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Analysis of Pre-accident Operator Actions

Industry initiatives for improving the management of human performance in major accident prevention

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The recent years have seen several industry initiatives improving management of human performance in major accident prevention. This has provided a better understanding of the role of humans as part of realizing safety barrier functions to ensure reliable human performance in response to incidents with potential to escalate into major accidents.

Less attention has been directed towards understanding human contribution (positively and negatively) to the risk of accidents during critical but normal operations.

Analysis of Pre-Accident Operator Actions (APOA) is a qualitative method that may be applied to analyze safety critical tasks where human performance plays a vital role in preventing accidents from occuring. The focus in APOA is on safety critical operations where errors can initiate events and tasks where incorrect performance may degrade barriers.

The method has been developed and matured based on two separate case studies in cooperation with Equinor. The outcome of this activity should be a list of prioritized recommendations.