Shift handover softwareOpralog: Operations logbook and plant reporting software
Opralog Used by Large Organisations to Improve Shift to Shift Communication
Opralog — a leading shift handover software tool — is used by many large multinational organisations to improve shift to shift communication and reduce the risk of any potential hazardous incidents. Opralog ensures all the critical information from each shift is captured and shared to all of those who are responsible for the safe operation of hazardous areas. Opralog captures the value added information from the operators and the numerical data from plant historians and control systems to give a detailed real-time overview of what is happening and what could happen. Opralog also replaces the use of paper, spreadsheets, word documents etc. and organises all of the information in a structured and easy to find format. Infotechnics — the developers of Opralog — have written a paper on “The Link Between Safety and Shift Handover”, which has been presented at numerous Process Safety and HSEQ conferences. More information on effective Shift Handover can be found on the HSE website which has detailed steps and thoughts on how this essential part of safe operations can be improved.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have highlighted the importance of Shift Handover by outlining that “Effective communication is important in all organisations when a task and its associated responsibilities are handed over to another person or work team. This can occur at shift changeover, between shift and day workers, or between different functions of an organisation within a shift e.g. operations and maintenance.” They recommend to ensure safe shift handover, organisations should:
– Identify higher risk handovers;
– Develop staff’s communication skills;
– Emphasise the importance of shift handover;
– Provide procedures for shift handover;
– Plan for maintenance work to be completed within one shift if possible.
Shift handover should be:
– Conducted face-to-face;
– Two-way, with both participants taking joint responsibility;
– Done using both verbal and written communication;
– Based on an analysis of the information needs of incoming staff;
– Given as much time and resource as necessary.
Improvements should also be made by:
– Designing support equipment, such as logs and computer displays, with consideration of the operators needs;
– Involving the end-users when implementing any changes to existing communication methods at shift handover.
According to Lord Cullen — in his 1990 report determining the root causes of the Piper Alpha disaster in 1988 — many factors that contributed to the tragedy was failure of information transmission at shift turnover. Poor communication and shift handover was also a contributor in the events that caused the:
– Sea Gem Oil Rig Disaster (1965)
– Sellafield Radioactive Discharge (1983)
– Sellafield Override Failure (1991)
– Continental Express Flight 2574 Air Crash (1991)
– Esso Longford Disaster (1998)
– Texas City Disaster (2005)
– Buncefield Disaster (2005)
– ScottishPower Rye House Power Station Incident (2009)
– Deepwater Horizon Disaster (2009)
– Connecticut Natural Gas Explosion (2010)