Galicia rail crash – human error I

I am closely following developments arising from the Galicia rail crash in Spain on 24 July 2013. I worked on the risk analysis of some of the early UK Automatic Train Protection (ATP) systems back in the 1980s. I want to see how this all turns out.

I noted a couple of days ago some wise words from the investigating judge.

Human error is seldom the root cause of a failure. As the judge observed, human error is entirely to be expected. It is part of our common knowledge of how people perform. They make mistakes. If human error is expected it should be anticipated by designing a system that is robust against known human fallibility. It is the system designers who are responsible for harnessing professional engineering knowledge and expertise to protect against the known.

I await further developments with interest.


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