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Abstract

One of the main factors in all aviation accidents is human error. Therefore, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Aviation Safety Program (AvSP) has identified several human factors safety technologies to address this problem. Some technologies directly address human error either by attempting to reduce the occurrence of errors or by mitigating the negative consequences of errors. However, new technologies and system changes may also introduce new error opportunities or even induce different types of errors. Consequently, a thorough understanding of the relationship between error classes and technology “fixes” is crucial for the evaluation of intervention strategies outlined in the AvSP so that resources can be effectively directed to maximize the benefit to flight safety. This article summarizes efforts to map intervention technologies onto error categories and describes creation of a conceptual framework, identification of applicable taxonomies for each dimension of the framework, and construction of a usable prototype database. The framework consists of a three-dimensional matrix with axes for the human operator, the task, and the environment. Human errors and technologies cohabit molecules in the matrix linking them. The database allows for taxonomic development in all three areas pertaining to human performance by keeping the taxonomies dynamic.