April 2020

Columns

Engineering Case Histories: Case 109: Catastrophic failures and the human factor

A catastrophic failure is defined (for this article) as a failure where lives have been lost and human causes have been a factor.

Sofronas, A., Consulting Engineer

A catastrophic failure is defined (for this article) as a failure where lives have been lost and human causes have been a factor. Frequently, I hear the question, “How could this failure happen? Don’t engineers know how to design things?” This always bothers me, since there are usually several interconnected causes that lead to the final failure. Human action (or a lack of it) are usually the primary cause, rather than design discrepancies. As mentioned in Reference 1, “Complex systems almost always fail in complex ways.” Several causes of failure are listed here, since they have occurred in the cases reviewed.1 In this article, management refers to the decision-makers in charge of a projec

Log in to view this article.

Not Yet A Subscriber? Here are Your Options.

1) Start a FREE TRIAL SUBSCRIPTION and gain access to all articles in the current issue of Hydrocarbon Processing magazine.

2) SUBSCRIBE to Hydrocarbon Processing magazine in print or digital format and gain ACCESS to the current issue as well as to 3 articles from the HP archives per month. $399 for an annual subscription*.

3) Start a FULL ACCESS PLAN SUBSCRIPTION and regain ACCESS to this article, the current issue, all past issues in the HP Archive, the HP Process Handbooks, HP Market Data, and more. $1,995 for an annual subscription.  For information about group rates or multi-year terms, contact J'Nette Davis-Nichols at Jnette.Davis-Nichols@GulfEnergyInfo.com or +1 713.520.4426*.

*Access will be granted the next business day.

From the Archive

Comments

Comments

{{ error }}
{{ comment.comment.Name }} • {{ comment.timeAgo }}
{{ comment.comment.Text }}