Common operational threats across high-reliability industries:

 

Distraction

Distractions come in many forms including phone calls, problems at home, noisy work sites, and multiple tasks. We operate in a cognitive loop (Stop, Think, Plan, Act) that builds our situational awareness. Distractions break that loop and make it hard and time consuming for us to re-enter it. This is particularly dangerous when something happens to go wrong at the same time.

Shortcuts (Cognitive Bias)

The brain has evolved to save us time, taking shortcuts known as ‘cognitive bias’ to save us time and free up cognitive resources. This is great for survival-based tasks like hunting, but not so great for modern high reliability tasks involving safety-critical and repetitive work. Being aware of brain shortcuts is as important as not taking procedural or verification shortcuts.

Complacency

When your mind drifts to autopilot (such as when you are doing repetitive, well learnt tasks), your ability to focus, concentrate and deal with the unexpected is greatly diminished. We all know the feeling of having driven home without any detailed recollection of the events that got us there. The same thing can and does happen when we conduct safety-critical tasks during operations.

Neuroscience-Safety-Performance

Example countermeasure: Mental Acuity Trigger

Known for its widespread use in elite military forces and athletes, mental acuity triggers allows the operator to get their concentration and focus back on task. By doing this we reduce the likelihood of the threats above impacting operational performance. We walk operators through an exercise to create their own personalised trigger and then train them on the times we are most at risk for distraction, cognitive bias and complacency. They also learn to identify when they are beginning to fall prey to distraction, cognitive bias and complacency. In situ coaching with operators out in the field is also provided if required.

By adapting such countermeasures to your operations, staff and requirements; and using pedagogical methods that resonate with the workforce - your operational performance can be enhanced in a cost effective and enduring manner. By designing our workshops to the outcomes of your threat manual and observations, the Argos Protocol addresses your true operating risk. We employ a plethora of other proven countermeasures, adapted to your organisation and sourced from Special Forces, the US Navy’s Top Gun Flight School, Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology, Sports Psychology and High Reliability Organisations.