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Productivity and safety: adjustments at work in socio-technical system

Abstract : The thesis presents the findings from a study of the adjustments of performance conducted by human operators in the course of routine work. The findings are in the form of a comprehensive theory and a method. The adjustments are the changes to the natural flow of work, to avoid a situation considered undesirable, to compensate for a temporary lack of resources, equipment, and time, or to maintain or restore control over the operation of a sociotechnical system. The thesis describes a number of events in which such adjustments occurred, and identifies the reasons behind the adjustments and their consequences for both safety and productivity. The identification of these two elements leads the research toward the development of a classification of adjustments in terms of their work conditions, their underlying motivations, and their observable effects. This classification may be used by anyone concerned with maintaining a proper balance between safety and productivity, by indicating which practices should be facilitated and improved upon, and which should be reduced or altogether avoided. The thesis uses data obtained from observation of various activities carried out aboard natural gas production platforms in the North Sea. The use of the classification is described as a method for gauging performance adjustments. Future research based on this study should go in the direction of refining the classification proposed here, as well as in the development of methods to support the management of performance adjustments.
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Submitted on : Friday, November 19, 2010 - 11:40:15 AM
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  • HAL Id : pastel-00537770, version 1


Eduardo F.A. Runte. Productivity and safety: adjustments at work in socio-technical system. Other. École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris, 2010. English. ⟨NNT : 2010ENMP0012⟩. ⟨pastel-00537770⟩



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