Definitions of Error
Basic Tenets of Human Error
Human Factors Engineering
Human Performance
Types of Errors
Systems to Reduce Errors
Stroop Test
Swiss Cheese Model
Toxic Cascades
Lessons from Other Industries
Basic Safety Principles

Basic Tenets of Human Error

Some basic points to keep in mind as we discuss the etiology of errors:

  • Everyone commits errors
  • Human error is generally the result of circumstances beyond the control of those committing the errors
  • Systems or processes that depend on perfect human performance are inherently flawed

There are multiple reasons that human error occurs. These include:

  • Communication failure
  • Lack of effective training
  • Memory lapse
  • Inattention
  • Poorly designed equipment
  • Exhaustion, fatigue
  • Ignorance
  • Noisy working conditions
  • Other personal and environmental factors

Click on the images below for examples.

Daily Life

Thought question:
Can you think of examples where these factors have contributed to error in your own work environment?


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