Human Performance and Anatomy of an Event
In its simple definition, human performance is a string of actions and behaviors implemented to achieve definite task objectives and milestones (Department of Energy, 2007). In mathematical terms, human performance is behavior plus results. Behavior can be defined as the aggregate responses to internal and external stimuli (Dictionary, 2011). The study of behavior and its causes are exceedingly valuable as the indication for development efforts to foresee, prevent, and recover from human errors and events. A range of studies by the nuclear industry, the aircraft industry, and the National Safety Council synonymously found that:
• About 80% of all events are caused by human errors. 20% are the result of equipment failures. In some industries, the numbers are closer to 90% human error and 10% equipment failures. And,
• When we break down human errors, we find that 70% of all human error is the result of latent organizational weaknesses or errors within the organization, whereas about 30% are individual errors.
Anatomy of an Event: Events or Accidents are unwelcome, undesirable variation in the systems that often result in severe degradation or annihilation of equipment’s capacity to perform its normal function. The course of an event usually revolves around initiating action, error precursors, latent organizational weaknesses and flawed defenses. The starting point of an accident is an initiating action that is done unintentionally or intentionally (violation), causing active errors that have immediate, undesirable outcomes to the whole process. This initiating action is scaled up with error precursors that are basically unfavorable pre-existing conditions at the event site hence increasing the vulnerability of the accident risk. Further more, the management of an accident or event are demented by latent organizational weaknesses such as inefficient management control, ineffective engineering design and control and other system level weaknesses. Flawed