Recovery From Failures in the Chemical Process Industry.

Lisette Kanse, Tjerk Van Der Schaaf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The prevention of errors and other failures has always been a central theme in safety and reliability management. However, additional benefits could be gained from focusing on what can be done after a failure has occurred, before it leads to negative consequences. This article examines the processes followed to recover from failures. Incident and near-miss data collected in an exploratory case study at a chemical process plant indicate, in agreement with literature survey findings, that 3 main types of recovery actions exist. These action types correspond with the phases recovery processes go through: actions aimed at failure or problem detection, actions aimed at explanation of the causes, and corrective actions. The data also show that the explanation and correction phases can be repeated and do not necessarily occur in that order. Finally, the results clearly demonstrate the essential role of the human operator for each of the recovery process phases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-211
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Cognitive Ergonomics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2001
Externally publishedYes

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