Behind Human Error

Behind Human Error


By (author) David D. Woods, By (author) Sidney Dekker, By (author) Richard Cook, By (author) Leila Johannesen, By (author) Nadine Sarter

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  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing Limited
  • Format: Paperback | 300 pages
  • Dimensions: 154mm x 232mm x 22mm | 540g
  • Publication date: 30 September 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Aldershot
  • ISBN 10: 0754678342
  • ISBN 13: 9780754678342
  • Edition: 2, Revised
  • Edition statement: 2nd Revised edition
  • Illustrations note: includes 20 b&w illustrations
  • Sales rank: 167,722

Product description

Human error is cited over and over as a cause of incidents and accidents. The result is a widespread perception of a 'human error problem,' and solutions are thought to lie in changing the people or their role in the system. For example, we should reduce the human role with more automation, or regiment human behavior by stricter monitoring, rules or procedures. But in practice, things have proved not to be this simple. The label "human error" is prejudicial and unspecific, and any serious examination of the human contribution to safety and to system failure shows that the story of human error is markedly complex. This book takes you behind the human error label. Divided into five parts, it begins by summarising the most significant research results. Part 2 explores how a changing understanding of accidents and an embracing of systems thinking has radically impacted ideas about human error. Part 3 explains the role of normal cognitive system factors (knowledge, mindset, and goals) in operating safely at the sharp end. Part 4 studies how the clumsy use of computer technology can increase the potential for erroneous actions and assessments in all kinds of fields of practice. And Part 5 tells how the hindsight bias always enters into attributions of error, and that human error is a mere label, the result of a social and psychological judgment process rather than a matter of objective fact that we can count, tabulate, punish or eliminate. If you think you have a human error problem, recognize that the label itself is no explanation and no guide to countermeasures. The potential for constructive change, for progress on safety, lies behind the human error label.

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Author information

Professor David D. Woods, Ph.D., Institute for Ergonomics, Ohio State University, USA, Sidney Dekker, Ph.D., Professor of Human Factors and System Safety, Lund University, Sweden, Richard Cook, M.D., Director, Cognitive Technologies Laboratory, University of Chicago, USA, Leila Johannesen, Ph.D., Human Factors Engineer, User Technology Team, IBM Silicon Valley Lab, San Jose, California, USA and Nadine Sarter, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering and Center for Ergonomics, University of Michigan, USA.

Table of contents

Preface; Part I An Introduction to the Second Story: The problem with 'human error; Basic premises.; Part II Complex System Failure: Linear and latent failure models; Resilience engineering.; Part III Operating at the Sharp End: Bringing knowledge to bear in context; Mindset; Goal conflicts.; Part IV How Design can Induce Error: Clumsy use of technology; How computer-based artifacts shape cognition and collaboration; Mode error in supervisory control; How practitioners adapt to clumsy technology.; Part V Reactions to Failure: Hindsight bias; Error as information; Balancing accountability with learning; Summing up: how to go behind the label human error; References; Index.