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The following section should be required reading for every engineer… (not just marine engineers!)

4.2 Principles of Human Behavior:

4.2.1 There are basic principles of human behavior that control or influence how each person performs in their workplace. Some of these behaviors are culturally derived, while others are general and uniform across all cultures and geographical regions of the world. These behaviors influence a person’s physical, social, and psychological approach toward the work they do and how safely they do that work. Failure to satisfy these behavioral principles in the design of a ship or maritime structure can encourage, or even coerce, maritime personnel into taking unsafe risks in their everyday activities. It is, therefore, imperative that designers of ships and maritime equipment, systems, and facilities know these principles to provide a safe and efficient workplace for maritime personnel.

4.2.2 These principles include:

4.2.2.1 If the design of the ship or maritime facility is considered to be unsafe or inefficient by the crew, it will be modified by the users, often solving the initial problem but introducing others that may be as bad, or worse, than the original.

4.2.2.2 Equipment design shall be such that it encourages safe use, that is, does not provide hardware and software that can be used in an unsafe manner.

4.2.2.3 If the equipment or system is not designed to operate as the users’ cultural and stereotypical expectations lead them to think that it will operate, the chance for human error is significantly increased.

4.2.2.4 If equipment or systems are perceived by operators/maintainers to be too complex or require more effort to operate or maintain than they believe is necessary, they will always look for a “shortcut.” Further, this “shortcut” may be perceived as being safe when it is not.

4.2.2.5 No amount of training, company or organizational policy, threats of retaliatory action, warning notes in a technical manual or training guide, or pleading with personnel to be safe on the job can overcome poor design that encourages, leads, or even coerces personnel into unsafe acts on the job. The most efficient way to prevent unsafe design from contributing to an accident is to eliminate the unsafe design.

4.2.2.6 Equipment users tend to be very unimaginative when it comes to identifying unsafe features and they do not visualize the consequences of unsafe acts. Therefore, do not expect that an “obviously dangerous” task will always be recognized as such by every user.

4.2.2.7 Designers shall consider the possibility for human error and design equipment so that incorrect use (deliberate or accidental) will result in little or no harm to the user.

4.2.2.8 Equipment operators and maintainers tend to make guesses as to what a label, instruction, or operational chart states if it is not complete, legible, readable, and positioned correctly.

4.2.2.9 Designers and engineers shall never use themselves as the standard against which a particular design is evaluated. People come in many shapes, sizes, mental capacities, and capabilities. Therefore, design for the full range of potential users, physically, mentally, and socially.

4.2.2.10 People shall be protected against themselves. Designers cannot create an unsafe piece of equipment or system and expect the users to assume full responsibility for its safe use.

4.2.2.11 Ease of equipment maintenance affects the equipment’s reliability, that is, the harder it is to be maintained, the less it will be maintained.

4.2.2.12 Equipment designed to require multiple operators working together simultaneously increases the likelihood of operator errors.

4.2.2.13 Operational/maintenance procedures shall be clear, definitive, and comprehensive, otherwise, they will be misinterpreted or ignored.

4.2.2.14 Structural items such as piping, cable trays, or any other item that appears strong enough to be used by a person to hold onto or stand on, and is placed in a convenient location to use for that purpose, will eventually be used for that purpose.

4.2.2.15 Humans expect consistency in the design and arrangement of their workplace. Therefore, if that workplace, or any part thereof, appears in more than one place in their work environment, it is expected to be located and look the same way at every location.

4.2.2.16 When controls and displays associated with particular pieces of equipment are placed on a console or control panel, they shall be located on that console or panel to replicate the actual location of the equipment on the ship or structure as both are viewed by the operator. Therefore, equipment that is to the operator’s left as he/she faces the control station shall appear on the left of the control panel or console, and equipment to the right shall appear on the right side of the console or panel. This “spatial relationship” between the real world and the controls and displays that are associated with the equipments and systems of that world is extremely important in the design of ships and maritime structures.

4.2.3 Humans develop behavioral patterns based on their cultural experiences. Designing a ship or structure that ignores or violate those culturally derived behavior patterns will inevitably lead to human error.

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    No amount of training, company or organizational policy, threats of retaliatory action, warning notes in a technical manual or training guide, or pleading with personnel to be safe on the job can overcome poor design that encourages, leads, or even coerces personnel into unsafe acts on the job. The most efficient way to prevent unsafe design from contributing to an accident is to eliminate the unsafe design.

    This is the core learning of What I Learned Trying to Secure Congressional Campaigns.

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      Although written for marine engineers… so much of this applies to cybersecurity and indeed anybody doing stuff that real people will use.