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date: 15 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Hierarchical task analysis (HTA), arguably the most popular task analysis method of all time, provides a useful approach for describing expert behavior and the factors influencing it. Its utility is enhanced by the fact that there are various ergonomics analysis methods that build on HTA outputs to provide in-depth analyses of behavior. This chapter provides an overview of HTA and its origins, followed by practical guidance on how to apply the method. Two rail level crossing case study applications are presented. These are used to showcase how HTA can be used to describe and analyze both behavior at the sharp end (i.e., at the rail level crossing itself) as well as the behavior of overall sociotechnical systems (i.e., the behavior of the overall rail level crossing “system”). In closing, the main strengths and weakness of HTA are discussed.

Keywords: task analysis, hierarchical task analysis, rail level crossings, systems thinking, safety

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