Item: Human factors in avalanche accidents
Title: Human factors in avalanche accidents
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 2000 International Snow Science Workshop, October 1-6, Big Sky, Montana
Authors: Dale Atkins, Colorado Avalanche Information Center, Boulder, Colorado
Abstract: A review of fatal United States avalanche accidents in the 1990s shows terrain, weather, and snow pack conditions are generally contributory factors to fatal avalanche accidents; human factors are the primary factor. Human errors are made in terms of judgment, skills, and knowledge. This paper discusses the human factors and errors that might mitigate decision-making errors. The relevant information for this study came from 10 years of accident reports, media reports, and interviews collected and compiled by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. By identifying and understanding the dynamics of human errors perhaps new or improved pedagogical tools and/or procedures can be developed in improve the safety of people in avalanche terrain.
Keywords: human factors, human errors, avalanche fatalities, avalanche accidents, naturalistic decision making
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