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"Human Error" statistics



Does any one have a quotable reference for statistics related to human error?

I'm looking for something like percentages of root cause where human error was the true root cause or a contributing factor.

I plan on using it in a paper I'm writing for a psychology class.

Bev D

Heretical Statistician
Staff member
Super Moderator
Hinckly, C. Martin, Barkham, P. “The Role of Variation, Error and Complexity in Manufacturing Defects” Sandia Labs Publication SAND94-85 UC-406, March 1994

This paper discusses the probability of human error. there generic formula for assembly type operations is:

the probability of omitting a step and not detectign it at the time is P(d) = .00003

they are also careful to say that human error is influenced by many factors and is extremely situational. YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY!

Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Staff member
Super Moderator
I would suggest googling "Human Performance Improvement" which is taking root in the nuclear industry and airlines. Closely related is the "Joint Commission" (formerly JCAHO) information on preventing "sentinel events".

One commonly stated "statistic" in the US Department of Energy is that the average human makes seven mistakes per hour. Or was that eight?:notme:
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