A critical review of approaches to human reliability analysis

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2 Scopus citations


This paper provides a critical analysis of four major approaches to human reliability assessment: THERP, the use of qualitative models of human performance, simulation methods, and methods based on classical reliability theory. Methodologically and conceptually, these approaches are more representative of a multidimensional than unified perspective to the problem of human reliability analysis and are considered to encompass many of the other methods that have been proposed. Recent developments in each of these areas and the growing concern for the consequences of human error in highly complex systems requires that these approaches be sufficiently understood in order to identify both their strengths and their shortcomings. Although no single approach is advocated, this review intends to provide insights that could suggest improvements to these methods as well as aid the analyst in selecting the approach most optimal for the situation in question. In addition, critical research needs are identified and summarized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-130
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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