Measuring the Effectiveness of Error Investigation and Human Factors Training

Technical report; C.G. Drury, J. Ma, K. Woodcock, 2002. Federal Aviation Administration Human Factors Workbench

This report provides the findings from the final year of a three-year study of how effectively aviation maintenance errors and incidents can be investigated. It is important for aviation safety that errors, incidents and accidents be investigated thoroughly to learn the correct lessons to prevent future incidents. While much necessary effort has been focused on analysis of the causes of errors, these analyses ultimately depend for their validity on whether or not the appropriate set of facts was collected by the investigators. During prior years of this project it was established that investigators only collect a fraction of the available facts. The current project was designed to measure the effectiveness of job aids in improving the thoroughness of investigations.

Author: Kathryn Woodcock

Dr. Kathryn Woodcock is Professor at Toronto Metropolitan University, teaching, researching, and consulting in the area of human factors engineering / ergonomics particularly applied to amusement rides and attractions (, and to broader occupational and public safety issues of performance, error, investigation and inspection, and to disability and accessibility.