“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
On a recent flight from London to Sydney, Human Factors Expert Menno Boermans noticed something special. The seatbelts of the Quantas A380 are different than normally encountered in airplanes. In stead of the buckle where you need to lift a flap, in the A380 you open the belt by pushing a button: just like you do with seatbelts in a car.
“Interesting”, Boermans says. “It looks like at Airbus they had Human Factors in mind when designing the plane. It is known and proven that in emergency situations people tend to react without thinking. As stress levels in the body rise, the brain shuts down (or if you like; gears up) to safe your sole. In this so called ‘fight or flight’ situation you act on automatisms. Without being fully conscious you do things you learned in your life by earlier experiences. This comes in handy, because often there is no time to analyse the situation. As most people drive cars, it is more likely that in an emergency situation you will be able to open a seatbelt, when it is designed like the one you are using on an everyday basis”.
Each year between 45,000 and 98,000 Americans die because of the treatment they receive in hospital. In Doctor, Tell Me The Truth, Professor James Reason discovers how encouraging doctors to admit their mistakes has improved patient safety.
“All the information that we teach pilots is lessons learned, basically, written in blood from previous air crew members, who paid either the ultimate price or a significant price to bring them this information,” Akins said. “It’s basically mishap prevention.” Read how Mike “Shady” Akins, Aerospace Physiology flight commander at Vance Air Force Base teaches Human Factors.
The proliferation of cellphones, satellite phones, emergency locator devices, GPS, and similar technology has led to an epidemic of backcountry rescues for people who have called for help they don’t need, risking the lives of rescuers in the process, says David Roberts in the New York Times.
The Report “Role of Human Factors in Preventing Cargo Tank Truck Rollovers” analyzes the causes of the major driver factors contributing to cargo tank truck rollovers and offers safety, management, and communication practices that can be used to help potentially minimize or eliminate driver errors in cargo tank truck operations in the United States.
The report focuses on three areas of practice–rollover-specific driver training and safety programs, the use of behavior management techniques, and the use of fitness-for-duty management practices–that could have long-lasting benefits for motor carriers of all sizes across the tank truck industry.
Download the report here (pdf).