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Having A Bad Day?

Since 1982, working with some of the world's best organisations to avoid human error

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Avoid Error

Ever had one of those days when everything that you touch seems to go wrong?

It's easy to blame a sleepless night, or somebody making a noise, or having to do too many things at once. But even so, would you still have made an error if the instruction was a bit easier to read and the light a bit brighter? Wouldn't it have been easier if your desk wasn't so cluttered and controls on the equipment were labelled better? Anyway, it's ages since you last had to do this task and nobody told you that anything had changed.

Most errors happen because effects of several 'Risk Influencing Factors' (RIFs) combine to trip you up. Quite possibly none of them would have caught you out on its own.

On a good day, you might never have made the error, but that's not real life, is it?

The more RIFs present, the greater the risk of error, so that on a bad day you're a sitting duck!

Worse still, if some little thing goes wrong, it throws you off track and can help to create conditions in which something more serious happens. This kind of 'snowball effect' can bring more and more RIFs into play, leading to consequences that seem out of proportion to the apparent cause.

When the dust settles, it can be difficult to identify or remember what contribution various RIFs made, so that the most obvious 'cause' gets the blame. Even though, in the circumstances, anyone might well have made the same error, the individual that actually did, will probably carry the can.

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