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Title: The human dimension of pipeline integrity and safety
Category: Technical papers from the Journal of Pipeline Integrity
Downloadable: Yes 
Project No.:
Research Agency:
Catalog No.: 2068
Date of Publication: First Quarter 2005
Price: $25.00 US
Authors: Sviatoslav A Timashev, Ludmila V Polouian, and Zhanna V Yurchuk
Abstract: A new method of quantitative assessment of the influence of the human-factor (HF) reliability on safety and risk analysis of pipelines throughout their lifecycle is described in this paper, based on applied theory of orgraphs (oriented graphs). The paper describes the main components, means, and methods of a holistic and quantitative human-reliability analysis (QHRA) using quantitative values of human error. A generalized model of the decision-making person (DMP) is used. Three types of DMPs are considered: members of maintenance/repair crews, ILI diagnosticians, and different rank DMPs that operate or own the pipeline.

A scenario to develop a pipeline catastrophe with possible casualties, environmental pollution, and large economic losses, is presented as a chain of losses of pipeline performance homeostasis (status quo) by the DMP (or a group of DMPs) who makes a mistake each time there is an unexpected input during the pipeline operation, when trying to bring back the existing homeostasis. The scenario incorporates some quantitative descriptions of human behavior based on the results of laboratory, shop, and field experiments, and statistical observations conducted and accumulated over the years in the pipeline and similar industries. It also accounts for individual human errors, which arise during ILI; for quality and time of performing different types of pipeline maintenance and repair; and for probabilities of making wrong decisions by a high-ranking DMP.

The applied orgraph theory is used to choose, out of a set of possible measures (the effect and cost of implementation of each of which is a known value), a subset of measures that: (1) delivers a maximum decrease of the probability of a pipeline failure; or (2) for a given amount of total available financial resource, a selection of a subset of measures that minimizes the impact of the failure. Three real-life cases are described: choosing measures that enhance pipeline ILI results; minimizing the third-party intervention probability; and choosing security measures for an oil pipeline.

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