Learning from accidents: interactions between human factors, technology and organisations as a central element to validate risk studies

R. Moura, M. Beer, E. Patelli, J. Lewis, F. Knoll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Many industries are subjected to major hazards, which are of great concern to stakeholders groups. Accordingly, efforts to control these hazards and manage risks are increasingly made, supported by improved computational capabilities and the application of sophisticated safety and reliability models. Recent events, however, have revealed that apparently rare or seemingly unforeseen scenarios, involving complex interactions between human factors, technologies and organisations, are capable of triggering major catastrophes. The purpose of this work is to enhance stakeholders’ trust in risk management by developing a framework to verify if tendencies and patterns observed in major accidents were appropriately contemplated by risk studies. This paper first discusses the main accident theories underpinning major catastrophes. Then, an accident dataset containing contributing factors from major events occurred in high-technology industrial domains serves as basis for the application of a clustering and data mining technique (self-organising maps – SOM), allowing the exploration of accident information gathered from in-depth investigations. Results enabled the disclosure of common patterns in major accidents, leading to the development of an attribute list to validate risk assessment studies to ensure that the influence of human factors, technological issues and organisational aspects was properly taken into account.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-214
Number of pages119
JournalSafety Science
Volume99
Issue numberPart B
Early online date11 May 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

Keywords

  • risk studies validation
  • learning from accidents
  • MATA-D
  • human factors
  • organisations
  • self-organising maps

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