Divers are human, and it is natural for humans to make errors. Research from aviation has shown that pilots make between 3 and 6 errors per hour! The good thing is that the vast majority are captured before they become critical. This is achieved by looking at the ways in which human failure happens, the human factors involved, and then designing the system to minimise errors. Design can’t fix everything, so aircrew, cabin crew and engineers are provided with human factors training to manage the dynamic and varied conditions they encounter. However, until recently, nothing like this existed in sport or commercial diving.
Gareth Lock, an ex-Royal Air Force navigator who has years of experience and knowledge in human factors across multiple high risk domains, has developed a training and coaching programme which looks to improve the performance, safety and comfort of divers by applying knowledge from those high risk domains into sport diving.
His training programme consists of an online micro-class which provides core knowledge about the subject of human factors, how to improve performance and reduce error, and is a course applicable to all divers. It consists of 9 modules of approximately 15 mins each and has been optimised for use on a tablet, phone or PC/Mac. Then there is a two-day classroom-based course which builds on this core knowledge and is focussed on instructors, instructor trainers and those who encounter higher levels of risk or complexity such as technical or cave diving, or scientific and media teams. This classroom-based class has already been undertaken by Training Directors of four agencies (GUE, IANTD, SSI XR & TDI/SDI) who have all found it valuable and well worth doing.
“Very good course of huge relevance to all who participate in Technical Diving or any other potential risk activities that require management. I cannot recommend this program enough.” – Phil Short, IANTD Instructor Trainer Trainer, Explorer
We often look to learn from accidents and incidents in diving, but in many cases the detail and context is missing. The term “Human Error” should not be used as a casual factor, it is the point at which we start looking deeper to find out why it made sense for those involved to behave in the way they did. If it was that obvious, surely those involved would have spotted the issues before they reached a critical point? Heroic rescues are the ones which make the media, but it is the constant use of effective human factors skills or non-technical skills that prevent those events making the media.
Since its launch in January a number of updates to this globally unique course have happened, and Monday (4th July) the new content and new website will be launched. Visit www.humanfactors.academy for more information and to sign up one of the two classes.