Kenniscentrum Techniek

Human Error Views: Measuring the Distance between Academia and Industry


The paper presents a framework that through structured analysis of accident reports explores the differences between practice and academic literature as well amongst organizations regarding their views on human error.

The framework is based on the hypothesis that the wording of accident reports reflects the safety thinking and models that have been applied during the investigation, and includes 10 aspects identified in the state-of-the-art literature. The framework was applied to 52 air accident reports published by the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) and 45 ones issued by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) from 1999 to 2014. Frequency analysis and statistical tests showed that the presence of the aspects in the accident reports varied from 32.6% to 81.7%, and revealed differences between the ATSB and the DSB approaches to human error. However, in overall safety thinking have not changed over time, thus, suggesting that academic propositions might have not yet affected practice dramatically.

3 December 2015

Publication date

Dec 2015


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