Reduction of human error can have a significant impact on the potential for spills and leaks and translate into better safety performance and financial gains for an organization. As important as the technical components of a design, construction, operation, and maintenance program is the human component of the activities being performed.

In the Pipeline Industry, human factors can create the potential for a human error at many points along the life cycle of a pipeline. Using a life cycle approach to manage human factors can provide an organization the capability to integrate human factors into programs, standards, procedures and processes using a disciplined approach. This paper reviews the life cycle of a pipeline and identifies areas where the potential for human error can have catastrophic results. Guidance is provided on the development of a human factors life cycle for the organization and illustrates available industry resources as well as opportunities for further research and development.

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