The Challenge of Cognition for Safe Design and Organization of Systems

Human society has become an information processing society. Virtually any industrial area is currently challenged by the impact of new technologies on human cognition. A car becomes much more of a computer by the increased use of navigation. Surveillance systems and power plants can be operated by a single person, and aircraft and airspace can be managed much more efficiently by the increased use of computer technology. New technologies also change the organizational structures of the industries. As the Internet provides communication around the world, staff become more remote and distributed. Reduced permanent staff in the operation of industrial systems goes hand-in-hand with increased hiring of external staff for maintenance or system development. Team-working and communication suffer from such developments (Sträter et al., 2003).