Safety and Human Error in Engineering Systems: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Safety and Human Error in Engineering Systems

1st Edition

By B.S. Dhillon

CRC Press

260 pages | 40 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2012-07-05
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In an approach that combines coverage of safety and human error into a single volume, Safety and Human Error in Engineering Systems eliminates the need to consult many different and diverse sources for those who need information about both topics. The book begins with an introduction to aspects of safety and human error and a discussion of mathematical concepts that builds understanding of the material presented in subsequent chapters.

The author describes the methods that can be used to perform safety and human error analysis in engineering systems and includes examples, along with their solutions, as well as problems to test reader comprehension. He presents a total of ten methods considered useful for performing safety and human error analysis in engineering systems. The book also covers safety and human error transportation systems, medical systems, and mining equipment as well as robots and software.

Nowadays, engineering systems are an important element of the world economy as each year billions of dollars are spent to develop, manufacture, and operate various types of engineering systems around the globe. A rise in accidental deaths has put the spotlight on the role human error plays in the safety and failure of these systems. Written by an expert in various aspects of healthcare, engineering management, design, reliability, safety, and quality, this book provides tools and techniques for improving engineering systems with respect to human error and safety.


"… written superbly and is very easy to read and understand. Professor Dhillon is an international authority in this field. It has the most up-to-date comprehensive literature survey and bibliography in addition to facts and figures as related in each of topics covered in each of the chapters. The problem sets are very valuable for students and practitioners. This book provides a comprehensive treatment of the subject and is extremely useful to not only the undergraduate and graduate students of various engineering disciplines but also is very useful to the researchers and practicing safety and human factors professionals."

Dr. Subramanyam Naidu Rayapati, IBM, Austin, Texas, USA

"… reports safety and human factors in engineering in very well-designed and organized content. … presents basic mathematical concepts for analyzing safety and human errors in systems through examples along with their solutions."

Dr. Kouroush Jenab, Society of Reliability Engineering-Ottawa Chapter, Ontario, Canada

"Professor Dhillon's approach is to combine coverage of safety and human error into a single volume and thus eliminate the need for readers to consult many different and diverse sources for information about both disciplines."

The RoSPA Occupational Safety & Health Journal, April 2013

Table of Contents



Facts and Figures

Terms and Definitions

Useful Sources for Obtaining Information on Safety and Human Error in Engineering Systems

Scope of the Book



Basic Mathematical Concepts


Range, Median, Arithmetic Mean, and Mean Deviation

Boolean Algebra Laws

Probability Definition and Properties

Basic Probability Distribution-Related Definitions

Probability Distributions

Laplace Transform Definition, Common Laplace Transforms, Final Value Theorem Laplace Transform, and Laplace Transforms’ Application in Solving First-Order

Differential Equations




Safety and Human Factors and Error Basics


Safety and Engineers and Product Hazard Classifications

Common Mechanical Injuries and Common Causes of

Product Liability Exposure

Safety Management Principles and Product Safety

Organization Tasks

Accident Causation Theories

Human Factors Objectives and Man–Machine Comparisons

Typical Human Behaviors and Human Sensory Capacities

Useful Human Factors Guidelines and Mathematical Human Factors-Related Formulas

Human Error Occurrence Examples and Studies, and Reasons

Human Error Types

General Stress Factors and Occupational Stressors



Methods for Performing Safety and Human Error Analysis in Engineering Systems


Interface Safety Analysis (ISA)

Technics of Operations Review

Root Cause Analysis

Hazards and Operability Analysis

Preliminary Hazard Analysis

Failure Modes and Effect Analysis (FMEA)

Probability Tree Method

Error-Cause Removal Program

Markov Method

Markov Method Example

Fault Tree Analysis



Transportation Systems Safety


Examples of Rail Accidents and Their Causes

Classifications of Rail Accidents by Causes and Effects

Railroad Tank Car Safety

Light-Rail Transit System Safety Issues

Truck Safety-Related Facts and Figures

Truck and Bus Safety-Related Issues

Commonly Cited Truck Safety-Related Problems and Recommendations for Improving Truck Safety

Transit Bus Safety and Important Design-Related Safety Feature Areas

World Airline Accident Analysis and United States Airline-Related Fatalities

Causes of Airplane Crashes

Air Safety-Related Regulatory Bodies and Their Responsibilities

Marine Accidents

Ship Port-Related Hazards

Ship Safety Assessment and Global Maritime Distress Safety System



Medical Systems Safety


Facts and Figures

Medical Device Safety versus Reliability and Medical Device Hardware and Software Safety

Types of Medical Device Safety and Essential Safety-Related Requirements for Medical Devices

Safety in Medical Device Life Cycle

Software Issues in Cardiac Rhythm Management Products Safety

Classifications of Medical Device Accident Causes and Legal Aspects of Medical Device Safety

Methods for Performing Medical System Safety Analysis and Considerations for Their Selection

Mining Equipment Safety


Facts and Figures

Types of Mining Equipment Involved in Fatal Accidents and the Fatal Accidents’ Breakdowns and Main Causes of Mining Equipment Accidents

Mining Ascending Elevator Accidents, and Fatalities and Injuries Due to Drill Rig, Haul Truck, and Crane Contact with High Tension Power Lines

Programmable Electronic-Related Mining Mishaps and Lessons Learned

Equipment Fire-Related Mining Accidents and Mining Equipment Fire Ignition Sources

Strategies to Reduce Mining Equipment Fires and Useful Guidelines to Improve Electrical Safety in Mines

Human Factors-Related Design Tips for Safer Mining Equipment

Hazardous Area Signaling and Ranging Device (HASARD) Proximity Warning System

Useful Methods to Perform Mining Equipment Safety Analysis



Robot and Software Safety


Robot Safety-Related Facts, Figures, and Examples

Robot Accident Classifications and Causes of Robot Hazards

Safety Considerations in Robot Life Cycle

Human Factors Issues in Robotic Safety

Robot Safeguard Methods and a Methodology for Safer Robot Design

General Guidelines to Reduce Robot Safety Problems

Software Safety-Related Facts, Figures, and Examples

Ways That Software Can Contribute to Hazards

Basic Software System Safety-Related Tasks

Software Safety Assurance Program and Useful Software Safety Design-Related Guidelines

Software Hazard Analysis Methods



Human Error in Transportation Systems


Railway System Human Error-Related Facts and Figures

Railway Personnel Tasks Prone to Serious Human Error

Typical Human Error Occurrence Areas in Railway Operation

A Useful Checklist of Statements to Reduce Human Error in Railways

Road Transportation Systems Human Error-Related Facts and Figures

Operational Influences on Commercial Driver Performance and Classifications of Driver Errors

Common Driver Errors and Ranking of Driver Errors

Aviation Systems Human Error-Related Facts and Figures

Contributory Factors to Flight Crew Decision Errors

Types of Pilot-Controller Communication-Related Errors and Useful Recommendations for Reducing Them

Organizational-Related Factors in Commercial Aviation Accidents in Regard to Pilot Error

Shipping Systems Human Error-Related Facts and Figures

Marine Industry Human Factors Issues

Approaches to Reduce the Manning Impact on Shipping System Reliability



Human Error in Healthcare Systems and in Mining Equipment


Healthcare Systems Human Error-Related Facts and Figures

Medical Device Operator Errors and Medical Devices with a High Incidence of Human Errors

Human Error Causing User-Interface Device Design-Related Problems and Useful Guidelines for Medical Device Control/Display Arrangement and Design, Software Design, Installation, and Alarms with Respect to User Errors

General Guidelines for Reducing Medical Device/Equipment User Interface-Related Errors

An Approach to Human Factors during the Medical Device Development Process to Reduce Human Errors

Causes and Classifications of Human Errors Resulting in Fatal Mine Accidents

Common Mining Equipment-Related Maintenance Errors and Their Contributory Factors

Useful Engineering Design Improvement Guidelines to Reduce Mining Equipment Maintenance Errors and General Factors Responsible for Failing to Reduce Human Errors in the Mining Sector at Large

Methods to Perform Mining Equipment Human Error Analysis



Human Error in Power Plant Maintenance and Aviation Maintenance


Power Plant Maintenance Human Error-Related Facts, Figures, and Examples

Classifications of Causes for the Occurrence of Human Errors in Power Plant Maintenance and Their Causal Factors

Maintenance-Related Tasks Most Susceptible to the Occurrence of Human Error in Power Generation

Methods for Performing Human Error Analysis in Power Plant Maintenance

Guidelines to Reduce and Prevent Human Errors in Power Generation Maintenance

Aviation Maintenance Human Error-Related Facts and Figures

Causes for the Occurrence of Human Error in Aviation Maintenance

Types of Human Errors in Aircraft Maintenance Activities and Their Occurrence Frequency and Common Human Errors in Aircraft Maintenance

Maintenance Error Decision Aid (MEDA)

Guidelines to Reducing Human Error in Aircraft Maintenance




Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Engineering (General)
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Health & Safety