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Human and organisational factors (HOF)

The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency’s objective is to achieve a positive cycle of successes and an operating culture that strengthens safety. Good creates good!

Human activities play a key role in the success of transport infrastructure maintenance. The key to success and failure is in how well we understand work from the perspective of the individual, group, job tasks and organisation. When planning a new work method or when working in a situation that differs from the norm, it is worth looking at it from many perspectives.

Making human and organisational factors visible is not a secret science but a consciously developed competence for which we offer training and tools.


HOF in instructions and methods

The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency will integrate the consideration of human and organisational factors (HOF) more comprehensively into its operating culture, especially in the procedures for risk management and safety-related anomalies. In practice, this means updating the instructions and tools so that they guide people to systematically take human and organisational factors into account.

The following guidelines have been updated at the beginning of 2021:

•    Risk management in transport infrastructure management, instruction 50/2020
•    Instructions on risk management methods, instruction 51/2020
•    The Common Safety Method Regulation instruction for the railway system 52/2020
•    Reporting and processing of safety incidents, instruction 57/2020
•    Safety procedure manual in transport route projects, Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency Instructions 58/2020

A technical feature has been added to the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency's information system for safety-related anomalies and risk management (TURI), which enables the documentation of HOF factors affecting the event as part of the analysis of the safety-related anomaly and the more in-depth identification of the HOF factors behind risk factors as part of the risk assessment. As regards safety-related anomalies, this section will become mandatory for serious deviations to railway safety.

HOF training and communication

Taking HOF factors into account in operations requires conscious actions and an active approach. For this reason, we want to ensure that we have competence in HOF as part of risk management and safety incident management, which we support with both targeted communication and training.

The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency has published online courses focusing on HOF factors. The courses are freely available to service providers at Eerokki.

The HOF courses consist of a basic course and two advanced training courses.

HOF Basic Course - this basic course is an open and free course that provides an overview of human and organisational factors in transport infrastructure management; what these are, who they concern, why they must be discussed and how they are reflected in everyday life.

HOF Risk Management - this online course provides the ability to handle human and organisational factors as part of the risk management process in the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency’s operating environment.

Reporting and processing of HOF deviations - this online course provides the competence to take HOF factors into account as part of the safety incident management process in the operating environment of the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency.

If you do not yet have a username and password for Eerokki, you can create them while you sign into the course.