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60 seconds with...Clive Tunley, Office for Nuclear Regulation

Institution News Team

With this year's Cranes 2023 seminar mere weeks away, we caught up with the ONR's representative to understand the topics he's looking forward to discussing at the seminar and why engineers should join.

For further details of this year's Cranes seminar and to book your place, please visit the event website.

Please could you briefly explain your role, involvement, and experience with regards to the Cranes/Lifting industry and this event?

Clive Tunley (CT): I work as a nuclear safety inspector for the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the UK’s independent nuclear regulator. I specialise in human factors, ensuring duty holders adequately consider the physical and psychological characteristics of humans in task design, where failure could result in safety significant consequence. Prior to joining ONR, I provided human factors support to teams designing and undertaking risk significant lifting operations, across multiple industries. Within ONR, I have supported the regulation of nuclear lifting operations, including investigations of incidents involving cranes, to protect society and secure safe nuclear operations.

What, in your experience, has been the biggest roadblock for the industry this year?

CT: The continued recovery from the pandemic and the way it has changed the way we work. The desire to catch-up for lost time, reduced levels of experience in the workforce and remote working, are risks that if not adequately managed could contribute to more incidents and accidents. Wider issues associated with energy security and climate change introduce further challenges that must be navigated.

What key topics are you excited to discuss at this year's conference?

CT: Innovation and technology advances are always exciting however they can, if inappropriately conceived or inadequately implemented, introduce new unforeseen risks that can degrade overall performance. I’m looking forward to discussing how the variety of human roles (e.g. engineer, operator and maintainer) are considered when designing and implementing such changes.

Regarding the utilisation of Innovation, what would you say are the technologies or applications to watch for the future?

CT: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the hot topic of the moment but few of us understand the true “state of the art” and the potential impact, both positive and negative, it might have on future work practices. We need to understand precisely what such technologies can, and more importantly can’t, reliably deliver if we are going to innovate safely and effectively. We can’t assume that a human can simply recover the situation following a systems failure and avoid negative consequence.

Who else are you most interested in hearing from on the programme?

CT: It’s crucial we all take every opportunity to learn from real world operating experience, both good and bad, to improve safety in future lifting operations. I’m confident all the speakers will provide valuable insights that I can use to inform my future work. I’m particularly interested in hearing about how industry aims to exploit increased automation and how humans will interact with such systems safely during set-up, operation and maintenance.

Why is it important for engineers to join this conference?

CT: We can all learn something new and sharing experience is a great way to do that.

The Cranes 2023 seminar will take place on 26 September 2023 in London

Join us at the Institution's London Headquarters in September to understand how engineers are driving innovation across lifting operations, whilst addressing the challenges of maintaining safety and reducing the overall risk.

Presentations will cover examples a wide variety of projects and industries, together with technical insights and industry best practice to reduce the risk of incidents, maintain compliance with standards and make the most of new and novel technologies.

For further details of this year's Cranes seminar and to book your place, please visit the event website.


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