As an underlying factor in many maritime claims, ‘human error’ remains a multi-debated safety issue for shipping, accounting for 80% of maritime accidents. But is ‘human error’ sufficient as a term to justify what goes wrong?
A book, entitled “The Field Guide to Understanding ‘Human Error’” comes to provide a solid practical framework for anyone wanting to demystify safety as a science and understand accidents by moving beyond ‘human error‘.
Written by Dr. Sidney Dekker, a University professor, head of Safety Science Innovation Lab and best-selling author of several safety books, the book is specifically addressed to organizational leaders, who wish to understand a new way of dealing with a perceived ‘human error’ problem in their business.
Building on two previous successful editions and drawing insights from the author’s background in aviation safety, the book provides solid examples from the transportation and other sectors, aiming to explain how the label “human error” is misleading, and disorientating investigations from the true underlying causes of incidents.
Through a pragmatic approach, and starting from a valuable introduction to basic concepts of the old and new view on safety in an easy language, the author extends the analysis into the cause and effects surrounding adverse events, encouraging a closer look at the performance that others may still call ‘human error’.
What makes this book worth reading is that it attempts to close the knowledge gap on discipline and compliance; moving further from simply blaming an individual towards a more analytic approach, which includes how people of an organization create safety through practice, at all levels, under the pressure of several conflicting goals.
As such, the book offers an interesting insight into human error and a new view approach to route cause analysis, for anyone ready to change the way of thinking about safety and errors forever.
In this way, the “The Field Guide to Understanding ‘Human Error’” is an ideal food for thought for health and safety practitioners and a must-read for leaders, as well as for anyone working in other safety-critical professions and those working in accident investigations.
Did you know?
- 75-96% of marine accidents can be attributed to human error, according to Allianz statistics unveiled in 2017.
- 80-90% of all accidents involving coastal vessels in 2008-2016 were caused by human error, according to data by Japan P&I Club.
- In late 2020, OCIMF issued eight principles to make the industry progress on human factors.