Human Error in Process Plant Design and Operations: A Practitioner’s Guide, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Human Error in Process Plant Design and Operations

A Practitioner’s Guide, 1st Edition

By J. Robert Taylor

CRC Press

300 pages | 16 Color Illus. | 35 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2015-12-11
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In contrast to nuclear plants and aerospace systems, human error is largely ignored in quantitative risk assessment for petroleum and chemical plants. Because of this, current risk analysis methods are able to calculate and predict only about one-third of the accidents happening in practice. Human Error in Process Plant Design and Operations: A Practitioner’s Guide shows you how to develop a comprehensive risk assessment that includes human error. Based on the well-known SRK model of human error, this book represents a practical collection of examples and statistics from more than 30 years of study, with many examples of the practical application of methods.

The book provides a complete overview of the various types of human error, including operator error, hindrances and inability to function, errors in observation, errors in performing standard procedures, errors in supervisory control, errors in decision making and planning, infractions and violations, design errors, and errors in procedures. It then goes on to identify human error potential and probabilities, and discusses techniques and methodologies that can be implemented to minimize human errors and prevent accidents.

The result of the author's observations of human error over a lifetime of work as an operator, as a commissioning coordinator, and as an operations manager, the book demonstrates how to analyse, manage, and mitigate many types of error. By taking advantage of the author's experience and expert knowledge, and by applying the techniques and methodologies illustrated in this book, you will be able to make changes which will make work easier, error free, clearly understood, and more congenial.


"…a comprehensive overview of the several types of human errors that can occur in any industrial plant or research lab. The result of the author's observations of human error over 36 years of work as an operator illustrated in this book make this book unique and very useful for both academia and industry."

—Nayef Ghasem, United Arab Emirates University

"…explores a broad range of practical plant and facility operation issues and considerations, providing explanations for human errors which better enable us to prevent similar or repeat incidents from human errors. The general focus on worker attitudes, training and competency assurance, workplace supervision, management, operating procedures and design, promises the reader an interesting introduction into understanding human errors in the workplace."

—Dr. Chit Lutchman, Safety Erudite, Inc.

"The author has done a good job organizing and illustrating the various types of human error. I found the chapters on design errors and management errors especially enlightening. My experience in incident investigation has told me that these areas of human error are often not adequately addressed during root cause incident investigation. I recommend this book to those involved in designing and operating chemical processes as well as those involved in incident investigation."

—Process Safety Progress, December Issue 2016

Table of Contents


Models of Operator Error

Hindrances and Inability to Function

Errors in Observation

Errors in Performing Standard Procedures: Rule-Based Operation

Operator Error in the Field

Knowledge and Ignorance in Plant Operation

Errors in Supervisory Control

Emergency Response and Disturbance Control

Diagnosis of Plant Disturbances

Errors in Decision Making and Planning

Infractions and Violations

Management Error

Communication Errors

Error Syndromes

Design Error

Errors in Procedures

Identifying Human Error Potential

Error Probabilities

Examples of Human Error Analysis

Human Error Risk Reduction




About the Author

J. Robert Taylor is the author of the QRA Open software, an open system for quantitative risk assessment, and the HAZEX software for manual and semi-automated HAZOP and Human error analysis, all open systems. He also prepared the database Hazardous Materials Release and Accident Frequencies for Process Plant. This is his third book on risk analysis and safety engineering topics. He now lives in Denmark, carrying out research on design error and the quality of risk analysis and occasional safety consultancy.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Chemistry / Industrial & Technical
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Engineering
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Health & Safety