A human reliability assessment through enclosed space entry operation onboard ships

Omer Soner*, Metin Celik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


An enclosed space poses a serious risk to workers since its atmosphere can be oxygen-deficient, polluted or contain flammable and/or toxic gases or vapours. Hence, it is important to keep in mind that an enclosed space should not be entered unless it is absolutely necessary. However, many processes often need the worker to be present in an enclosed space. At this point, great attention should be paid to create and maintain safe working conditions, when entering enclosed space is required. Even though studies have investigated several aspects of enclosed space entry, further research is required to explore the human element role. This is urgently needed, considering that human errors are one of the main reasons for enclosed space entry accidents. Hence, this study has investigated the human element role during an enclosed space entry operation via the enhanced SOHRA method. Three scenarios have been developed to assess HEP values. Beyond that, systematic control measure assignment is provided to reduce HEP values. Hierarchy of control measures are considered to improve entering enclosed space operational safety. Elimination (drone-assisted survey), substitution (IoT), engineering (permit control system-PCS), and administrative control measures (electronic permit) have been proposed. Further, this study results can also provide useful insight for other industries (petrochemical, oil, refinery, gas, agriculture, construction etc.), where the accidents in enclosed spaces taking place. Therefore, the study provides not only a theoretical insight but also practical application to improve the safety of seafarers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-420
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part M: Journal of Engineering for the Maritime Environment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© IMechE 2020.


  • confined space
  • Enclosed space entry
  • human reliability
  • ship operation
  • ship safety


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