Enter the maze

Frustrating, funny or fatal: a diary of everyday errors

Error Diary

Everyone makes mistakes. Whether an error is frustrating, funny or fatal depends on the context. Brush your teeth with shaving foam and if you ever let on, its probably just funny. Confuse what you are doing when setting up a medical device and someone could get hurt. Have you ever pressed the wrong keys on a calculator by mistake and got a stupid answer? If you are a nurse who has to press similar sequences of keys on drug delivery devices to set drug doses all day long, you need to go through your whole career without making that kind of mistake! Or at least if you do get it wrong you must ALWAYS notice and fix it straight away.

When the consequences are bad, the person who makes the mistake can get into serious trouble, but for many kinds of mistake it could just have easily have been you. A group of researchers from UCL decided it was time to bring all our mistakes out of the closet. They therefore set up errordiary.com to show how we all makes mistakes all the time. Whenever you make a silly mistake you can tweet about it to the Error Diary. Think of a way to stop it happening and you can tweet about that too. It's only by bringing these every day errors into the open that we can change our perception of mistakes and their causes and also look for and share ways of preventing them. By learning from the silly mistakes, maybe the same solutions can also help avoid some of the fatal ones.