Improving Human Reliability Assessment with the help of Digital Solutions
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It has been observed that humans have played a big role in many past major accidents in escalating a chain of events into a full-fledged disaster. However, it needs to be recognised that the human operational barrier element can affect the risk level both positively and negatively. Understanding the human performance in a post- initiating event scenario and how this can be included in risk assessment is therefore important. In this thesis, we are attempting to understand the role of human reliability assessment (HRA) in reducing the uncertainties introduced due to human operational element and the effectiveness of current risk assessment tools in capturing human performance within the scope of the new risk concept. This thesis also tries to discuss and present a way in which digitization can help to improve the current risk analysis method incorporating HRA. Study of investigation reports, literature review, interviews and discussion with industrial experts and reviewing the case study in the Petro-HRA guidelines are used throughout the research process of this report to reach logical conclusions. The first chapter defines the objective, motivation and scope of the thesis. In the second chapter, we conduct a literature review of the current and the new risk concept, human reliability assessment techniques used across the industries and conduct interviews of industrial specialists from the oil and gas sector. These insights help us to understand the current HRA’s developmental stage in Norway, its perceived limitations and background. In the third chapter, various investigation reports have been reviewed to understand the role and cause of human performance in the past accidents. Also, various risk indicators have been discussed for their ability to capture human performance. The fourth chapter reviews current risk assessment practices for their applicability, methodology and weaknesses with respect to HRA requirements. The fifth chapter proceeds towards understanding the HRA integration with quantitative risk assessment (QRA), practical limitations, data requirements, modelling Human Failure Events (HFEs) and uncertainties in HRA guidelines. These have helped us to find out gaps and areas in the Petro-HRA guidelines, which require improvement or further research. The sixth chapter introduces the digitisation in oil and gas sector. Here, we present a digital solution encompassing a Multiplier Model as a solution to the highlighted gaps along with its associated assumptions, simplifications and challenges. Finally, the thesis ends on chapter seven by suggesting a few other alternate directions of research which were identified during the study as holding some potential for improving the HRA framework further.
Master's thesis in Risk management