Canadian Biomass Magazine

Explore the human factor approach to understanding workplace incidents

March 7, 2023
By Wood Pellet Association of Canada

Join the Wood Pellet Association of Canada in Kelowna, B.C., at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 5 or in Prince George, B.C., at the Conferences and Civic Centre on May 31 for a full-day free workshop that explains the human factor approach used to understand why workplace incidents occur.

Hosted by the Wood Pellet Association of Canada’s Safety Committee, in co-operation with the BC Forest Safety Council, WorkSafeBC and media partner Canadian Biomass, this workshop aims to reduce the risk of workplace incidents by gaining insight into the connection between human actions and the workplace.

What is the Human Factor Approach?

When incidents happen, the key to better understanding involves finding out how and why the worker’s actions were influenced by workplace elements. By looking at the interactions between people, workplaces, and management systems, and by understanding the gaps and deficiencies, steps can be taken to prevent similar incidents from happening.

Most critical controls are of the engineered type, such as a level indicator and a valve controlled by a DCS system. Other critical controls rely in part or entirely on workers following a safe work procedure, such as closing a valve when observing a high tank level.

All critical controls that require human intervention must be compatible with the abilities and limitations of workers so the desired performance of the critical control can be achieved.

This workshop will introduce a rigorous seven-step methodology to systematically understand where and how worker interactions could be optimized to provide assurance that the critical control will be available and reliable when needed and as expected.

Who Should Attend:

  • Process safety engineers
  • Operations personnel
  • Control systems programmers
  • Maintenance personnel
  • Supervisors
  • OHS personnel

In addition to this full-day in-person training session, participants will receive continued support as they adopt and integrate the human factor approach into their current risk management processes.


  • Jenny Colman, MSc., CRSP. Human Factor Specialist. Risk Analysis Unit
  • Jennifer Fung P.Eng, CRSP. Sr. Engineer (Chemical), OHS Practice and Engineering Support

Click here to register for the workshop on April 5 in Kelowna.

Click here to register for the workshop on May 31 in Prince George.

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