Human Reliability Analysis: A Review and Critique

83 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2010

See all articles by French Simon

French Simon

University of Manchester - Manchester Business School

Sondipon Adhikari

Swansea University

Clare Bayley

University of Manchester - Manchester Business School

Tim Bedford

University of Strathclyde - Strathclyde Business School

Jerry Busby

Lancaster University - Department of Management Science

Andrew Cliffe

University of Nottingham - School of Computer Science

Geeta Devgun

University of Strathclyde - Department of Management Science

Moetaz Eid

University of Manchester - Manchester Business School

Ritesh Keshvala

University of Manchester - Manchester Business School

Simon Pollard

Cranfield University - School of Management

Emma Soane

London Business School

David Tracy

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Shaomin Wu

University of Kent

Date Written: December 20, 2009

Abstract

Few systems operate completely independent of humans. Thus any study of system risk or reliability requires analysis of the potential for failure arising from human activities in operating and managing this. Human reliability analysis (HRA) grew up in the 1960s with the intention of modelling the likelihood and consequences of human error. Initially, it treated the humans as any other component in the system. They could fail and the consequences of their failure were examined by tracing the effects through a fault tree. Thus to conduct a HRA one had to assess the probability of various operator errors, be they errors of omission or commission. First generation HRA may have used some sophistication in accomplishing this, but in essence that is all they did. Over the years, methods have been developed that recognise human potential to recover from a failure, on the one hand, and the effects of stress and organisational culture on the likelihood of possible errors, on the other. But no method has yet been developed which incorporates all our understanding of individual, team and organisational behaviour into overall assessments of system risk or reliability.

Keywords: Cynefin categorisation of tasks; normative and summative risk and reliability analyses; high reliability organisations; human reliability analysis (HRA); Swiss cheese model.

Suggested Citation

Simon, French and Adhikari, Sondipon and Bayley, Clare and Bedford, Tim and Busby, Jerry and Cliffe, Andrew and Devgun, Geeta and Eid, Moetaz and Keshvala, Ritesh and Pollard, Simon and Soane, Emma and Tracy, David and Wu, Shaomin, Human Reliability Analysis: A Review and Critique (December 20, 2009). Manchester Business School Research Paper No. 589. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1541951

French Simon (Contact Author)

University of Manchester - Manchester Business School ( email )

Booth Street West
Manchester, M15 6PB
United Kingdom

Sondipon Adhikari

Swansea University ( email )

Singleton Park
Swansea, Wales SA2 8PP
United Kingdom

Clare Bayley

University of Manchester - Manchester Business School ( email )

Booth Street West
Manchester, M15 6PB
United Kingdom

Tim Bedford

University of Strathclyde - Strathclyde Business School ( email )

100 Cathedral Street
Glasgow G1 1XU
United Kingdom

Jerry Busby

Lancaster University - Department of Management Science ( email )

Lancaster, LA1 4YX
United Kingdom
+44 1524594447 (Phone)

Andrew Cliffe

University of Nottingham - School of Computer Science ( email )

Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom

Geeta Devgun

University of Strathclyde - Department of Management Science ( email )

Graham Hills Building, 40 George Street
Glasgow G4 0LN
United Kingdom

Moetaz Eid

University of Manchester - Manchester Business School ( email )

Booth Street West
Manchester, M15 6PB
United Kingdom

Ritesh Keshvala

University of Manchester - Manchester Business School ( email )

Booth Street West
Manchester, M15 6PB
United Kingdom

Simon Pollard

Cranfield University - School of Management ( email )

United Kingdom

Emma Soane

London Business School ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

David Tracy

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Shaomin Wu

University of Kent ( email )

Kent Business School
University of Kent
Canterbury, CT2 7PE
United Kingdom

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