Abstract

Risk-based design uses severity and occurrence quantification to determine overall system risk and prioritize the most important hazards. To fully understand and effectively mitigate potential risks, the effects of component failures and human errors (acting alone and in tandem) need to be considered early. Then one can determine whether to allocate resources to proactively mitigate human errors in the design process. In previous work, the Human Error and Functional Failure Reasoning (HEFFR) framework was developed to model effects of human errors and component failures in a system, taking critical event scenarios as inputs and producing functional failures, human errors, and their propagation paths as outputs. With automated scenario generation, this framework can model millions of scenarios that cause system critical functions to fail. However, the outputs of this framework do not include any quantifiable measures to assess the risk of the hazards or prioritize fault scenarios. This work addresses these shortcomings by using a scenario probability and cost model to quantify the expected cost of failures in the HEFFR framework. A coolant tank case study is used to demonstrate this approach. The results show that the quantifiable measures enable HEFFR to identify worst-case scenarios, prioritize scenarios with the highest impact, and improve human-product interactions. However, the underlying likelihood and cost models are subject to uncertainties which may affect the assessments.

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