Human Error: Why We Make Mistakes At Work
Recorded on June 17, 2014 (90 minutes)

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The human element is the most flexible and adaptable part of a company’s management system, but it is also the most vulnerable to influences that can adversely affect its performance. With the majority of accidents resulting from less than optimum human performance, there has been a tendency to label them as human error. However, the term “human error” is of little help in safety management. How do you fix human error? Although it may indicate where in the system the breakdown occurred, it provides no guidance as to why it occurred. An error attributed to humans may have been design-induced, or stimulated by inadequate equipment or training, badly designed procedures, or a poor layout of checklists or manuals. Further, the term “human error” in accident reports allows concealment of the underlying factors that must be brought to the fore front if accidents are to be prevented. The workplace needs an understanding of the factors and conditions affecting human performance.
 
For a company to shift its’ philosophy of being reactive it needs an understanding of human error when it comes to shift their management system to a preventive system. Incidents/accidents can’t be labeled simply as human error. The safety system must understand the root of human behavior and the errors in the workplace.
 
The presentation will cover the levels of performance behaviors and review a case study from an US airline accident. The presentation discusses a number of studies that draws upon a growing understanding of how skilled experts are driven by moment to moment task demands, the availability of information, and social/organizational factors and ultimately they continued the plan even when the environment alerted them that another course of action should’ve been sought.

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Andrew Dingee chairs the SPE Human Factors Technical Section and has designed a safety management for an operator.  He worked extensively in aviation safety after leaving active duty from the Marine Corps where he was an aviation instructor.  He transitioned to the oil and gas industry in 2010, bringing lessons learned from the recent revolution in aviation safety to the oilfield environment.
 
He has worked with companies developing SEMS programs and doing SEMS audits.  Andrew worked at a major operator.  He is the author of “Hanger Talk”, which focused on the human error element of incidents.