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Incorporating organizational factors into Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) of complex socio-technical systems: A hybrid technique formalization

Elsevier Ltd
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.ress.2008.11.006
  • Probabilistic Risk Assessment (Pra)
  • Organizational Factors
  • Safety Culture
  • Socio-Technical Complex Systems
  • System Dynamics
  • Bayesian Belief Network (Bbn)
  • Safety Management
  • Human Reliability Analysis (Hra)


Abstract This paper is a result of a research with the primary purpose of extending Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) modeling frameworks to include the effects of organizational factors as the deeper, more fundamental causes of accidents and incidents. There have been significant improvements in the sophistication of quantitative methods of safety and risk assessment, but the progress on techniques most suitable for organizational safety risk frameworks has been limited. The focus of this paper is on the choice of “representational schemes” and “techniques.” A methodology for selecting appropriate candidate techniques and their integration in the form of a “hybrid” approach is proposed. Then an example is given through an integration of System Dynamics (SD), Bayesian Belief Network (BBN), Event Sequence Diagram (ESD), and Fault Tree (FT) in order to demonstrate the feasibility and value of hybrid techniques. The proposed hybrid approach integrates deterministic and probabilistic modeling perspectives, and provides a flexible risk management tool for complex socio-technical systems. An application of the hybrid technique is provided in the aviation safety domain, focusing on airline maintenance systems. The example demonstrates how the hybrid method can be used to analyze the dynamic effects of organizational factors on system risk.

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