The Importance of a Human-System Interface (HSI)

Don’t Neglect the Human Factor in Process Industry Operations

Most plants have decent hardware and control systems installed and usually collect real-time information using Data Historians. However, the human processes around these systems are often performed and recorded using inadequate tools. These poor operations management processes have caused catastrophic incidents, creating an important requirement for more efficient, consistent and detailed data across day-to-day operations. Unfortunately, there are still inadequate time consuming HSI data collection methods being used at many industrial sites, increasing organisational risk and inefficiencies, such as:

Word Processor Documents


Inconsistent Verbal Meetings

Text / Instant Messages


Scattered Databases


Phone Calls / Radio

Multiple MES Applications

Problems Caused by Inadequate HSI Data Collection Methods

Often a combination of the above HSI data collection methods is used at one site or across many sites, adding confusion and black holes of data to the process.  The Swiss Cheese model of accident causation highlights that holes can easily appear in the defence layers between hazards and accidents.  Unfortunately, these information gaps – which for example can appear during a poor Shift Handover process – have resulted with disastrous consequences highlighted by these 10 Industrial Accidents Where Poor Shift Handover Was a Contributory Factor.  Significant problems are caused by inadequate HSI data collection methods, such as:

Wasted Personnel Time

Employee Frustration

Increased Risk

Reduced Team Responsibility and Accountability

Inconsistent Data Entry

Information Holes

The Impact Poor Operations Processes Has on Personnel

A work environment with poor operations processes along with messy data collection makes personnel feel uneasy and worried about their general safety.  This makes daily operations a difficult and frustrating task, with time consuming paper forms, scattered spreadsheets and databases.  The following day-to-day concerns are common at sites using the above poor data collection methods:

General Safety Concerns

Lower Motivation

Increased Exposure to Injury

Wasted Time

Reduced Responsibility


Process Frustration

Lack of Standard Operating Procedures

The j5 Operations Management Software Solution

Powerfully Combine Human Processes With Real-time Data

The j5 Operations Management Software solution, replaces paper forms, spreadsheets and scattered databases. Providing an enhanced HSI solution which interacts with other electronic plant technology like control systems and Data Historians:

Add the Human Factor to Plant Events

Data Historians are excellent at collecting numeric real-time process data. This data can be used to analyse trends and the general performance and up-time of machinery across a site. However, the value added information – which comes from personnel – is often missing. Therefore, the powerful combination of systems such as the OSIsoft PI System® or Wonderware Historian, which provide numerical process data, alongside the insights from operations personnel within j5 Operations Management Software, allows organisations to fully understand the context behind plant events.

  • Who was involved?
  • What happened?
  • Where did it take place?
  • When did it take place?
  • Why did that happen?
  • How did it happen?

The Impact j5 Operations Management Software Has on Operations Personnel

j5 Operations Management Software is a comprehensive suite of operations management and process safety applications on a single platform.  The interface is simple, intuitive and web browser-based, which makes operations personnel:

More Confident

Motivated and Eager to Suggest Improvements

Follow and Understand Standard Operating Procedures

Have Faith in Their Operations Processes

Focused on the Information Relevant to Them

Feel Part of a Wider Responsible Team

Feel Safer and More Alert to Problems

Allocate More Time to Operate the Plant Effectively

Value Responsibility

Communicate Operations Information Efficiently Using a Single Platform