The role of system dynamics in the analysis of human and organisational factors for accident analysis and probabilistic risk analysis

  • Magdalena Gajdosz

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The overall aim of this thesis is to improve the understanding of the role of System Dynamics (SD) in the analysis of Human and Organisational Factors (HOFs) for Accident Analysis (AA) and Probabilistic Risk Analysis (PRA). PRA and AA are important elements of the risk management of complex technological systems. They help duty holders ensure compliance with the health and safety law. Logical and mathematical modelling plays an important role in PRA and is gaining increasing recognition within the AA community. Models help to identify hazards and adverse effects and help to explain how and why accidents occur. They also enable the risk to be expressed quantitatively. SD is a modelling approach that has been proposed to be used within PRA and AA to support analysis of HOFs. Risks do change over time as a result of changes in HOFs, and SD has significant capabilities for capturing mechanisms that drive human and organisational behaviour over time and influence risks and contribute to accidents. However, the published literature lacks explicit discussion of the role that SD could play in the analysis of HOFs for PRA and AA. The aim of this thesis is to address this gap. To achieve the thesis aim, the research work was divided into two areas for investigation: 1. Exploration of when SD could be used in the analysis of HOFs for PRA and AA. 2. Application of SD to the analysis of HOFs for PRA and AA to gain an understanding of the issues involved in using SD in these areas. These investigations led to lessons that contribute to knowledge of the use of SD within PRA and AA. Any modeller considering the use of SD within PRA or AA will benefit from the conclusions of this thesis.
Date of Award10 Dec 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde

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