Fault Tree Analysis (FTA)

Published: | Updated: May 20, 2017;

Definition - What does Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) mean?

A fault tree analysis (FTA) is a type of problem solving technique used to determine the root causes of any failure of safety observance, accident or undesirable loss event. It is a tree like graphic model of the pathways that starts at the top and leads to a predictable and undesirable loss event. Probability of such an event occurring may be entered and propagated through an FTA model to assess the probability and prevent the foreseeable and undesirable event.

Safeopedia explains Fault Tree Analysis (FTA)

FTA was developed in 1960s and has gradually improved as one of the primary methods of safety analysis. It graphically represents the interactions of failures and other events within a system. Events are linked via a tree-like structure and logic symbols to one or more top (upper) events.

FTA has the following characteristics:

  1. It is a systematic method of system analysis
  2. It examines a system from top down
  3. It provides graphical symbols
  4. It incorporates mathematical tools to emphasize critical areas

FTA provides the following:

  • Graphic display of events linked to the loss event
  • Recognizes potential contributors to failure
  • Explains system characteristics
  • Qualitative and quantitative understanding into the probability of the loss event
  • Identification of resources committed to prevent failure
  • Suggestion for redistributing resources to reduce risk
  • Documentation of analytical results
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