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Friday, 15 November 2013

Humans, best safeguards

Human may be unpredictable, we also cause accidents. However, when doing research on ship survivability I clearly see in my models the strength of humans in a system.
Things happen; by chance, as a result of a threat or because somebody makes a mistake. This has always been the case, is the case today and will always be the case.
When an engineer looks at a system there is a drive for getting everything controllable and predictable, these are considered important characteristics of a good system. Therefore, people in that system will be considered a problem, because they are not controllable nor predictable. However, recognizing the fact that things will happen anyway you will also need a system that is able to recover.
Nature (and humans) are great at recovering from things unplanned for (machines can if they are good recover from a limited set of problems and only if that problem is recognized beforehand and a solution is prepared).
I think the human errors are outweighed many times by the human recoveries and last minute prevention skills and the “human prevention” events are probably many more than the “human error” incidents. The problem is that no one is counting the human prevention events, but when you need someone to blame you identify, document and count the human errors.

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