A situation risk awareness approach for process systems safety

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Safety Science, 2014, 64 pp. 173 - 189
Issue Date:
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Promoting situation awareness is an important design objective for a wide variety of domains, especially for process systems where the information flow is quite high and poor decisions may lead to serious consequences. In today's process systems, operators are often moved to a control room far away from the physical environment, and increasing amounts of information are passed to them via automated systems, they therefore need a greater level of support to control and maintain the facilities in safe conditions. This paper proposes a situation risk awareness approach for process systems safety where the effect of ever-increasing situational complexity on human decision-makers is a concern. To develop the approach, two important aspects - addressing hazards that arise from hardware failure and reducing human error through decision-making - have been considered. The proposed situation risk awareness approach includes two major elements: an evidence preparation component and a situation assessment component. The evidence preparation component provides the soft evidence, using a fuzzy partitioning method, that is used in the subsequent situation assessment component. The situation assessment component includes a situational network based on dynamic Bayesian networks to model the abnormal situations, and a fuzzy risk estimation method to generate the assessment result. A case from US Chemical Safety Board investigation reports has been used to illustrate the application of the proposed approach. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
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