In worldwide Railways the contribution of the FACTOR HUMAN ERROR and HUMAN FALLIBILITY on unwanted bad Railway Events is still in the range of 30 to 40 %. The fundamental attribution ERROR is basic to the HUMAN ERROR. It should be the aim of all operators to reduce this contribution on the way of an overall reduction of accidents and near missed accidents for the ultimate goal to prevent Railway Accidents,
“HUMAN ERRORS ARE A CHANCE FOR LEARNING”
This is the motto of the independent British Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) established to speed-up SAFETY in the system BRITISH RAIL; see: Interview with George Bearfield, Safety Director of Rail Safety and Standard Board, UK, in ETR, March 2016, No.3, eurailpress, Hamburg Germany, ISSN-0013 – 2845.
In early years under a prevailing so-called “PATHOLOGICAL SAFETY CULTURE” the so-called “PUNITIVE METHOD” had been in the foreground to “pin the culprits to be severely punished” or to blame “bad people” rather than the situation. Nowadays Safety Experts around the globe have understood, that the punitive method is a blunt weapon of nearly no effect on the way to improve the safety margin. It works even counterproductive. Such an approach leads, that people on all fronts will do everything to avoid detection of what really had happened. Failures in the System or latent unsafe Conditions with often far reaching history, the parents or breeding ground for accidents, are overlooked.
Under a “NO BLAME CULTURE” nobody should be discouraged to participate at the discovery, uncovering and detection of Failures in the System, and nobody should be discouraged to provide information.
Learning and taking lessons from own and others bad events are key instruments for improving Safety Records.
The following feature articles deal with the Complexity of Signal Aspects, especially of Sri Lanka Railways, with Human Error producing Factors, with the Human Perspective and the Cognitive Psychology of Train Drivers and with Signals passed at Danger (SPAD).