While ‘human error’ is often blamed when things go wrong, the ‘technical’ part of ‘sociotechnical systems’ often escapes the spotlight. In this article, Harold Thimbleby outlines how hidden risks with digitalisation have far-reaching consequences, and how we can start to fix them.
- Digital technology supports everything we do in safety-critical industries.
- There are also hidden digital problems that affect everything we do, and things will go wrong.
- IT-related problems can have significant consequences for justice, as well as safety and security.
- The formal qualifications and relevant experience required for system designers in safety-critical sectors are often not specified in the way that they are for front-line staff.
- We have to manage digital risks more effectively to prevent associated incidents and even miscarriages of justice.