Human Factors and Their Application in Railways

Authored by: Birgit Milius

Handbook of RAMS in Railway Systems

Print publication date:  March  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138035126
eBook ISBN: 9781315269351
Adobe ISBN:


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In the last centuries, the development of the railway sector was triggered by new technical possibilities. Often, humans were seen as the weakest link in the system, which was to be eliminated. However, in the last years, a new development is taking place. It is recognized more and more that it will be very difficult to replace all human activities and that humans not only make mistakes but can also become heroes, that is, they can recognize (unexpected) danger and acting swiftly. Therefore, a new railway research area is looking more closely at, e.g., why mistakes are made and how a system should be designed to limit the number of mistakes and actually help the people to work correctly. In this chapter, it is explained what rail human factors are and where and how they can be proactively incorporated in the system development process. This is done using the EN 50126 life cycle process as guidance.

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