); Managing the Unexpected: Sustained Performance in a Complex World (2015). The first book contains some assessments that can be used to determine if an organization is one that has high performance.
In the CRM programs we develop with clients, we recommend adding general responsibilities in addition to the responsibilities during normal, abnormal, and emergency operations. They include:
At a pipeline location last week, a Senior Operator told me what he tells the people he trains: “The pipeline is a jealous mistress and will punish severely those who neglect her.” I think he is warning people to always be on the lookout.
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