Identification & Prioritisation of Safety Critical Tasks

The Brief

The Brenntag site at Lutterworth is an Upper Tier COMAH site. They had developed a plan to address Human Factors on the site and wanted to start by developing a list of the Safety Critical Tasks (SCTs). I was asked to design a process for identifying the SCTs which linked to the site’s Major Accident Hazard scenarios, and to create a methodology for prioritising the tasks for analysis.

  • I developed a definition of a Safety Critical Task for the site.
  • I then wrote a procedure for the identification and prioritisation of SCTs which described the process of identification based on the Hazard Identification (HAZID) tables for the site. The prioritisation methodology considered the HAZID risk ranking, the consequence of human failure and the complexity of the activity.
  • We ran a workshop which I facilitated to use the methodology and develop the list of prioritised Safety Critical Tasks.

The Outcome

The site now has a procedure for the Identification and Prioritisation of Safety Critical Tasks which they can use to demonstrate to the regulator that the list has been developed in a methodical way and is clearly linked to the Major Accident Hazards on site. This will enable them to use the methodology across other sites in the business. The workshop demonstrated the ease of using the methodology and they now have a defined list of tasks.

“We had been advised by our HSE Inspector that we needed competent Human Factors support. When we mentioned that we were going to work with Lorraine, he was very complimentary as he knew Lorraine from her work on Human Factors at her previous employment.

Lorraine took us through the process of how to identify and prioritise Safety Critical Tasks. At all times, she was keen to ensure that the system we developed would be workable. Her approach was pragmatic and she ensured that we were comfortable with the process throughout. I felt that we achieved a manageable list of tasks.”


Rob Bagshaw, Operations Manager, Lutterworth. Brenntag UK and Ireland