In recent years most Nordic nuclear power plants have
implemented so called human performance programmes.
Typically human performance programmes apply human
performance tools (HU tools) to maximize failure free
operations by preventing and/or catching human errors.
Despite the prominence of human performance programmes,
there is little scientific literature on the premises
behind the HU programmes. Also, the concrete beneficial
effects from using HU tools in nuclear power plants
remain elusive. This document describes the results of a
Nordic research project HUMAX which aims at providing
knowledge of the impacts of the HU programmes and to
support implementation of effective HU tools.
The focus is especially on maintenance activities. In
2013 and 2014 HUMAX project carried out three case
studies in Nordic nuclear power plant maintenance.
Furthermore HUMAX disseminated an international survey to
human performance experts around the world to gain
insights into the motives underlying the human
performance programmes and the benefits received.
The results show that HU tools are introduced as error
prevention techniques and it is believed that reducing
the number of human errors improves nuclear safety.
However, the study suggests that it may be difficult to
prove measurable improvements in nuclear safety
indicators. The benefits of HU tools included other than
directly nuclear safety related benefits such as
decreased number of occupational safety incidents and
less rework. There was a general fairly positive attitude
towards the use of HU tools amongst the maintenance
personnel when the tools were seen as supporting the
quality of work rather than as controlling methods. If
not carefully planned, HU tools may complicate and slow
down work processes and cause frustration among workers.
A risk that task execution becomes mechanistic and HU
tools dampen workers' self-initiative was reported. In
order to facilitate mindful use of the tools it is
crucial that the implementation process starts by
thorough discussion on why, how and when each of the
tools should be used in the unique cultural context. HU
tools should not be used for compensating system
problems, such as poor working conditions. The results of
the study have been summarised in a set of
recommendations to support the HU programme
|Place of Publication
|Number of pages
|Published - 2015
|MoE publication type
|D4 Published development or research report or study
- human performance tools
- human error
- nuclear safety