Error Management

The human in the system remains the largest risk to aviation safety. The collection and analysis of error, near-miss and hazard data, and the resulting mitigating actions required to manage them should form the lifeblood of an organisation’s safety improvement process.

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Our skills and services help design and implement Error Management Systems to effectively manage human error

Error management is the practical application of Human Factors training. It provides the essential knowledge, tools and a framework to enable organisations to understand the type of errors that are occurring and be able to manage the risk accordingly. It is all about learning from low-consequence/high probability events and is driven by behaviours and culture.

An effective Error Management System must create the capability to:

  • Remove error-promoting situations
    Improve defences
  • Enable your people to make effective risk-based decisions in all that they do

An error management philosophy seeks to:

  • Accept human error as normal in all organisational systems
  • Classify the different human error types and their causes
  • Operate a simple to use system that encourages error reporting
  • Enable organisations to understand and therefore manage human-in-the-system risk
  • Continually understand the top human in the system risks
  • Generate proactive data for risk-based decision-making
  • Build qualitative reporting trends
  • Manage practical drift – understanding what people have to do to get the job done

Challenges you may be facing 

  • You are not able to identify human-in-the-system risk
  • You need an effective error management database taxonomy to operate your system
  • You need your people and management to engage with the system
  • You want human-in-the-system investigation capability (why did it happen?)
  • You want to improve your error and proactive reporting rates
  • You need to be able to improve the effectiveness of your Event Review Group (ERG)
  • You want to be able to make more informed decisions and better analyse root causes
  • You are not able to transition fast enough from occurrence to hazard reporting
  • You wish to make the transition from a reporting to a learning culture
  • You are having difficulties exploiting an expanding human-in-the-system dataset
  • You are unable to transition to proactively manage human-in-the-system risks to ALARP (as low as reasonably practicable)

How we can help 

Our highly respected Error Management training and skills development programmes have been delivered to hundreds of organisations worldwide. We have helped implement error management across all UK Defence Aviation disciplines, training more than 15,000 military personnel in Air Safety.

We can help you gain ROI from your error management system, fully exploiting the data it returns and understanding how to implement appropriate interventions and mitigations. Our services are designed to facilitate permanent improvements and leave a legacy of improved competence and organisational safety performance. Through our training courses and consulting programmes we can help you resolve issues by:

  • Improving your error and pro-active reporting rates
  • Improving your investigator skills and interview techniques
  • Helping you create and implement risk mitigation strategies
  • Knowing how to make ‘just’ disciplinary decisions following receipt of an error report
  • Using industry investigation tools effectively – such as the Baines Simmons FAiR System and MEDA
  • Improving your data analysis and data interpretation skills

We help build competence in investigation skills, review group activities and effective interventions

A vital component of an effective investigation system is the Event Review Group. Simply identifying and reporting events and occurrences is not enough. How reports are investigated is where you can truly reap the benefits from your error management system, switching it from a functional to a performing component of your SMS to support your business.

Error reporting gives you the starting point – data, the ‘what’. Effective investigations give you the ‘why’; what happens next is the role of the Event Review Group. Using their experience as highly trained investigators, our training consultants can help your people know how to assure the root cause and contributing factors have been established so that they can determine effective interventions that will ultimately lead to a range of improved safety benefits.

Please contact us to find out more about how our error management experience and expertise may be of use to you.