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A Systemic Approach to Oversee Human and Organizational Factors in Nuclear Facilities

Volume 10, Number 7, November 2014 - Paper 2 - pp. 681-689


1 Psychologist, Section Human, Organisation and Safety Culture, Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate ENSI, Industriestrasse 19, CH-5200 Brugg, SWITZERLAND
2 Accident Investigation Consultant, Kirchstrasse 42, D-71134 Waiblingen, GERMANY

(Received on February 14, 2014, revised on September 16, and accepted on September 19, 2014)


In nuclear facilities, in addition to technical aspects, human and organizational factors (HOF) also influence the plant safety. However, a common understanding of what is meant by the term, HOF, has not yet been reached here. Existing concepts of oversight differ in how humans interact with their environment and how humans are integrated in conditions and processes affecting nuclear safety.

To understand and oversight the humans’ role in nuclear safety, HOF are often considered separately. The view supported here is that HOF should be overseen both in their own right as well as in terms of their interactions and interferences. This implies that a nuclear facility ought to be seen as a socio-technical system, consisting of individuals, technology, and organization, all of which are interrelated or interacting and are embedded in an environment. This paper provides a basis for integrating a systemic view and approach to this.


References: 02

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