Typical of the Human Error Myths is the following
from Shappell and Wiegman at
Human error has been implicated in 70 to 80% of all civil and military
- Human Error is never a root cause because it is
always the result of deeper underlying factors that are important.
- Corrective actions for Human error are pruning the
poison ivy, in that they make the symptom go away temporarily while leaving
the underlying factors in place.
- One hundred percent (100%) of adverse consequences
would not occur or would be less serious were it not for dysfunctional human
- Dysfunctional human behavior can affect the
nature, the magnitude, the location, and/or the timing of adverse
- Dysfunctional human behavior can be involved in
set-up factors, triggering factors, exacerbating factors, and/or mitigating
- If a causal factor analysis report does not
reflect the above it can be "blown out of the water" by a reviewer/ inspector
who understands the above.
OBTW: There is much food for thought at the link
given above, i.e.,
W. R. Corcoran, Ph.D., P.E.
Windsor, CT 06095-1634
Voice and voice mail: 860-285-8779
Fax and voice mail to e-mail: 206-888-6772
Mission: Saving lives, pain,
assets, and careers through thoughtful inquiry.
To register for a
full day root cause analysis workshop for high hazard industry professionals at
Amelia Island, FL on Thursday, August 7, 2008, go to