Bicycle race

Nice article about some human characteristics and their relevance to road safety

A colleague brought this excellent article to my attention recently

What an RAF pilot can teach us about being safe on the road

It’s a good reminder that we can relate some human characteristics discovered in laboratory conditions or in research from other areas (military aviation for example) and apply the learning to practical advice for other, unrelated, fields.

Recently I was asked why I use so many examples from unrelated industries on my training course, and could I cut them out and therefore add more ‘focus’ on the process industry examples. The unfortunate fact is that there are just not enough freely available human factors examples from our industry. Either we don’t measure HF ‘near misses’ (or, increasingly commonly and perhaps more accurately ‘near hits’), or we keep them to ourselves. The aviation industry doesn’t do this, and increasingly the healthcare industry and other areas of transportation are becoming more ‘open’. Until the process industries give up some of their common learning we will remain reliant on those industries that do, and I’ll continue to use nuclear, aviation healthcare and other examples in the training course and in this blog. After all, we share the common component, the Mk.1 Human Being.

Image credit: indywriter via flickr

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About the author

Tony Atkinson

I lead the ABB Consulting Operational Human Factors team. I've spent over 30 years in the process industries, working in control rooms around the world, in the fields of ergonomics, control and alarm systems, control room design and operational and cultural issues such as communications, competency and fatigue. I've been blogging on diverse topics that interest me in the widest sense of 'human factors', all of which share the same common element, the 'Mk.1 Human Being' and their unique limitations, abilities and behaviours. I'll discuss the technical and organisational issues that affect safety and performance of these process safety operators and technicians and how this impacts control rooms and the wider plant. However learning comes from many places and you can expect entries about aviation, automotive, marine, healthcare, military and many other fields. Outside of work, I indulge in travel, food, wine and flying kites to keep myself moderately sane. Please feel free to post your comments on each post. Blog entries are posted with no set frequency. To ensure you don't miss out on the latest blog post, click the button below to subscribe to email alerts when a new blog has been posted.
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