Background and objective

Participative development with human factor-focused frameworks and models adds value to safety management. Technologically driven and proceduralized nuclear industry needs to fully utilize this option to improve overall system capacity, safety and competence.

The Participative Development for Supporting Human Factors of Safety (PARSA) project accelerates learning and verbalizes tacit knowledge through participatory research and practices in nuclear industry. PARSA models nuclear maintenance work and facilitates learning and communication between organizational levels as well as among nuclear actors by conducting case studies at two nuclear power plants.  The project uses video-based reflection and collaborative work process analysis as methods, and conducts a critical inquiry into nuclear-specific human performance tools, with applicative targets.

Applying results in practice and effect on safety

We aim to improve measures, guidance, operational practices and practical solutions to promote nuclear safety competence and organizational learning, by modelling tacit knowledge, mastery of work processes and human-focused work practices in nuclear maintenance operations. The end users are regulators, nuclear power plants, researchers, practitioners and students in the nuclear domain, as well as in other safety critical fields. The first findings will be available at the end of 2019, and the final results in 2022.

News about the Project

Anna-Maria Teperi, project manager, May 2020
We further improved the draft of a holistic model of the basic characteristics of maintenance work and needs of participative development in the nuclear industry. We also conducted workshops for work process analysis. We analysed four different disturbance cases in maintenance work focusing on collaboration between the different actors. We also identified needs for development.

llkka Asikainen, Parsa-project team member, September 2019
We started the PARSA project with preliminary interviews of the workers, experts and management of Finnish nuclear power plants. We have gained a good understanding of what the actors consider to be development priorities in nuclear maintenance work. This helps us focus the project on topics that are regarded as relevant in the plants. Next, we will continue prioritizing the research topics in the joint workshops with nuclear actors and prepare to move on to the next phase of the project – holistic modelling of nuclear maintenance work. We are also planning the following year’s events with Finnish plants and other nuclear actors.

We are writing a guide book that introduces the work process analysis method to be utilized by nuclear maintenance. The method is based on long term development of work and organizations by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (Leppänen, 2000), as well as applications in various fields, particularly aviation (Teperi & Leppänen, 2010; Muukka ym. 2016*).


  • Project manager: Anna-Maria Teperi, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
  • Finnish Institute of Occupational Health: Anna-Maria Teperi, Vuokko Puro, Ilkka Asikainen, Arja Ala-Laurinaho
  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd.: Mikael Wahlström, Kaupo Viitanen, Timo Kuula