This book began by discussing the nature of human error and the theoretical influences that have shaped its study. It then proposed distinctions between error types based on performance levels and error forms derived from basic memory retrieval mechanisms. Chapters 4 and 5 presented a framework theory of error production, and Chapter 7 considered the various processes by which errors are detected. The preceding chapter examined some of the consequences of human error in high-risk technologies, looking in particular at the effects of latent failures.
It is clear from this summary that the bulk of the book has favoured theory rather than practice. This concluding chapter seeks to redress the balance somewhat by focusing upon remedial possibilities. It reviews both what has been done and what might be done to minimise the often terrible costs of human failures in potentially hazardous environments. More specifically, it deals with the various techniques employed or proposed by human reliability specialists to assess and to reduce the risks associated with human error.
The chapter has been written with two kinds of reader in mind: psychologists who are unfamiliar with the methods of human reliability analysis (not unsurprisingly since most of this material is published outside the conventional psychological literature), and safety practitioners of one sort or another. For the sake of the former, I have tried to make clear the model and assumptions underlying each technique.
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