Human Error is a Symptom not a Root Cause: The Critical Link between Human Factors and Human Safety

  • April 4, 2019
    11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Topic: Human Error is a Symptom not a Root Cause: The Critical Link between Human Factors and Human Safety

Speaker: Cynthia Rando, Sophic Synerstics, LLC

Abstract: It’s often the first explanation offered when catastrophic events occur and loss of life is experienced in major accidents across the globe, the dreaded “Human Error”.   Recently, there have been many events in the public eye from medical errors at St. Luke’s to the Boeing Max 8 Air crashes that have brought this topic back to the forefront.  In each case, human error was cited as a root cause.   Although, the human is the weakest leak in any human-machine system and can always be listed as a cause, it is not the first link to break nor the true root cause of any of these incidents.  Human Error is a symptom of deeper issues related to the organization (i.e. mgmt.), engineering/design decisions, and/or processes and procedures.  Leveraging current event case studies, we will identify how human factors, as part of the safety paradigm, is often the most ignored but greatest risk mitigation strategy for companies.

St. Lukes


Bio: Cynthia Rando is the Founder/CEO of Sophic Synergistics, LLC, a consulting firm that is focused on optimizing human performance and experience in any environment, Building Better Businesses by Design.TM. Cynthia, introduced the SOPHIC Conceptual model to the field, a model that utilizes human centered design as a business model and profitable strategy.

She has spent 17+ years in the field of Human Centered Design including 12 years at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. During this time, she provided extensive leadership to the organization addressing several critical areas in Human Factors and Human Centered design including: user interface design, ergonomics, safety and risk mitigation strategies, usability and user experience, accident investigation and root cause analysis activities.  Additionally, she was instrumental in implementing several culture change initiatives and innovative solutions for the agency including: the U.S. Governments’ first use of crowdsourcing as a disruptive business model and the development of the Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation and the NASA Human Health and Performance Center.

Cynthia is a Certified Human Factors Professional and the Vice President of the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Human Factors Engineering from Clemson University and an MBA from Northeastern University.  She has served as an associate professor at University of Houston Clearlake providing instruction in Human Factors and Ergonomics course material.  Currently, she provides Human Centered Design/Human Factors consultation to the Texas Medical Center Innovation Incubator’s medical device startup cohorts and The Texas Committee on Autonomous Systems.   She also serves on the board of advisors to ORintel for Human Factors and Ergonomics.


  • 11:00am – Networking
  • 11:30am – Introductions
  • 11:50am – Chapter Updates
  • 12:00pm – Technical Meeting


This meeting is part of three (3) part series to earn 0.3 CEUs for attending all three meetings. All three meetings must be attended to receive 0.3 CEUs.

  • February 7, 2019 – H&S Learnings from Hurricane Harvey
  • April 4, 2019 – Human Error is a Symptom not a Root Cause
  • May 2, 2019 – Awards & Honors Meeting


9100 Gulf Freeway, Houston, Texas, 77017, United States