Abstract of Meeting Paper

Society for Risk Analysis-Europe 1997 Annual Meeting

Safety Barrier Function Analysis for Evaluation of New Systems in a Process Industry: How Can Expert Judgments be Used? Ola Svenson, Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, S - 106 91 Stockholm Sweden and Business School, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT United Kingdom

This paper presents a barrier function analysis approach to safety assessments of complex systems as a complement to other methods for safety analysis. The analysis starts with a task analysis and uses expert judges to assess the degree of safety for each step in the process, barrier functions available, their strengths and the consequences of missing or inefficient barrier functions. In contrast to many other applications, a group of experts, instead of one expert, provided judgments in the application of the method to a nuclear refueling process used as an illustrative example. One advantage of the method is that it explicitly integrates human factors organizational processes with technical computer processes in the analysis. It is argued that a barrier function analysis approach is a valuable complement to other methods for safety analysis.


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