April 28, 2013

KBAM: Situation awareness stages and errors

I was contemplating which error in the three stages is the most dangerous, and quite honestly, I cannot specify one error over the other in terms of being more hazardous. In my belief, they are all as erroneous as each other and one does not take precedence over the other. Whilst information not available sounds like the most preliminary and elementary error in the sense that being provided with information should be the most basic aspect, having an incorrect mental model is also a fundamental error since despite having the information available, one might simply have the wrong perception of a situation, or one might not observe the information, or find it difficult to detect, or even forget altogether due to a memory error. In my opinion, two errors which can be difficult to avoid in certain situations are information difficult to detect and memory error. These can be due to medical reasons beyond one’s control or language barriers, etc. Information not available is an administrational error and the manager or supervisor must ensure that the necessary information is available in order to foster a safe and effective work environment. Nevertheless, necessary precautions must be taken to avoid all errors as far as possible. Anticipation error is also something which should not be overlooked, and appropriate training must be provided to staff to understand the importance of not ignoring the anticipation error.

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