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Kestrel Presents at MKOPSC Symposium: Oct. 27-29

October 6, 2015 - Kestrel Management

The Role of Human Error in Occupational Incidents

The concept of human error and its contribution to occupational accidents and incidents has received considerable research attention in recent years. When an accident/incident occurs, investigation and analysis of the human error that led to the incident often reveals vulnerabilities in an organization’s management system.

There are many types of Human Reliability Analysis (HRA) methods, including THERP, HEART, and CREAM, that are designed to determine the relative probability that a human error will occur during a certain process. Unfortunately, many of these HRA methods are time-consuming to administer, require extensive expertise, and do not offer guidance on which processes to select for review.

Expansion of Knowledge

The recent emphasis on human error has resulted in an expansion of knowledge related to human error and the most common factors contributing to incidents. The Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS), in particular, allows data from multiple incidents to be aggregated to discover patterns and trends in incident causation.

Human Performance Reliability (HPR), a process developed by Kestrel Management, adapts the framework provided by HFACS to further conceptualize and classify human error, but with the additional step of associating the control(s) that failed to prevent the incident from occurring. This process allows organizations to identify how and where to focus resources to drive safety performance improvements.

HPR in Action: Case Study

When Kestrel applied HPR to two refineries at a petroleum refining company, the results uncovered an organization in need of more senior management involvement and leadership. Problematic programs, including management of change, mechanical integrity, lockout tagout, and training, were also identified.

The HPR methodology, while not without limitations, serves as a process to identify the human error types and the controls most frequently associated with an organization’s incidents. This enables to organization to identify local improvement efforts, evaluate aggregated data for systemic improvement opportunities, and/or determine the particular processes that may benefit from further analysis.

Join Kestrel at the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center (MKOPSC) International Symposium

Kestrel’s William Brokaw will be presenting the case study discussed above on Tuesday, October 27 at 3:30 p.m. at the MKOPSC 2015 International Symposium: Using a Data-Driven Method of Accident Analysis: A Case Study of the Human Performance Reliability (HPR) Process.

MKOPSC 2015 International Symposium
October 27-29, 2015
Hilton Conference Center
College Station, Texas

Kestrel’s experts will also be on hand throughout the Symposium to talk with you. Stop by and see us at our booth. We welcome the opportunity to learn more about your needs and to discuss how we help our chemical and oil & gas clients manage environmental, safety, and quality risks; improve safety performance; and achieve regulatory compliance assurance.

Submtted by: A.W. Armstrong

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