A nuclear generating station conducted a peer review and a number of verbal communication problems were identified. Also an audit by WANO (World Association of Nuclear Operations) identified the verbal communications protocol at the station as being below standard.
The challenges included:
We designed a process to develop a protocol, and training delivery to deliver the protocol, that involved wide input and involvement.
Interviews of current staff from all operating positions
Staff from all operating positions were interviewed to gain their input on what specific shortcomings, in the current verbal communications protocol, presented difficulty in communication.
Bench Marking Process
Communications protocols from ten other nuclear stations were analyzed to determine what was standard in the industry. Care was taken to use other nuclear stations that represented the demographics of the client station.
As the protocol was being developed it was validated against problems identified in the interviews and by obtaining input from operations personnel at all levels on the compatibility of the suggested changes with the culture at the client station. The protocol was also examined by a WANO representative to ensure it was acceptable.
Training was developed with a maximum amount of practice and exercises. This allowed people to try the new protocol in a variety of operation circumstances. Also the protocol was considered to be in working draft form, so input during training would result in changes to the protocol to gain the best fit for the culture.
Evaluation of the new protocol is being undertaken immediately following the training and during subsequent simulator practice.