Integrated methodology for safety analysis based on a system-theoretic approach and numerical simulation

Jingyu Zhu *, Huixing Meng *, Shaoyu Zhang , Guoming Chen , Rouzbeh Abbassi, Xiangkun Meng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The System-Theoretic Process Analysis (STPA) method is a recognized approach to system safety analysis. However, it still has inadequate capabilities for quantitative safety analysis. To overcome this limitation, an integrated methodology was investigated for quantitative safety analysis of the complex socio-technical system that combines a system-theoretic approach and numerical simulation. In the proposed methodology, STPA method is utilized to reveal potential unsafe control actions (UCAs) and corresponding causes based on the operational principle of the target system from systemic perspective. Moreover, the consequences of identified UCAs can be quantified and safety constraints also can be improved to prevent UCAs using numerical simulations. As a complex system, the blind shear ram preventers (BSRPs) in deepwater drilling activities, with tightly interacting diverse subsystems or components, is employed to illustrate the applicability of the methodology. The results verified that the proposed methodology could evaluate potential hazards and quantify the analysis results. These results will be helpful for the design and safe operations of the BSRP system. The developed methodology has the potential to be used for safety analyses in other process industries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1555-1566
Number of pages12
JournalProcess Safety and Environmental Protection
Early online date26 Apr 2024
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


  • Safety analysis
  • System-theoretic approach
  • Numerical simulation
  • Unsafe control actions (UCAs)
  • Blind shear ram preventer


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