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Human Error Data Collection and Comparison with Predictions by SPAR-H

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Abstract

There is a scarcity of empirical data on human error for human reliability analysis (HRA). This situation can increase the variability and impair the validity of HRA outcomes in risk analysis. In this work, a microworld study was used to investigate the effects of performance shaping factors (PSFs) and their interrelationships and combined effects on the human error probability (HEP). The PSFs involved were task complexity, time availability, experience, and time pressure. The empirical data obtained were compared with predictions by the Standardized Plant Analysis Risk-Human Reliability Method (SPAR-H) and data from other sources. The comparison included three aspects: (1) HEP, (2) relative effects of the PSFs, and (3) error types. Results showed that the HEP decreased with experience and time availability levels. The significant relationship between task complexity and the HEP depended on time availability and experience, and time availability affected the HEP through time pressure. The empirical HEPs were higher than the HEPs predicted by SPAR-H under different PSF combinations, showing the tendency of SPAR-H to produce relatively optimistic results in our study. The relative effects of two PSFs (i.e., experience/training and stress/stressors) in SPAR-H agreed to some extent with those in our study. Several error types agreed well with those from operational experience and a database for nuclear power plants (NPPs).

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