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A role for human reliability analysis (HRA) in preventing drinking water incidents and securing safe drinking water

Wu, Shaomin and Hrudey, Steve and French, Simon and Bedford, Tim and Soane, Emma and Pollard, Simon (2009) A role for human reliability analysis (HRA) in preventing drinking water incidents and securing safe drinking water. Water Research, 43 (13). pp. 3227-3238. ISSN 0043-1354

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Abstract

The prevalence of water quality incidents and disease outbreaks suggests an imperative to analyse and understand the roles of operators and organisations in the water supply system. One means considered in this paper is through human reliability analysis (HRA). We classify the human errors contributing to 62 drinking water accidents occurring in affluent countries from 1974 to 2001; define the lifecycle of these incidents; and adapt Reason's 'Swiss cheese' model for drinking water safety. We discuss the role of HRA in human error reduction and drinking water safety and propose a future research agenda for human error reduction in the water sector.