Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘near misses of accidents

When almost everyone is applauding your success, can you face the other perspective that you also have failed?  Is not being ready to accepting failure, in one phase of the process, and recognizing your failure worth learning the art of “How to fail?” 

Do you think that the end product of your project is the main criteria for success?  What about all the near-misses of accidents, “minor” incidents, and errors during the projects?  Should accidents and erroprs committed during the project to be ignored, forgotten, and hidden under the carpet, once you are declared a success story?

Have you considered the health and safety of end-users when designing your product?  Have you tried to use your product and have a good feel of the risks involved in the application of the products?  Have you asked other people, not in the design team, to test and evaluate the performance of the product, mainly the rate of errors, misuse, and potential risks to health and safety?

It is not that “if you don’t plan for the eventual failure that it won’t happen”.  Recurring problems and accidents in project procedures are resolved by “redesigning the product” and not by repairing what are considered minor glitches.  We mostly learn in the redesign phases of what we failed to initially consider.  Thus, it is previous failures that are fundamental to improving our knowledge and methodical behavior.

It is worth describing failure in general terms, before describing the project, the procedures, the performance criteria, the constraints, and what should be tested and evaluated for a product to be considered working successfully?

For example, Seth published a post on How to fail.  Here we go: “All of us fail. Successful people fail often, and, worth noting, learn more from that failure than everyone else.

Two habits that don’t help:

  • Getting good at avoiding blame and casting doubt
  • Not signing up for visible and important projects

While it may seem like these two choices increase your chances for survival or even promotion, in fact they merely insulate you from worthwhile failures.

I think it’s worth noting that my definition of failure does not include being unlucky enough to be involved in a project where random external events kept you from succeeding. That’s the cost of showing up, not the definition of failure.

Identifying these random events, of course, is part of the art of doing ever better. Many of the things we’d like to blame as being out of our control are in fact avoidable or can be planned around.”

Seth published a sample of six random ideas that will help you fail better, more often and with an inevitably positive upside:

  1. Whenever possible, take on specific projects.
  2. Make detailed promises about what success looks like and when it will occur.
  3. Engage others in your projects. If you fail, they should be involved and know that they will fail with you.
  4. Be really clear about what the true risks are. Ignore the vivid, unlikely and ultimately non-fatal risks that take so much of our focus away.
  5. Concentrate your energy and will on the elements of the project that you have influence on, ignore external events that you can’t avoid or change.
  6. When you fail (and you will) be clear about it, call it by name and outline specifically what you learned so you won’t make the same mistake twice. People who blame others for failure will never be good at failing, because they’ve never done it.”

Now, I am wondering, if you cannot figure out what is the product or project that Seth is talking about, can you remember the guidelines for not failing?  What is random event? Can we have example of what is considered a random event so that we get a handle on the guidelines?

Seth terminates his post by stating: “If that list frightened you, you might be getting to the nub of the matter. If that list feels like the sort of thing you’d like your freelancers, employees or even bosses to adopt, then perhaps it’s resonating as a plan going forward for you.”

Let me give you a homework for tomorrow:  Try to remember the guidlines for avoiding failure and whatever you recollect from this article.

Article #2

“Sorry, did you say Human Factors engineering?” (February 20, 2005)

“Sorry, I didn’t hear you. You said that your emphasis was on Human Factors engineering?”

“Wow, do you split genes and factor them in and out the DNA chain?”

“Are you involved in cloning human beings?”

“Could you improve my deficiencies?”

“Can you make me physically attractive and less prone to sicknesses and diseases?”

Negative! Human Factors engineering is interchangeably called Ergonomics which is composed of two Greek words meaning the measurement of work.

As you might know, if this discipline does not involve measurements it would not have been categorized as engineering.

Its main purpose is designing practical interfaces between complex systems and the end users, whether consumers, engineers, workers or employees in order to eliminate human errors.

Again, if these interface designs are not practical, then we would hardly categorize this field as engineering.

I also agree with you that most engineers hate to perform any kind of measurements as much as they hate reading.

Actually, my graduate courses were not restricted to engineering; they were multidisciplinary because I had to take graduate courses in the departments of marketing, economics, and psychology.

If you are interested I might clarify that most of my graduate courses were targeted to statistical modeling for designing and analyzing experiments involving workers and consumers.

This general course in Human factors will initiate you on a few concepts.

It will teach you how to study the risks and errors in the system and deficiency in products that could lead to fatal accidents or serious injuries.

Most of the time, near misses of accidents predominate because of the reflexes, flexibility and capabilities of human to cope and adapt, but ultimately, these missed accidents will occur if no preventive actions are taken or preempting redesigns are ordered on the system.

When accidents happen, this time around, it is because of the limitations and deficiencies of the human for not redesigning the interface, retraining, or revisiting the processes.

This course will encourage you to connect well with employees and workers, to know their predicaments at work, to care for their health from repetitive trauma disorders, or unwarranted shift work schedules, to provide guidelines for handling loads, to insist on placing warning signs in dangerous areas and hazardous machine parts, to make sure that employees notice the signs and instructions and abide by them.

It will ask you to get concerned and investigate the causes of the high rate of turnovers, the increase in absenteeism, or the lack of motivation in performing quality work.

It will teach you methods to design inference experiments, preferably involving employees and workers, in order to study the causes and effects of a problem that is plaguing productivity and profitability.

This approach is important because mathematical modeling of human behavior is at best inadequate and fraught with untenable assumptions.

This course will insist on the concept that the best approach to minimizing pains and health problems, originating from the workplace, is to redesign a faulty system, mechanically and organizationally.

You will be reminded, frequently, that testing and evaluation of systems should consider the fact that employees work at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for many years.

The course will warn you that an optimum system performance, tested for a period of just a few minutes or hours, may turn out to be catastrophic and a worst case scenario in the long run.

You will learn the capabilities and limitations of humans both physically and mentally. This knowledge will enhance the design of systems and their interfaces that function well for the humans, a system that will eliminate awkward training to fit humans to a badly designed system.




August 2022

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