1st Edition

Human Reliability Assessment Theory and Practice

By Anthony J. Spurgin Copyright 2010
    304 Pages 48 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    304 Pages 48 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    A continually evolving discipline, human reliability assessment (HRA) has elements of controversy from the definition of terms to the application of appropriate methods for the representation of human failure probability. The idea that human error is a random event is falling out of favor and the concept that humans can be set up to fail or succeed depending on context is gaining credibility. An in-depth exploration of current theories, Human Reliability Assessment Theory and Practice demonstrates how to model, change, and apply new approaches to a number of different high-risk industries.

    The book covers data and data sources, choice of methods, training of individuals, use of simulators for HRA purposes, and the relationship between psychology, human factors, accident analyses, and human reliability. Author Anthony Spurgin has been in the forefront of HRA development for the past 20 years and has contributed to developing human reliability methods and tools that have been applied to the enhancement of nuclear power plant and space vehicle safety. He explores reactor performance and the demands it makes on operators to ensure plant safety. He also covers the roles of plant management in the decision-making applied to both design and operation. The book includes a number of accident studies that illustrate the key roles of operators and managers in accident mitigation and control.

    The heart of HRA will always be to find creative ways of helping designers, management, operators, and authorities increase the safety and profitability of technological systems. Drawing on his personal experience, Spurgin reviews HRA from the viewpoint of the operator. The book uses examples from the nuclear industry, always on the forefront of safety, and translates how to apply the concepts to other high risk industries.


    Purpose of the Book

    Contents of the Book

    Potential Users of the Book

    Author’s Philosophy



    Early Developments

    USNRC-Sponsored HRA-Related Studies

    EPRI-Funded HRA Projects

    Other Organizational Involvement in HRA

    Plant Safety and Risk


    Licensing Requirements

    PSA Logic Structure—Event Trees and Fault Trees

    Human Error Categories

    Organization of HRA Studies

    HRA Principles and Concepts



    Human Reliability Considerations

    Crew Models

    Accident Progression and HRA Pathways

    Database Requirements and Expert Judgment

    PRA/HRA Organization

    Requirements for HRA Experts

    Review of Current HRA Models and Methods



    HRA Models: Characterization

    Descriptions: Models within Three Groups

    HRA Tools and Methods


    Human Reliability Aspects: Dependencies

    Errors of Commission and Omission

    Expert Judgment Methods

    Computer-Based Tools for Estimation of HEPs

    Fires and Low-Power and Shut-Down PRAs

    HRA Methods: A Critique



    HRA Models: Characterization

    Pros and Cons of Each HRA Model

    Conclusions and Recommendations

    Analysis of Accidents: Various Industries


    Three Mile Island Unit 2 Accident

    Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Accident

    NASA Challenger Accident, January 28, 1986

    NASA Columbia Accident, February 14, 2004

    Tenerife, Canary Islands Runway Accident, March 1977

    Airbus 300 Accident at JFK Airport, November 12, 2002

    BP Oil Refinery, Texas City, March 2005

    Piper Alpha Oil Rig Accident: North Sea, July 6, 1988

    Union Carbide Savin (Pesticide) Plant, Bhopal, India, April 1988

    Flaujac: Express/Local Train Crash, August 1985

    Underground Fire at King’s Cross, May 1990

    Analysis of Accidents Using HRA Techniques


    Investigation of Chapter 8 Accident Situations

    Analysis from HRA Point of View

    Three Mile Island, Nuclear Accident

    Chernobyl Nuclear Accident

    NASA Challenger Accident

    NASA Columbia Accident

    Tenerife Air Transport Accident

    JFK Airport Accident

    Bhopal Chemical Plant Accident

    Texas City Oil Refinery Accident

    Piper Alpha Oil Rig Accident

    Flaujac Accident, French Railway

    King’s Cross Underground Railway Accident


    An Application of an HRA Method (HDT) to a Real Problem


    Description of the International Space Station

    ISS PRA: Background

    HDT Method Applied to ISS

    Steps in Performing an HDT Analysis


    Data Sources, Data Banks, and Expert Judgment


    Associated Databases

    Standalone Databases

    Simulator Databases

    Expert Judgment Methods


    Use of Simulator Data for HRA Purposes


    Design of Simulators

    Simulator History

    Brief History of Simulator Data Collection Studies

    Purposes of Data Collection

    Data Collection Systems and Processes

    Insights: From Time and Observational Data

    Use of Simulator Data for HRA Purposes

    Design of Scenarios

    Discussion and Conclusions

    Impact of Systematic Data Collection on Training


    Data Collection and Analysis Process

    Analysis Process

    Experience with Data Collection

    Conclusions and Recommendations

    Discussion and Conclusions


    HEP Range

    Impact of the Selection of HRA Models

    Organizational Influence

    Lessons from the Accident Reviews

    Selection of Experts


    Relevance to Other Industries

    Release of Data and Model Developments





    Anthony J. Spurgin