Incorporating organizational factors into probabilistic risk assessment of complex socio-technical systems: Principles and theoretical foundations

Zahra Mohaghegh, Ali Mosleh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The current generation of Probabilistic Risk Analysis (PRA), particularly those for technical systems, does not include an explicit representation of the possible impacts of organization and management on the safety performance of equipment and personnel. There are a number of technical challenges in developing a predictive model of organizational safety performance. There is a need for a widely accepted and theoretically sound set of principles on which models of organizational influences could be developed and validated. As a result of a multidisciplinary effort, this paper explores the feasibility of developing such principles and proposes a set of principles for organizational safety risk analysis. Then, as a realization of the proposed modeling principles, a safety risk framework, named Socio-Technical Risk Analysis (SoTeRiA), is developed. SoTeRiA formally integrates the technical system risk models with the social (safety culture and safety climate) and structural (safety practices) aspects of safety prediction models, and provides a theoretical basis for the integration. A systematic view of safety culture and safety climate leaves an important gap in modeling complex system safety risk, and SoTeRiA, describing the relationship between these two concepts, bridges this gap. The framework explicitly recognizes the relationship among constructs at multiple levels of analysis, and extends the PRA framework to include the effects of organizational factors in a more comprehensive and defensible way.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1139-1158
Number of pages20
JournalSafety Science
Volume47
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Human Reliability Analysis (HRA)
  • Organizational factors
  • Probabilistic Risk Analysis (PRA)
  • Safety climate
  • Safety culture
  • Safety management
  • SoTeRiA
  • Socio-technical systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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