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Associations between errors and contributing factors in aircraft maintenanceIn recent years cognitive error models have provided insights into the unsafe acts that lead to many accidents in safety-critical environments. Most models of accident causation are based on the notion that human errors occur in the context of contributing factors. However, there is a lack of published information on possible links between specific errors and contributing factors. A total of 619 safety occurrences involving aircraft maintenance were reported using a self-completed questionnaire. Of these occurrences, 96% were related to the actions of maintenance personnel. The types of errors that were involved, and the contributing factors associated with those actions, were determined. Each type of error was associated with a particular set of contributing factors and with specific occurrence outcomes. Among the associations were links between memory lapses and fatigue and between rule violations and time pressure. Potential applications of this research include assisting with the design of accident prevention strategies, the estimation of human error probabilities, and the monitoring of organizational safety performance.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Hobbs, Alan
(Australian Transport Safety Bureau Canberra, Australia)
Williamson, Ann
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
June 1, 2003
Publication Information
Publication: Human factors
Volume: 45
Issue: 2
ISSN: 0018-7208
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
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