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What is Human Error?

 , August 17, 2015 updated on November 02, 2016
Human error is a mistake in the planning or execution of a task that results in failure to meet a goal. It is a category of business or organizational risk that can apply to a wide variety of tasks. However, it is most often associated with operational risks such as aircraft maintenance or manufacturing processes. It is also important to fields such as medicine.

Human Error & Risk

The risks associated with human error can often be reduced by developing processes and systems that are human-friendly and error tolerant. Industries related to human safety such as aviation were early pioneers of techniques to reduce human error. For example, an aircraft maintenance procedure may include a complete inventory of all tools to ensure that nothing has been left behind in a jet engine.

Human Error & Culture

Another important consideration for reducing human error is establishing an organizational culture that encourages people to openly discuss their errors. This is a major issue in fields such as medicine where there is much fear of discussing errors.
Overview: Human Error
TypeHuman Factors
DefinitionMistakes and oversights that cause losses or inefficiencies.
Related ConceptsRisk Identification
Latent Human Error
Human Factors

Human Error

This is the complete list of articles we have written about human error.
Human Error
Human Factors
Risk Treatment
Unforced Error
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