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Thursday, October 06, 2005 

Roundup of Human Error in the News

Human error leads to the grounding of Discovery Shuttle
Reports coming out of NASA suggest that the foam section which fell of Discovery during its launch in July was due to human error. Workers may have destroyed the foam section around Discovery’s fuel tank by accident leading to significant safety concerns for the crew and a complete grounding of the Shuttle program.
Full story

Bermuda suffers costly human error

The island of Bermuda suffered a fire and an island wide black out for three days as a result of human error in July. The cost of the error is estimated at $5 million. According to the article, three events triggered by human error conspired to cause the problem: “Failure within a piece of switchgear; the failure of some back-up systems designed to prevent the initial failure from having any impact, and a fire suppression system that did not work because it had been disabled.”
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Human error blamed for all New York Subway derailments
A recent report (although the article doesn’t say which one) suggests that all new york subway derailments in the past 20 months were caused by human error. One incident was caused by the driver falling asleep. Although no one was seriously hurt in the incidents, the report suggests that most of the incidents were caused by workers and supervisors breaking rules. It would seem that it is only a matter of time before a more serious event takes place unless the subway authority acts quickly.
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