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Human Factors in Process Plant Operation by David A. Strobhar

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Introduction

I was asked by an engineer at a major chemical company, “Can you look over this list of tasks we developed? We are trying to incorporate human reliability into our hazard analysis.” Upon looking at the list, which was a list of things (e.g., “compressor controls” and “charge pump”), I pointed out, “There are no verbs in this list, so these are not tasks.” The engineer was puzzled, seeming to not understand my point. His qualification to analyze human performance appeared to be primarily related to his being human. Unfortunately, that is rarely enough.

I graduated from Wright State University in 1980 with a degree in human factors engineering. At that time, only a few people knew of either human factors engineering or its ...

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