The Field Guide to Understanding ‘Human Error’

I recently stumbled into reading The Field Guide to Understanding ‘Human Error’(1) which turned out to be fairly relevant read for my current circumstances. While much of the book is focused on tragic accidents, the ideologies and practices described are likely to materialize in some form or another; particularly in fields where there is regulatory requirements around safety or quality.

The book was very welcome in that the Old World view of Safety I is not only likely to be generally deficient but is likely to be fairly opposed to what seem to be the most proven practices for building out robust and resilient software systems. I’ve spent time in the recent past discussing how approaches such identifying root causes is by itself a token for whack-a-mole, but not having background knowledge left me suggesting fairly trivial adjustments whereas this book exposes a tranche of established thought in that arena that could help drive more substantive corrections.

DEKKER, Professor Sidney. The field guide to understanding ’human error’ [online]. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2014. Available from: