Cognitive ergonomics in the analysis of work on offshore platforms: “Cognitive Bowtie” application


  • Selma Saraiva da Costa Moreira
  • Isaac José Antonio Luquetti dos Santos
  • Cláudia do Rosário Vaz Morgado



cognitive ergonomics, bowtie, offshore labor, human factors


Ergonomics is a science that deals with the organization of the working environment aiming man’s safety and health. However, ergonomics concepts in the actual scenario follow, mainly, anthropometric aspects (postures, furniture, equipment, cargo transportation) and environmental conditions (temperature and lightning, for example) and are still weak from the cognitive point of view, which covers mental processes such as perception, memory, and reasoning. These concepts are fundamental, specifically in complex working environments and, therefore, the case chosen in this study was the offshore labor. The risk of serious accidents is inherent for workers in the entire boarding season, and they live their time-off under confinement and isolation conditions, as it is not possible to go home after work or contact family and friends except with the devices available in the unit. This research intention is the adaptation of a tool, the BowTie Analysis technique (BTA), to include human factors and cognitive aspects. Thus, through a low-complexity methodology, this approach could be applied in the oil and gas platforms risk management, filling a gap that still needs to be addressed. To expand the cognitive aspects beyond the control rooms, an important activity that also have man-machine interaction and where many accidents can occur on the platforms was chosen: the cranes operation. It is expected that this example will boost the development, or adaptation, of new tools, to be implemented in oil platforms risk management, aiming for greater safety in the accomplishment of the labor activities, being no longer the worker seen as a "problem" in the complex system, since most causes of accidents are attributed to errors made by workers, errors that can and should be studied and absorbed by safety systems, which must be designed and built to predict and act before the most common human failures happen. So, the labor journey of professionals who work in offshore oil units could be more and more healthy and safe, as all life should be.


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How to Cite

Moreira, S. S. da C., dos Santos, I. J. A. L., & Morgado, C. do R. V. (2023). Cognitive ergonomics in the analysis of work on offshore platforms: “Cognitive Bowtie” application. STUDIES IN HEALTH SCIENCES, 4(2), 419–442.