Human performance tools in nuclear power plant maintenance activities: Final report of HUMAX project

Pia Oedewald, Ann Britt Skjerve, Christer Axelsson, Kaupo Viitanen, Rossella Bisio

    Research output: Book/ReportReport

    Abstract

    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 implementation process.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationRoskilde
    Number of pages62
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

    Publication series

    SeriesNKS Nordic nuclear safety research
    Volume328

    Fingerprint

    Nuclear power plants
    Personnel
    Concretes

    Keywords

    • human performance tools
    • human error
    • nuclear safety

    Cite this

    Oedewald, P., Skjerve, A. B., Axelsson, C., Viitanen, K., & Bisio, R. (2015). Human performance tools in nuclear power plant maintenance activities: Final report of HUMAX project. Roskilde. NKS Nordic nuclear safety research, Vol.. 328
    Oedewald, Pia ; Skjerve, Ann Britt ; Axelsson, Christer ; Viitanen, Kaupo ; Bisio, Rossella. / Human performance tools in nuclear power plant maintenance activities : Final report of HUMAX project. Roskilde, 2015. 62 p. (NKS Nordic nuclear safety research, Vol. 328).
    @book{3e6543b576934595918b8d358d09618c,
    title = "Human performance tools in nuclear power plant maintenance activities: Final report of HUMAX project",
    abstract = "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 implementation process.",
    keywords = "human performance tools, human error, nuclear safety",
    author = "Pia Oedewald and Skjerve, {Ann Britt} and Christer Axelsson and Kaupo Viitanen and Rossella Bisio",
    year = "2015",
    language = "English",
    isbn = "978-87-7893-409-3",
    series = "NKS Nordic nuclear safety research",

    }

    Oedewald, P, Skjerve, AB, Axelsson, C, Viitanen, K & Bisio, R 2015, Human performance tools in nuclear power plant maintenance activities: Final report of HUMAX project. NKS Nordic nuclear safety research, vol. 328, Roskilde.

    Human performance tools in nuclear power plant maintenance activities : Final report of HUMAX project. / Oedewald, Pia; Skjerve, Ann Britt; Axelsson, Christer; Viitanen, Kaupo; Bisio, Rossella.

    Roskilde, 2015. 62 p. (NKS Nordic nuclear safety research, Vol. 328).

    Research output: Book/ReportReport

    TY - BOOK

    T1 - Human performance tools in nuclear power plant maintenance activities

    T2 - Final report of HUMAX project

    AU - Oedewald, Pia

    AU - Skjerve, Ann Britt

    AU - Axelsson, Christer

    AU - Viitanen, Kaupo

    AU - Bisio, Rossella

    PY - 2015

    Y1 - 2015

    N2 - 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 implementation process.

    AB - 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 implementation process.

    KW - human performance tools

    KW - human error

    KW - nuclear safety

    M3 - Report

    SN - 978-87-7893-409-3

    T3 - NKS Nordic nuclear safety research

    BT - Human performance tools in nuclear power plant maintenance activities

    CY - Roskilde

    ER -

    Oedewald P, Skjerve AB, Axelsson C, Viitanen K, Bisio R. Human performance tools in nuclear power plant maintenance activities: Final report of HUMAX project. Roskilde, 2015. 62 p. (NKS Nordic nuclear safety research, Vol. 328).