“Even housewives make mistakes.” BSI Anniversary on BBC?

BBC breakfast had a great story on this morning but I can find nowt about it on the net. Highly frustrating in this modern day and age where we’ve grown accustomed to multi-source channel hopping: from BBC TV to The Guardian through my iPhone through other sites promoted by people I follow on Twitter and maybe some YouTube footage thrown in. The story was something to do with an anniversary for the BSI (British Standards Institute) and they had some great archival footage of smashing windows, crashing crash helmets, firing ball-bearings at goggles all in the name of consumer safety. The reporter even refers to exploding condoms on Twitter (I presume they pump them full of air to test them rather than normal condoms suffering from spontaneous combustion, which would be a worry). Some black and white footage even showed what looked like a real housewife, in a lab, trying to cope with a toaster that had caught alight. The voice over stated, “Even housewives make mistakes.”

Making mistakes is a pet hobby of mine and after recording many through #errordiary my non-scientific analysis can confirm that a high proportion of our everyday mistakes are likely to happen in the kitchen. The traditional home of an archetypal housewife/househusband. Here we fall victim to highly proceduralised parallel routines that are often performed when we’re tired – my colleague says the likelihood of error is made much worse once you have a baby keeping you from sleep throughout the night.

To Err is Human… whether we’re making a fry up, giving treatment to a patient, run a nuclear power plant or fly a plane (ash cloud permitting). We need systems that pick up on these mistakes and are forgiving when mistakes happen. We also need the BSI to continue it’s good work in ensuring that products are safe for consumers and act in predictable ways. Happy Anniversary if that’s what the news story was about.

From Twitter

@richardwestcott Richard Westcott
This is Steve who tests condoms for the BSI http://twitpic.com/500lff

I found the BBC footage! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13517638

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