Guidance on human factors safety critical task analysis

New ISBN 9780852936030
Format: Paperback
Price: GBP23.00
Date Published: April 2011
Published by: Energy Institute

Historically there has been a disparity in major accident hazard (MAH) safety reports and safety cases between the level of analysis of technical failures and human failures, with analysis of technical failures usually dominating even though the importance of human failures is well known.  There are signs that this is beginning to change with a higher volume of human factors (HF) analyses being conducted.  Such studies lead to better management of the risk of human failures, with consequent improvements in safety and reductions in losses.  Regulators are also responding to public expectations concerning proactive risk management, with requirements that safety critical human tasks are comprehensively analysed and their risk appropriately assessed.


Although there are benefits in encouraging deeper analysis of safety critical tasks (SCTs), there has been a lack of available information to help those without a HF background.  Guidance on human factors safety critical task analysis helps to fill this gap, by drawing on many existing sources from the public domain, and supplementing these with input from practitioners and case study material provided by industry.  It provides:

• a 7-step methodology for conducting SCTA;
• an overview of the most commonly used task analysis techniques;
• example outputs from SCTAs, and
• examples of good and bad practice.


The intention is that HF SCTA will become part of the wider safety assessment toolbox, leading to better integration of human failure assessment into safety studies. 


Guidance on human factors safety critical task analysis is aimed primarily at those without an HF background but who have some knowledge of safety risk assessment and/or are required to participate in SCTAs.


This publication is available for free in PDF format.

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