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Human Error Paperback – October 26, 1990

ISBN-13: 978-0521314190 ISBN-10: 0521314194 Edition: 1st

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Human Error + Managing the Risks of Organizational Accidents + The Field Guide to Understanding Human Error
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (October 26, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521314194
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521314190
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...an in-depth analytical framework of human error..." Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing

"...a comprehensive and often innovative treatment of human error that is both readable and informative." Gavan Lintern, Human Factors Society Bulletin

Book Description

In its treatment of major accidents, this study spans the disciplinary gulf between psychological theory and those concerned with maintaining the reliability of hazardous technologies.

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Customer Reviews

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See all 12 customer reviews
Accidents are one of the types of human error covered in great detail.
Harvey M. Solomon
This book is really in depth and gives a lot of good infomation on why people make mistakes.
Photobutterfly
I work in the aviation industry and I found this book to be so enlightening and useful.
Elijah Chingosho

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Robert Barth on May 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
Anyone with any interest in error reduction, or in the way humans interact with technology should start here. The psychological analysis of how and why we commit errors is fascinating, and influences the way one thinks about daily events. I find myself saying "Aha, that was a capture error," and "Damn! I've fallen for the fundamental attribution error again." The real lesson is that errors derive from the very nature of human behavior--the mechanisms which enable us to solve complex problems also make errors inevitable. This realization changes entirely one's concept of industrial accidents and medical mistakes.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Harvey M. Solomon on April 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book; it's lessons will be appreciated by everyone who has experienced working with complex systems and the problems they create for managers. I have used it for many years to introduce residents in Pathology to human errors in clinical laboratories. The classification of errors which Reason presents is applicable to all areas of human activity. I am constantly reminded by this book and by personal experience of the old adage.. "No one can think of all the answers that come to fools." This book provides a deep insight into the psychological mechanisms all of us use in the decision making process. Accidents are one of the types of human error covered in great detail. Several examples from the nuclear power industry are presented and the clear message is that that accidents begin in conventional ways but rarely proceed along predictable lines. One can only marvel that there has been no reported major accident involving nulcear weapons--yet. What applies to the nuclear power industry appears to have broad application and suggests to me that our species has not descended as faras it needs to since automatic behaivor is so prevalent and persistent.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By T. Herrmann on May 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is a must have resource for the serious failure analyst. I am responsible for root cause analysis of events at a nuclear power station and we have this as required reading for our root cause analysts.
Furthermore, my experience with other companies who specialize in failure analysis and nuclear industry oversight agencies indicates that the information presented in this book is widely used and respected. More than that - the information helps you to prevent events and solve recurring problems because you get to the latent organizational and human roots.
My copy has gotten dog-eared and has all kinds of notes in the margins. It's absolutely indespensible as a resource for any organization where a strong safety culture (for your employees and your customers) is a necessary part of your business.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
An excellent treatise on the subject of human error, written with a cognitive psychology approach. The treatment of the subject matter is more theoretical and less practice-oriented. The book begins with clear definitions, classifications and explanations on the different types of errors, quickly runs through the relevant literature and scientific studies and expands on the typology using Rasmussen's classification as a base. The author then goes on to describe his well-known Swiss Cheese model and provides an excellent overview of accident causation from a system-thinking perspective. He ends with a note on the methodological assessment of error risks which is perhaps more relevant to safety practitioners. The entire book is written in clear simple language that is easily understood, fascinating and intellectually stimulating, even to non-psychologists.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is a very complete and well done review of the history and mechanisms of human error. I can't think of a better reference book. It takes some work to extract the knowledge from the rather concentrated material, but it is well worth it. I generally like an easier, novel-type read, but there are plenty of other books on human factors that provide that. This one shines in the very systematic and complete treatment of the subject. And the bibliography is excellent, because it facilitates the easy branching out into all of his sources. Speaking of people mentioned, I knew I would like it when he spoke highly of Donald Norman. He also mentions Perrow's 'Normal Accidents', which is an excellent book. Also the quote from Ernst Mach can lead into a fascinating side trail of discovery on that man. But mainly his dedication of the book to Jens Rasmussen sent me off on a trail of his work, which is quite prolific. I think this is academia at its best - building on the work of predecessors to help further development of tools and understanding on how to solve practical, real world problems.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Elijah Chingosho on May 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a seminal work for anyone working in hazardous industries. I work in the aviation industry and I found this book to be so enlightening and useful. Whilst industry should always strive towards ensuring that errors do not occur in the first place, it will never be possible to eradicate them totally. Therefore all organisations should aim to `manage' errors. Professor Reason refers to the two components of error management namely error containment and error reduction.

To prevent errors from occurring, it is necessary to predict where they are most likely to occur and then to put in place preventative measures. Incident reporting schemes do this for the industry as a whole. Within an organisation, data on errors, incidents and accidents should be captured with a Safety Management System (SMS), which should provide mechanisms for identifying potential weak spots and error-prone activities or situations. Output from this should guide local training, company procedures, the introduction of new defences, or the modification of existing defences.

According to Reason, error management includes measure to reduce the error susceptibility of particular tasks or task elements; determine, assess and then remove error-producing factors within the workplace; identify organisational issues that generate error-producing factors within the individual, the team, the task or the workplace; improve error detection; increase the error tolerance of the workplace or system; make latent conditions more visible to those who operate and manage the system; improve the organisation's intrinsic resistance to human fallibility.
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