Human Reliability Assessment Theory and Practice

Anthony J. Spurgin

October 8, 2009 by CRC Press
Reference - 304 Pages - 48 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781420068511 - CAT# 68512


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  • Develops a basic structure for determining the characteristics of HRA methods
  • Provides in-depth analyses of some significant accidents affecting different industries
  • Compares and contrasts the limitations of current and emerging HRA techniques
  • Explores how independent data bases can be used to ensure studies are generic studies rather than specific plant studies
  • Demonstrates the importance of the context of a situation in determining the accident probability and develops an HRA based on this approach
  • Highlights the important role of management in the safety of installations


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.

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