Enhancing safety management
HOF regulations, standards and tools

Human Performance
HOF in practice
Home 9 Category: Scientific article

Scientific article

About this topic

Automation Myth Busting Paper#2 The Changing Role of Staff in Automated Railway Operation and why Human Cognition is Here to Stay

Automated mainline railway operation is challenging the traditional role of the operational staff ensuring safe and punctual service. Nevertheless, there are sound operational, economic, regulatory and societal reasons for valuing and maintaining central contributions of human staff to railway operation in future automated service. Instead of a linear transferal of tasks from the human to the automation technology a human-machine collaboration setting becomes apparent that enables both, automation-driven benefits in terms of capacity or energy consumption and benefits in terms of efficient human intervention in case of operational uncertainty, where human decision-making and communication skills are key to safety.

read more

Automation Myth Busting Paper#3 Automation and mental workload

Automation paradoxically has the potential to both increase and decrease mental workload, depending on the circumstances. Furthermore, decreasing workload can actually put an operator into an underload state, which is just as bad for performance as overload. We have learned these lessons in the aviation and, more recently, automotive industries; as accident reports demonstrate, we are now starting to see their impact on the railway with the introduction of Automatic Train Operation and other automated systems. The key in helping an operator to work at their best is to find a way to optimise their mental workload – which may mean thinking differently about automation.

read more

Automation Myth Busting Paper#4 Teaming between humans and automation

Due to technological advances, automation is nowadays no longer regarded only as a tool for humans but, due to the execution of complex tasks, is increasingly discussed in terms of a team member. This article describes how successful teaming can optimally be realized so that the strengths of the human operator and the automation are brought to bear. The decisive factor is a human-centred work design that focuses on the needs of human operators. An example from air traffic control is used and findings are transferred to the handling of existing interlocking technologies in the rail industry. First tendencies of teamwork between signallers and automation are already emerging today. In the future, this new form of teamwork can be further developed with the help of the introduced model on the key aspects for a successful teaming between humans and automation.

read more

Swuste, P.; van Gulijk, C.; Groeneweg, J.; Zwaard, W.; Lemkowitz, S.; Guldenmund, F. (2020), From clapham junction to macondo, deepwater horizon: Risk and safety management in high-tech-high-hazard sectors A review of English and Dutch literature: 1988–2010, Safety Science, Volume 121, Pages 249-282.

Abstract: Objective: What is the influence of general management trends and safety research on managing safety? Method: A literature study which is limited to original English and Dutch books, documents, and articles in relevant scientific journals, for...

read more

Join us

Are you interested in HOF?



Do you want to learn about Human & Organisational Factors? Safety culture, non-technical skills, health and safety, more?

Join us on this international and diverse network which captures in one place the valuable and enriching information and material, either academic or practical railways-oriented, on the organizational and human factors that you need.





Are you involved in HOF activities?

You want to learn about Human & Organisational Factors? Safety culture, non-technical skills, health and safety, more? 
Join us on this international and transversal network which capitalizes the valuable and enriching information and material, either academic nor Railways oriented, on the organizational and human factors that you need. 

Are you an HOF expert?

Are you a Rail Human and Organisational factors expert, a Rail Safety expert, a Railway Head of safety, or other? This space is made for you. Here, you have access to confidential information and can even create or participate in a discussion forum to initiate conversations and exchanges with your peers.