Analysis of Management Actions, Human Behavior, and Process Reliability in Chemical Plants. I. Impact of Management Actions

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Anjana Meel, Warren D. Seider, and Ulku Oktem

While management and engineering actions have a significant impact on process reliability, these factors have received too little attention in calculating plant risks. In this work, the focus is on understanding and modeling the influence of human behavior patterns on plant safety in two settings. The first, introduced in Part I, involves a framework to estimate the impacts of management and engineering decisions, process operator performance, and processing equipment operations on the failure state of chemical plants. As examples, the impacts of poor training, maintenance problems, operator inabilities, control system failures, and excessive feed quantities, on failure states are studied. The management and engineering team and the operators are found to have significant impacts on process reliability. While the theoretical framework introduced herein is illustrated using hypothetical plant data, it should provide a basis for more quantitative safety analyses. Attempts to obtain operating data in industrial plants for validation of the framework were unsuccessful because of confidentiality and liability issues associated with industrial data.

Keywords: human behavior modeling, process reliablity, near-miss management framework, chemical plants