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RR995 - Human Factors review of gas self-isolation and restoration field trial

The gas distribution network operators (GDNs) must prepare emergency plans to respond to a widespread or prolonged loss of gas supply incident occurring on their part of the network. These plans are a requirement of the Gas Safety (Management) Regulations 1996 (GSMR) and form part of the safety case arrangements made by the GDNs.

The GDNs have proposed procedures to allow members of the public to isolate and restore their own gas supply in the event of a loss of supply incident. The GDNs have carried out a field trial to test these procedures under controlled conditions, using a sample of emergency and non-emergency works.

This report describes a desk-based review of the GDN field trial. The review considers the process and validity of the self-isolation and restoration field trial, as well as the adequacy of the instructions provided to participants (in the form of the leaflets developed by the GDNs). Supporting materials, such as videos and web pages, have also been reviewed.

Review of the field trial data suggests that the trials included a representative sample of properties and meter locations. However, a number of limitations have been identified, including the presence of First Call Operatives (FCOs) during the trial, and these may affect the interpretation of the trial findings.

Areas for improvement have been identified, such as the need to ensure consistency of information and effective linking across all sources (leaflets, videos and web pages).

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2013-11-21