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ATEX-HOF Methodology: Innovation Driven by Human and Organizational Factors (HOF) in Explosive Atmosphere Risk Assessment

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China Institute of Regulation Research, Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics, No. 18, Xueyuan Road, High Education District, Xiasha, Hangzhou 310018, Zhejiang, China
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ARIA srl, Via Colli 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
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SAfeR, Dipartimento di Scienza Applicta e Tecnologia, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 October 2019 / Revised: 18 December 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2020 / Published: 21 January 2020
ATEX (explosive atmosphere) risk assessment is required when any equipment or system could generate a potentially explosive atmosphere. Despite the fact that many operations on plants and equipment containing dangerous substances are performed by operators, influences of human and organizational factors (HOF) are mostly neglected in the ATEX risk assessment. The integrated methodology described here is proposed to address two challenges: (1) identification of the HOF influence on the ATEX risk assessment, and (2) quantification of the HOF influence. The proposed methodology enriches the traditional ATEX risk assessment procedure, which consists of four steps: (1) area classification, (2) ignition source identification, (3) damage analysis, and (4) ATEX risk evaluation. The advantages of the ATEX-HOF methodology are demonstrated through the application to a paint mixing station in an automotive manufacturing plant. The ATEX risk assessment methodologies are mainly semi-quantitative. The ATEX-HOF methodology provides a quantitative analysis for the area classification and ignition source identification, and a semi-quantitative approach for the damage analysis. As a result, the ATEX-HOF risk evaluation becomes more accurate. An event tree-based probabilistic assessment has been introduced, considering both the technical barrier failure (Prtbf) and the human intervention in terms of human error probability (HEP). The case study allowed for demonstrating how taking HOFs into account is particularly important in companies where the safety culture is lower and consequently, the usual hypothesis of the correctness of operator intervention (in maintenance, normal operations, and emergency) could bring to non-conservative results. View Full-Text
Keywords: explosive atmosphere (ATEX) risk assessment; human and organizational factors (HOF); probabilistic safety assessment (PSA); human reliability analysis (HRA) explosive atmosphere (ATEX) risk assessment; human and organizational factors (HOF); probabilistic safety assessment (PSA); human reliability analysis (HRA)
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Geng, J.; Murè, S.; Demichela, M.; Baldissone, G. ATEX-HOF Methodology: Innovation Driven by Human and Organizational Factors (HOF) in Explosive Atmosphere Risk Assessment. Safety 2020, 6, 5.

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