Human Reliability Assessment Theory and Practice  book cover
1st Edition

Human Reliability Assessment Theory and Practice

ISBN 9781420068511
Published October 8, 2009 by CRC Press
304 Pages 48 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents


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




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