Safe and efficient operations in the Oil and Gas industry depend on how effectively different teams and companies work together. This collaboration extends beyond a simple relationship between a client and its direct contractors, but must involve the entire supply chain, including sub-contractors and sub-sub-contractors, all of whom contribute to safe and efficient operations in different ways.

For example, an Operator wishing to undertake a drilling project will typically contract with a drilling contractor to provide the drilling unit based on a range of requirements that may include functionalities and technologies. Separately, the operator will contract with a number of service companies to supply the specialist material, equipment and people required for the well construction process. In addition, there may be service providers also contracted by the operator directly for assurance, for instance.

Each of these companies will depend on a chain of other companies, who together deliver the final product / service. For example, separate companies may design touchscreens and software used on the rig, which may affect easiness of use, or others may be involved in designing sensors and valves which affect how easy it is to operate equipment etc.

It is essential that those involved throughout the supply chain have a well-informed appreciation of the human and organisational factors that both create success and yet equally may contribute to failure.


The foundations of high levels of human performance across a supply chain in this Recommended Practice are based on the following six key principles:

  • Safe and efficient operations depends on a team of companies working together effectively
  • Inter-company collaboration in support of HP principles is founded on and guided by (but not limited to) the contractual arrangements in place
  • The provision of ergonomic design of facilities, equipment, tools and parts contribute to safe and successful operations as much as the provision of services and labour
  • The effective design of tasks, resources, plans, procedures, competencies regardless of the organization  contribute to safe and successful operations
  • The investigation of incidents and pre-accident investigations must recognise that events are shaped by the behaviour of the whole system and must therefore:
    • Involve all involved and interdependent parties
    • Provide feedback to the companies and engineers concerned and, especially, to those further down the supply chain who design products, parts, displays or processes
  • Criteria for human performance knowledge, skills and abilities of key personnel involved should be consistent and integrated into:
    • RFP and bid packages
    • Contractual documentation
    • Safety Management System Bridging documents
    • Performance and contract review meetings


The scope of the guidance provided in this Recommended Practice should be extended to encompass the following aspects:

  • Supply chain specialists (procurement, contracts, etc,) involved in developing requirements for products / services should be aware of the basics of human performance concepts and how industry standards on human performance are applied in design and operations.
  • HSE, quality and engineering specialists involved in supporting the procurement of products / services understand basics of human performance concepts and how industry standards on human performance are applied in design and operations.
  • Requests for products and services should incorporate the requirement for contractors, suppliers and their supply chains to perform a human performance criticality assessment of their services and demonstrate through their standards and practices how the risks are managed.
  • Companies bidding for work across the supply chain should undertake a criticality assessment of their products and services to demonstrate how they integrate, operationalise and manage human performance in the design of their products or service delivery processes to manage the risks.
  • Customers purchasing products and services should incorporate human performance considerations into their procedures including questions for RFPs, evaluation and ranking criteria, and in HSE contractual language. 

To find out how to apply these recommendations, we recommend going straight to Level 1 >>


IOGP Report 454 : Human factors engineering in projects : This publication was jointly developed by the Energy Institute and IOGP. The aim of the document is to provide the oil and gas industry with recommended good practice on the effective application of human factors engineering on oil and gas projects.