Human error causes over 91% of incidents in oil and gas sector

Middle East at cutting edge of technological advancements but needs human capital focus to compete globally says expert; industry leaders to gather at the 9th Annual HSE Forum in Energy in Qatar to discuss ways to improve health & safety

Technological improvements and human capital come under the spotlight at the 9th Annual HSE Forum in Energy, which takes place at the Doha Grand Hyatt in Qatar on 30 September to 2 October 2013.

Award-winning global consultancy Sentis, a world leader in the application of psychology to safety, leadership development and wellbeing in the workplace is actively involved in advancing HSE in the Middle East and an avid supporter of the HSE Forum.

Experts at Sentis, agree that emerging technology is increasingly playing a key role in HSE for the oil & gas industry, by introducing new, more efficient processing techniques and analytics for site component measurement, as well as from a safety perspective increased monitoring, new safety equipment, PPE and site safety measures.

However while these technological improvements will likely realise marginal performance improvements in safety performance and according to Sentis, industry research suggests that 91-96% of incidents within this highly regulated and highly managed industry are due to human error.


Fadi Merhi, General Manager of Sentis Middle East.


“Technology is not a panacea to HSE challenges in itself – it must be aligned with the human resources of any organisation in order to be successful. Combining interactive organisational change programs with innovative new technologies to improve safety culture and performance can help realise this alignment,” said Fadi Merhi, General Manager of Sentis Middle East.

Merhi added that although the Middle East is at the cutting edge of technical advances in the industry, the majority of organisations are yet to recognise the advances made in enhancing human capital potential in the area of safety performance.

“Right across the Middle East there is a need to improve HSE performance inline with global advancement organisations. Irrespective of oil & gas technological development, progress will be limited unless employees become a focus for safety investment.

“By employing these advanced new techniques, there’s potential for employers across the region to get much more from their human capital. Even a relatively small increase in performance of 1% from each employee, over a 12 month period can have an immense impact on profit.

“Safety is not about protecting workers from something, it is about protecting them for something. Employees can only be protected from their environment to a certain extent – it is only in making safety individually important to them that you witness significant and lasting improvement in organisational safety performance,” added Merhi.

Held under the patronage of HE Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy & Industry and Chairman & Managing Director of Qatar Petroleum, the two-day conference and exhibition, with workshops on day three, is designed to help support initiatives to reduce workplace fatalities and maintain employee wellbeing in the region’s energy sector.

“If some organisations consider investing in human capital is purely an expense, then this workshop will reiterate the positive effect a fully qualified and highly motivated workforce can have on the bottom line, irrespective of the amount invested in new technology,” said Zenab Hussain, Conference Director for the 9th Annual HSE Forum in Energy.

Other key sessions at the forum include;

Endorse HSE: Share Corporate Value & Promote Ownership (Collective Goal)

Dr. Ali Hamed Al Mulla, Ph.D. | Qatar Petroleum, Manager, Corporate HSE

Process Safety Management (CASE STUDY) – An HSE Foundation

Donna M. Abatte | Dolphin Energy, Senior Risk Specialist

Enabling Improvement in Social and Environmental Performance in the Oil and Gas Industry

Brian Sullivan | IPIECA , Executive Director

Human Factors – Designing Processes around People

Timothy A. Billa | Saudi Aramco

Trauma management: employee mental wellbeing in a crisis

Dr. Lali Japaridze | BP International Ltd. Senior Health Director, Eastern Hemisphere

Shaping Global Action Plan for Protecting & Promoting Worker’s Health

Dr. Ivan D. Ivanov | World Health Organisation (WHO), Team Leader of the Global Occupational Health Programme

For more information about the 9th Annual HSE Forum in Energy please log on to

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