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Human error during the multilevel responses to three Australian bushfire disasters


Brooks, B and Curnin, S and Bearman, C and Owen, C, Human error during the multilevel responses to three Australian bushfire disasters, Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 26, (4) pp. 440-452. ISSN 0966-0879 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

DOI: doi:10.1111/1468-5973.12221


The scale and complexity associated with the coordinated response to natural disasters inevitably produce human errors. However, little is known about the frequency and distribution of human error at different levels of coordination during disasters. The purpose of this research was to explore this phenomenon for selected catastrophic bushfires in Australia. To accomplish this, we used the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System that has been widely applied to accidents but is untested with respect to the complexity and temporality of disasters. The results identified that decision errors made during these disasters differed depending upon the level of coordination but were associated with information uncertainty, fatigue, coordination complexities, procedural violations, and degraded personal interactions.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:human error, bushfires, multi-level response
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Applied and developmental psychology
Research Field:Industrial and organisational psychology (incl. human factors)
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Other law, politics and community services
Objective Field:Other law, politics and community services not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Brooks, B (Associate Professor Benjamin Brooks)
UTAS Author:Curnin, S (Dr Steven Curnin)
UTAS Author:Owen, C (Dr Christine Owen)
ID Code:124764
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Seafaring
Deposited On:2018-03-08
Last Modified:2018-12-14

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