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New Research Identifies Health & Safety Information Gap

Source: 9/7/2011, Location: Europe

AVEVA, a leader in engineering design and information management solutions for the plant, power and marine industries, announces the global launch of ‘The Health & Safety Information Gap’, undertaken by Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University (RGU) at Offshore Europe 2011. Concentrating on information systems within the health & safety environment, the far reaching report documents a number of insightful findings. For example, 40% of respondents don’t know where to search for safety information and are working on a mixture of corporate, local and external information systems.

The report is based on RGU’s researcnh which gathered information from health & safety (H&S) managers, senior managers and engineers in the global oil & gas industry, through an online questionnaire. Respondents’ business types included operating companies, contractors, service companies and suppliers. Confidential, in-depth Critical Incident case studies were carried out in four representative businesses, interviewing key individuals able to comment authoritatively on the information aspects of dealing with the incidents.

Whereas internal channels such as Intranets and team meetings did offer access, respondents found that they often searched the internet for relevant information. Half of respondents identified the need for better information systems and a quarter believe that they are not shared information within the company environment. On the whole, there was a strong demand for a shared integrated system to enable better access to all appropriate information. Respondents’ comments support this:

· ‘The problem is there’s too much information’
· ‘I don’t think the information systems that we are talking about are very user friendly’
· ‘It was fragmented information and it was inconsistent’

“In depth one-on-one interviews as part of this survey exposed the silos of information and disconnected processes that can contribute to operational risk. This is consistent with our own industry experience; there is clearly an information gap”, said Steve Tongish, VP Marketing, AVEVA. “In response to the report, we have identified the three main areas where the greatest deficiencies can be found; fragmentation of information, failure to capture and exploit the value of standards, and poor accessibility to data. The research done by RGU will benefit our customers by providing further input into our strategy for Operational Integrity Management solutions”.

“There are particular concerns that current information systems are not accessible to frontline operational staff and that these systems and health & safety messages are not designed with their needs in mind”, added Professor Rita Marcella, Dean of Aberdeen Business School, RGU. “Existing systems are often complex and employees frequently turn to informal sources, such as peer networks and 'experts', when faced with too much information that is not immediately relevant”.

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