By examining thought provoking rail accident case studies, participants will gain a good understanding of factors that influence human error.
Discover practical strategies for making rail systems more error tolerant, to improve workplace safety.
According to the Australian Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics (BTRE) the cost of rail accidents in 1999 was $133 million. Years later, despite the highly protected and technological nature of the rail industry, human limitations remain one of the central challenges standing in the way of further improving safety and reducing accident costs and impacts. However, the underlying reasons for human error are the most commonly misunderstood and poorly analysed issues in rail operations.
While human error is widely recognised as a problem, management often engage in “learned helplessness” – nothing can be done to prevent human failings as accident causes. Sectors of the industry and the media fuelled by public outrage, exhaustive inquiries and drawn out legal action, are also quick to attribute rail accidents to human errors, without taking the opportunity to assess human error within the context of the organisation and wider rail system.