Classification of Human Errors

by Andrzej S. Nowak, Univ of Michigan, Dep of Civil, Engineering, Ann Arbor, MI, USA,
Robert I. Carr, Univ of Michigan, Dep of Civil, Engineering, Ann Arbor, MI, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Structural Safety Studies


Error control should be a primary part of any risk control strategy. Classification of errors may serve as a basis for the systematic analysis to eliminate the causes and to reduce the consequences. The consequential errors can be identified by a sensitivity analysis, while the error frequencies can be determined from surveys of failures. This paper deals with the classification of errors. Actual failures, even though the real life failure rates are relatively high, are difficult to evaluate. This is mainly due to a small number of cases, diversity of causes, legal barriers and in particular the aversion of the involved parties to reveal the truth about the design, construction, use and consequences of failure. To avoid these difficulties an error survey was conducted in the design offices and construction companies. The interviewed persons were asked about the errors detected by themselves, their colleagues or by the checkers and supervisors. The results of the survey are presented in the paper.

Subject Headings: Human factors | Sensitivity analysis | Structural analysis | Construction management | Errors (statistics) | Risk management | Failure analysis | Geomatic surveys

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