17 - 18 October
New Delhi, India


Human error in maintenance can affect safety and performance of equipment’s, machines and production in a number of ways. Poor repairs, for example, can increase the amount of breakdowns, which in turn can increase the risks associated with equipment failure, and personal accidents.

Maintenance has a major relevance to the business performance of industry. Whenever a machine stops due to a breakdown, or for essential routine maintenance, it incurs a cost. The cost may simply be the costs of labour and the cost of any materials, or it may be much higher if the stoppage disrupts production. A maintenance operator who is motivated, well trained, under no time pressure, given the correct information, and working with equipment which has been designed to be maintenance friendly, will likely complete all specified maintenance work to a high standard.

However, the more these requirements are not met, the less likely it becomes that the maintenance work will receive the desired attention and short cuts in work methods become increasingly probable. As a result, equipment can become poorly maintained causing reduced reliability/availability or direct damage to the plant. In turn, these consequences can increase the safety risk to the maintenance operator and to other employees and the public. As with most types of work, the scope for human error in maintenance operations is vast. These can range from becoming distracted and forgetting important checks to knowingly deviating from a permit to work procedure in order to save time or to get the job done in unexpected circumstances.

Some types of human error can be so frequent that they almost becomes the accepted custom and practice. For example, fitters may have got into the habit of omitting final checks during a routine maintenance procedure. Other forms of human error may only occur rarely during exceptional circumstances. For example, crews may mis-diagnose the cause of a novel failure.

The extent of human error is not always fully recognized. For example, the bursting of a process pipeline may be blamed on a faulty pressure relief valve, but further investigation may find that other factors related to human error were the main contributor, such as incorrect valve type, incorrect pressure relief setting, damage in the past, over-pressurization or poor maintenance. Likewise, most plant accidents are caused by human error.

The purpose of this training is to highlight the role of human error in plant operations, and provide practical guidance on reducing its impact in the actual plant maintenance itself. The comments made are applicable to the broader maintenance function and to most plant operations and situations, including safety, because human error causes have a common origin, as do approaches to solutions.


It should be readily apparent that the solutions to address human error in maintenance would be very different for different types of error. Errors can be broadly considered in terms of the following three types (from Reason):

Slips & Lapses:

A maintainer may be distracted or loose concentration and inadvertently undo the wrong hydraulic hose. He knew what he wanted to achieve, however, he makes a simple error in his actions. As he knew what should have been done, there is little advantage in further training. If the consequences of such an error were significant then the most effective action would be to eliminate the possibility of this happening by some form of design. Interlocks or fittings that can only fit one way can physically prevent this type of error.


If a rule or work procedure has been forgotten, or never fully understood, then a maintainer could make a wrong decision especially during a procedure with some novelty. In the above example, the maintainer knew what he wanted to achieve but failed to achieve it. With this general type of error, the maintainer makes a mistake and chooses a wrong action. Training is obviously an important issue for reducing this type of error.


These are the most difficult area of human error to address. These are intentional deviations from maintenance procedures. Such decisions can involve a range of issues such as: the perceived advantages to the individual from a short cut; the risks of damage to plant and equipment if the work is not done or not done in the specified manner; the likelihood that the maintainer will be subsequently identified; and the time allocated to the job in relation to the time the job takes to fully adhere to the approved procedure.

There will therefore be a range of factors that influence the likelihood of maintenance rule violations. These can be divided into those which directly motivate the maintenance crew/individual to break agreed rules/procedures (termed direct motives) and supplementary factors which increase, or reduce, the probability of any individual deciding to commit a violation (termed behaviour modifiers).

For example, avoiding heavy physical work may be a direct motive for neglecting a maintenance task; however, a lack of effective supervision would be a behaviour modifier, which increases the probability that the violation would occur, as the chances of him being detected would be low. These problems were being researched in some depth in a number of industries, and it became increasingly clear that the human factors of maintenance operations was a topic of growing interest in most industries and a topic whereby significant improvements could be achieved from even a limited consideration by engineers and management.

The course leader of this master class has been involved in the development of a number of human factor methodologies, which have potential application in the field of maintenance. They are all solution driven, and were developed to be used by the non-human factors specialists.

The course will not only address the critical areas of human error but also provide an encyclopaedia to manage and control human errors of maintenance effectively and will majorly focus on creating awareness and providing solutions about reducing human errors and reducing unplanned downtime to zero level.

Training Methodology:
  1. Real Life examples
  2. Group Discussion’s
  3. Individual Interactions with speaker and delegates
  4. Each Modules will be dedicated with case studies
  5. Live Videos
  6. Practical approach

Key Objectives:

  • Human error in maintenance “Skill &Technology Approach”.
  • Various aspects of human error in maintenance considered as a useful tool for the factories of the future.
  • Facts, figures, and examples; occurrence of maintenance error in equipment life cycle.
  • Dynamics and Statistic elements of a maintenance person's time.
  • Maintenance environment and the causes for the occurrence of maintenance error.
  • Types and typical maintenance errors.
  • Common maintainability design errors and useful design guidelines to reduce equipment maintenance errors.
  • Maintenance work instructions, and maintenance error analysis methods.

Key learning’s & takeaways:

  • Develop awareness about the impact of Human Errors in Maintenance
  • Plan a roadmap to implement strategies to reduce human errors at workplace
  • Formulate a strategy to achieve Zero Unplanned Downtime.
  • Practical tools to deal with unplanned downtime and Dynamic Risk of human errors.
  • Better performances of the equipment and its safety
  • How to control wrong preventive actions or repairs

Course Leader

Mr. Dibyendu De

Director, Reliability Management Consultant Pvt. Ltd.

Dibyendu De is a leading exponent in leveraging equipment, process and product reliability through “out-of-the-box thinking” to achieve business goals of manufacturing organization operating in today’s VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) business environment.

He pioneered modern maintenance and reliability engineering practices that effectively changed the engineering practices in India and at global stage. He has been maintenance leader for over 4 decade and comes up with hands-on experience of 38 years of perspiration, deep learning, unconventional thinking.

Academic Qualifications:

  • B.E.(Mech) from NIT Durgapur
  • M.Tech (Machine Design & Analysis), NIT Rourkela
  • PGCM in Manufacturing Systems and Reliability, University of Manchester, U.K.
  • Has worked with sectors such as Cementation (Engineer)
  • Larsen and Toubro (Senior Engineer)
  • Indian Institute for Production Management (Deputy Director)
  • W.M. Engineering, U.K as Senior Consultant (Total 18 years)
  • Currently he is Director of Reliability Management Consultant Private Limited (Total 20 years)

Major Achievements:

  1. Pioneered Integrated CBM approach (Vibration, Wear Debris Analysis, Thermography, Visual, Work Planning & CMMS) in India (from 1990).
  2. Pioneered Reliability Improvement and RCM in India (from 1998).
  3. Worked with more than 100 clients and in that process (through various projects) seen the problems and opportunities of Indian Industries both at macro and micro levels.


If you want a theory go to a Professor but if you want to have a real solution backed by the simplest theory go to him. He has always been able to use outside-the-box thinking to develop innovative solutions

Dr. Ian Kennedy
M.D. WM Engineering, U.K.

The best resource for improving Reliability in Industries

Rajesh Kundu
President, Hindustan Zinc Ltd

Every page of your report saves me Rs 40 Lakhs

G.D. S Sohal
Ex-Director, Jindal Steel

What lies behind such spectacular improvements is ‘out of the box’ thinking of a brilliant mind

Harsh Jha
M.D. Tata Metaliks Ltd.

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