Abstract

Although considerable research has been conducted on the human-machine interface, this is a moving target as industry sprints to keep up with technological advances. Conflicts remain between the optimism of technology developers and the real-life operational difficulties that accompany the introduction of these systems. The developers typically claim that the new technology will result in performance improvements. Due to the operational complexities introduced, however, the technology may actually decrease user performance. Unfortunately, the complexities confronting operators are difficult for design teams to predict. Incorporating advances in technology is necessary, but should be properly balanced within the confines of the system. It is easy to forget that humans are a vital part of this system. The human, including the human's inclination for error, should be considered a fundamental aspect of the system, reflected in design and accounted for in the design process. Engaged human involvement is necessary for safe and successful system operation, but like all systems, it has its failure modes. Humans' innate propensity for error in system operation should be addressed from multiple fronts. This article proposes a method to minimize the impact of human error throughout life of a facility via incorporation of a human performance improvement model that institutes human error severity criteria, establishment of a system to capture human error data, and via data trending, a process to predict negative behaviors before potential errors or adverse events can occur.

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