Human-Reliability Analysis for the Petroleum Industry: Lessons Learned from Applying SPAR-H
- Koen van de Merwe (DNV GL) | Sandra Hogenboom (DNV GL) | Martin Rasmussen (NTNU) | Karin Laumann (NTNU) | Kristian Gould (Statoil)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Economics & Management
- Publication Date
- October 2014
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 159 - 164
- 2014.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPAR-H, operational barriers, human error, human reliability analysis, safety barrier management
- 2 in the last 30 days
- 301 since 2007
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Human error has proved to be a contributor to a number of major accidents in the petroleum industry. However, quantitative risk analysis (QRA) has only to a limited extent taken into account the contribution of human performance to major accident risk. Human-reliability analysis (HRA) has the potential to overcome this by systematically analyzing human performance for safety-critical tasks. A joint effort between industry and academia is under way in Norway to adapt SPAR-H [the standardized-plant-analysis-risk/HRA (SPAR-H) method], an HRA technique from the nuclear industry, to a petroleum setting (PetroHRA). This paper discusses some of the lessons learned so far in directly applying the technique to a petroleum case study. A case study was performed in which the operator's task was to manually activate the platform's depressurization system upon detection of a hydrocarbon leakage. The factors influencing the performance [performance-shaping factors (PSFs)] of the operator were analyzed, indicating the potential contributors to operator failure. The PSFs were time, stress/stressors, complexity, experience/training, procedures, human/machine interface (HMI)/ergonomics, fitness for duty, and work processes. Numerous issues were identified when directly applying SPAR-H. These were challenges in deciding on the multiplier of the PSFs, the potential for overlap between the PSFs, the industry specificity of the HMI/ergonomics PSF description, and the method's tendency to inflate human-error probabilities (HEPs). A first step to improve the definitions and guidance material for a petroleum-specific SPAR-H was taken in a separate literature study performed by two of the authors of this paper (Rasmussen et al., submitted 2013). It was further shown that it is possible and relatively straightforward to directly apply and integrate SPAR-H in QRA in a petroleum context. In addition, the qualitative outcomes provided a structured and meaningful understanding of human performance previously not available to QRA. Ultimately, this effort contributes to a further integration of HRA and QRA and therewith provides valuable insights about how to manage human performance associated with major-accident risk. With the frequency of major accidents and serious incidents not being significantly reduced, HRA can prove to be a valuable tool for improving process safety.
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