Working Group on Human and Organisational Factors (WGHOF)
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The scope of the WGHOF encapsulates the multi-disciplinary field of Human and Organisational Factors (HOF). Nuclear facilities are not solely technical but rather are part of sociotechnical systems in which the human, technological, and organisational factors dynamically interplay, creating various interactions that have an effect on the system’s overall capacity to perform safely, reliably, and sustainably. Accordingly, it is the common understanding that, in addition to the technology, the following areas, amongst others, influence system performance and safety:

  • human capabilities and limitations;
  • work organisation (including staffing and job design);
  • workforce development, education, and training;
  • operating and emergency procedures;
  • design of interfaces, controls and decision support systems;
  • design of the physical work environment;
  • decision-making and adaptation;
  • flexibility and resilience;
  • leadership;
  • safety and organisational culture;
  • learning from experiences, both in the context of success and of error;
  • management systems; and
  • and the broader environmental context (e.g. financial realities, pandemic, war situations and other emerging safety challenges).

The group reports to the Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI). The group collaborates with and responds to requests from the CNRA and other working groups of the CSNI. The group also establishes arrangements with other international organisations operating in the same area for the purpose of identifying and creating synergy and avoiding duplication. The group may also consider relevant information and co-operate with non-nuclear organisations when appropriate.

The WGHOF is comprised of experts from nuclear regulatory bodies, license holders, technical support organisations, research institutions and relevant international organisations.

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Programme of work

WGHOF provides a forum for international exchange of experience in the rapidly developing areas of human and organisational factors. The group seeks to achieve a balance between top-down work which addresses the safety issues identified in the CSNI Operating Plan, and bottom-up work which may be raised by WGHOF members in response to developing safety issues that they believe warrant international attention.

The WGHOF comprises 5 sub-groups:

Group 1: The nuclear sector response to COVID-19 from an organisational and human perspective – how to manage the unexpected? The objective of this group is to identify and share good practices, potential risks and safety issues, if any, that the pandemic has introduced, under a HOF lens perspective.

Group 2: Boeing 737 MAX Accidents: Regulatory oversight and its effects on HOF and safety culture. The objective of this group is to capitalise on the lessons learnt in the areas of human and organisational factors and safety culture from the Boeing 737 MAX accident and on how they relate to existing nuclear regulatory practices, with a specific focus on examining the failures and/or vulnerabilities of regulatory practices in aviation and what similar challenges may exist within nuclear regulatory bodies.

Group 3: Good practices for investigators on identifying human and organisational factor (HOF) issues from event analysis processes. The objective of this group is to develop a catalogue of good practices that are useful for identifying HOF issues during the conduct of an event analysis process.

Group 4: Trust as an industry and organisational capability. The objective of this group is to identify the characteristics of a trusted nuclear industry, and determine potential capabilities that can produce these characteristics, and how these capabilities can be further developed, maintained and enhanced to engender trust.

Group 5: HOF perspectives on SMRs. The objective of this group is to share recent experience on human and organisational factors relating to SMRs, and to identify the main challenges arising from national perspectives for the coming years.


Anaïs Nouailles Mayeur

Members' area

WGHOF members' area  (password protected | reminder)