Human Error: The Impact of Job Insecurity on Attention-Related Cognitive Errors and Error Detection

Lara Christina ROLL*, Oi Ling SIU, Yau Wai Simon LI, Hans DE WITTE

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

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Abstract

(1) Background: Work-related stress is a major contributor to human error. One significant workplace stressor is job insecurity, which has been linked to an increased likelihood of experiencing burnout. This, in turn, might affect human error, specifically attention-related cognitive errors (ARCES) and the ability to detect errors. ARCES can be costly for organizations and pose a safety risk. Equally detrimental effects can be caused by failure to detect errors before they can cause harm.
(2) Methods: We gathered self-report and behavioral data from 148 employees working in educational, financial and medical sectors in China. We designed and piloted an error detection task in which employees had to compare fictitious customer orders to deliveries of an online shop. We tested for indirect effects using the PROCESS macro with bootstrapping
(3) Results: Our findings confirmed indirect effects of job insecurity on both ARCES and the ability to detect errors via burnout.
(4) Conclusions: The present research shows that job insecurity influences making and detecting errors through its relationship with burnout. These findings suggest that job insecurity could increase the likelihood for human error with potential implications for employees’ safety and the safety of others.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2427
Number of pages61
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume16
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2019

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Safety
Workplace
Self Report
China
Organizations
Research

Keywords

  • quantitative job insecurity
  • qualitative job insecurity
  • error detection
  • behavioral data
  • cognitive errors
  • burnout

Cite this

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title = "Human Error: The Impact of Job Insecurity on Attention-Related Cognitive Errors and Error Detection",
abstract = "(1) Background: Work-related stress is a major contributor to human error. One significant workplace stressor is job insecurity, which has been linked to an increased likelihood of experiencing burnout. This, in turn, might affect human error, specifically attention-related cognitive errors (ARCES) and the ability to detect errors. ARCES can be costly for organizations and pose a safety risk. Equally detrimental effects can be caused by failure to detect errors before they can cause harm. (2) Methods: We gathered self-report and behavioral data from 148 employees working in educational, financial and medical sectors in China. We designed and piloted an error detection task in which employees had to compare fictitious customer orders to deliveries of an online shop. We tested for indirect effects using the PROCESS macro with bootstrapping (3) Results: Our findings confirmed indirect effects of job insecurity on both ARCES and the ability to detect errors via burnout. (4) Conclusions: The present research shows that job insecurity influences making and detecting errors through its relationship with burnout. These findings suggest that job insecurity could increase the likelihood for human error with potential implications for employees’ safety and the safety of others.",
keywords = "quantitative job insecurity, qualitative job insecurity, error detection, behavioral data, cognitive errors, burnout",
author = "ROLL, {Lara Christina} and SIU, {Oi Ling} and LI, {Yau Wai Simon} and {DE WITTE}, Hans",
year = "2019",
month = "7",
day = "8",
doi = "10.3390/ijerph16132427",
language = "English",
volume = "16",
journal = "International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health",
issn = "1661-7827",
publisher = "Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)",
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T1 - Human Error: The Impact of Job Insecurity on Attention-Related Cognitive Errors and Error Detection

AU - ROLL, Lara Christina

AU - SIU, Oi Ling

AU - LI, Yau Wai Simon

AU - DE WITTE, Hans

PY - 2019/7/8

Y1 - 2019/7/8

N2 - (1) Background: Work-related stress is a major contributor to human error. One significant workplace stressor is job insecurity, which has been linked to an increased likelihood of experiencing burnout. This, in turn, might affect human error, specifically attention-related cognitive errors (ARCES) and the ability to detect errors. ARCES can be costly for organizations and pose a safety risk. Equally detrimental effects can be caused by failure to detect errors before they can cause harm. (2) Methods: We gathered self-report and behavioral data from 148 employees working in educational, financial and medical sectors in China. We designed and piloted an error detection task in which employees had to compare fictitious customer orders to deliveries of an online shop. We tested for indirect effects using the PROCESS macro with bootstrapping (3) Results: Our findings confirmed indirect effects of job insecurity on both ARCES and the ability to detect errors via burnout. (4) Conclusions: The present research shows that job insecurity influences making and detecting errors through its relationship with burnout. These findings suggest that job insecurity could increase the likelihood for human error with potential implications for employees’ safety and the safety of others.

AB - (1) Background: Work-related stress is a major contributor to human error. One significant workplace stressor is job insecurity, which has been linked to an increased likelihood of experiencing burnout. This, in turn, might affect human error, specifically attention-related cognitive errors (ARCES) and the ability to detect errors. ARCES can be costly for organizations and pose a safety risk. Equally detrimental effects can be caused by failure to detect errors before they can cause harm. (2) Methods: We gathered self-report and behavioral data from 148 employees working in educational, financial and medical sectors in China. We designed and piloted an error detection task in which employees had to compare fictitious customer orders to deliveries of an online shop. We tested for indirect effects using the PROCESS macro with bootstrapping (3) Results: Our findings confirmed indirect effects of job insecurity on both ARCES and the ability to detect errors via burnout. (4) Conclusions: The present research shows that job insecurity influences making and detecting errors through its relationship with burnout. These findings suggest that job insecurity could increase the likelihood for human error with potential implications for employees’ safety and the safety of others.

KW - quantitative job insecurity

KW - qualitative job insecurity

KW - error detection

KW - behavioral data

KW - cognitive errors

KW - burnout

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