Outlook for Human Factors and Impact on Inherent Safety for the Process Industries
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It has been well understood by safety professionals that human factors greatly contribute to the success or failure of process safety programs in the chemical process industries as well as represent the area needing the most emphasis to reduce risk. But in the recent past, most of industry has been preoccupied in initiating the development of process safety management programs and conducting PHA studies to measure hazards from process deviation from design intent or design shortcomings, and has not developed special initiatives to comprehensively address human factors. As such, industry may not have fully addressed what has often been characterized as the area that should receive the most attention and where there are ripe opportunities for risk reduction. For the industry to embrace human factors in a committed way, more practical guidelines are required and additional information is needed for industry to understand how to expend their efforts on this cause. This paper introduces the human factors concept, describes how current regulations address it, and proposes a strategy for better incorporating human factors into process safety management and inherently safer design. Special attention will be offered to the recent Contra Costa County (east of San Francisco) ordinance as an example of regulatory initiatives that address human factors in a more substantive manner and the CMA document from which it draws much of its material.
Moore, David A.; Garcia, David M. (2000). Outlook for Human Factors and Impact on Inherent Safety for the Process Industries. Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center; Texas &M University. Libraries. Available electronically from