Noyes, Jan and Stanton, Neville
Engineering psychology: contribution to system safety
Computing & Control Engineering, 8, (3), .
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There has been a growing interest in the area of engineering psychology. This article considers some of the major accidents which have occurred in recent years, and the contribution which engineering psychology makes to designing systems and enhancing safety. Accidents are usually multi-causal, and the resident pathogens in the design and operation of human-machine systems can lead to devastating consequences not only for the workers themselves but also for people in the surrounding communities. Specifically, in each of the accidents discussed, operators were unaware of the seriousness of the system malfunctions because warning displays were poorly designed or located, and operators had not been sufficiently trained in dealing with these emergency situations. Since the 1940s machines and equipment have become more complex in nearly every industry. This, coupled with the continuing need to produce effective and safe systems, has resulted in psychology professionals being called to assist in designing even more efficient operating systems. In earlier times, a worker who made a mistake might spoil a piece of work or waste some time. Today, however, a worker's erroneous action can lead to dire consequences
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