Systematic approach to incorporate human factors into a process plant design



Despite the increasing number of accidents in process industry caused by human error, there are still too few efforts devoted to this area. This is mainly caused by people's tendency to overestimate human's capability in interacting with their working environment and moreover by the unavailability of reliable analysis methods.

Because of the current lack of adequate methods, human factors (HF) analysis is not widely performed in process industry. Some HF techniques developed in the process industry were examined regarding their practical applicability and were unfortunately proved to be unsuitable for an elaborate HF analysis. Therefore, a new approach was developed, which provides a systematic way in performing a qualitative HF analysis to achieve a safer operation and decrease the number of human failure events.

HF consideration during the design of a process plant is the key to minimize accidents caused by human error in process industry. Thus, an approach to incorporate HF into design phase is described in this article, which can help achieving a safer operation as early as possible with minimized costs. © 2009 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Process Saf Prog 2009