New OGP report promotes safety and operational efficiency

The term ‘crew resource management’ (CRM) owes its origins to the crash of United Airlines Flight 173 in Portland, Oregon, in 1978. Analysis of the crash by the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that the plane had run out of fuel while the flight crew were troubleshooting a landing gear problem. On June 7 1979, NTSB issued its landmark recommendation to require CRM training for airline crews. This was to cover interpersonal communication, leadership, and decision-making in the cockpit.

Since then, the basic concepts and ideology that make CRM successful with aviation air crews have been developed for other industries such as air traffic control, firefighting, and medical operating rooms. CRM is defined at the cognitive, social and personal resource skills that complement technical skills and contribute to safe and efficient task performance.

Now, OGP has published Crew resource management for well operations teams (OGP No. 501). This document is the result of a project undertaken by the University of Aberdeen on behalf of OGP. The aim was to develop a recommended syllabus for CRM training, customized to the needs of well operations teams.

In order to identify the basic categories of CRM (non-technical) skills required by wells operations personnel, the project team examined 17 key roles.

The next step was to review literature on human factors in wells operations, as well as relevant material on CRM training and assessment in offshore production operations and in other industries. Interviews with a sample of 33 people who work on wells yielded information about the non-technical skills required in routine and non-routine work conditions. Finally, the team developed an outline for a basic syllabus for well operations crew resource management (WOCRM) training.

The report consists of an introductory module, plus coverage of the main non-technical skill categories: situation awareness, decision-making, communication, teamwork and leadership. It also looks at performance-shaping factors such as stress and fatigue and provides recommendations for the design and delivery of basic and recurrent WOCRM training.

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