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Human Factors & Error Management in Rail
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Human Factors & Error Management in Rail

2-Day Training Course: A Practical Guide to Understanding Human Factors Principles. By examining thought provoking rail accident case studies, participants will gain a good understanding of factors that influence human error, & discover practical strategies for making rail systems more error tolerant, to improve workplace safety

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Key Learning Objectives

  • Understand the concept of human factors, human error and error tolerance as applied to the rail industry
  • Identify the human factors contribution to rail safety accidents
  • Address human performance limitations that can lead to unsafe behaviour
  • Examine organisational and systemic influences that shape human performance
  • Understand how the development and assessment of non technical skills within rail safety teams can assist organisations in reducing at risk behaviour
  • Develop common error tolerant strategies to manage human error within rail systems

About the Course

According to the Australian Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics (BTRE) the cost of rail accidents in 1999 was $133 million. Years later, despite the highly protected and technological nature of the rail industry, human limitations remain one of the central challenges standing in the way of further improving safety and reducing accident costs and impacts. However, the underlying reasons for human error are the most commonly misunderstood and poorly analysed issues in rail operations.

While human error is widely recognised as a problem, management often engage in “learned helplessness” – nothing can be done to prevent human failings as accident causes. Sectors of the industry and the media fuelled by public outrage, exhaustive inquiries and drawn out legal action, are also quick to attribute rail accidents to human errors, without taking the opportunity to assess human error within the context of the organisation and wider rail system.

This comprehensive 2-day course will equip rail industry stakeholders with a contemporary, non-academic and highly practical understanding of human error causes, consequences and minimisation strategies within the rail industry.

Whether you are a rail safety manager, accident investigator or CEO, our program will provide you with an opportunity to understand human error in context as well as provide case study examples of individual and organisational strategies to develop error tolerant solutions to human factors problems.

Who Should Attend

All those who work for and with the rail industry with an vested interest in improving workplace safety, including:

  • General, safety, operational line managers and supervisors
  • Rail safe working personnel
  • HSE representatives
  • Rail safety and compliance investigators
  • Quality, risk and reliability specialists
  • Driver trainers


“I enjoyed the very structured approach to each topic and the straightforward structure – not too technical. The course was very practical with excellent examples to work from for each topic”
Reliability Coordinator, Powercor Network Services Pty Ltd

Terms & Conditions

To read the training course terms and conditions read more here

Course Outline

Introduction to Human Factors

  • The challenge of human factors issues within the rail industry
  • Human factors versus traditional safety behaviour approaches
  • A simple systems model of human factors
  • Human factors case study: ‘Off the rails’

Discover the myths and realities about human error

  • Human error and the normalisation principle
  • Understanding different error types – the notion of intention
  • Rule breaking behaviour – intentional non-compliance

 Activity ‘Which error is it’?

Using rail safety case studies, participants will conduct interviews to identify specific error types

A human factors approach to event investigations

  • The human factors contribution to accidents
  • Human factors analytical methods

Case study:‘The runaway train’

Non Technical Skills (NTS)

  • Non technical versus technical skills
  • The relationship between non technical skills, error potential and accidents
  • Non technical skills applications in rail
  • Rail Resource Management (RRM)

Case study:‘Identifying non technical skills’

 Training Non Technical Skills

  • Decision making
  • Fitness for duty
  • Situational awareness
  • Leadership
  • Professionalism
  • Communication
  • Threat and error management
  • Case Study: ‘A focus on NTS assessment’

Human factors – management and organisation

  • The role of safety culture in influencing behaviour
  • Developing and maintaining a fair and just culture

Case study:‘You be the judge’

Managing human error

  • Error management strategies
  • Violation management strategies
  • The role of the organisation in managing error – practical strategies and case studies in creating error tolerant systems

 Summary activity

Participants will be asked to identify the threats and errors involved in a safety incident and develop strategies to ensure that the system is more error tolerant.

On-site & in-house training

Deliver this course how you want, where you want, when you want – and save up to 40%! 8+ employees seeking training on the same topic?

Talk to us about an on-site/in-house & customised solution.


Still have a question?

Sushil Kunwar
Training Consultant
+61 (0)2 9080 4395

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