Amir Zakaria Consulting Group | Human Factors Engineering
Human Factors Engineering (HFE) studies interactions between people and systems, that is, tools, technologies, organization, environment and tasks, and then identifies where this relationship can be improved. It encompasses usability and ergonomics to optimize human well-being and overall system performance. HFE focuses on adapting systems to people so they can perform their functions with low probability of error, damage, pain or stress, with high probability of productivity, quality, safety, motivation and satisfaction. Thus, HFE can help optimize patient safety (Carayon et al., 2014; Rivera and Karsh, 2008; Bernardesa et al., 2018). amir zakaria, nazli monajemzadeh, اميرذكريا, امير ذكريا
Human Factors EngineeringHuman Factors Engineering, HFE, safety engineering, Ergonomics, amir zakaria, nazli monajemzadeh, اميرذكريا, امير ذكريا, نازلی منجم زاده
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Human Factors Engineering (HFE)

Human Factors Engineering (HFE)

Human Factors Engineering (HFE) studies interactions between people and systems, that is, tools, technologies, organization, environment and tasks, and then identifies where this relationship can be improved. It encompasses usability and ergonomics to optimize human well-being and overall system performance. HFE focuses on adapting systems to people so they can perform their functions with low probability of error, damage, pain or stress, with high probability of productivity, quality, safety, motivation and satisfaction. Thus, HFE can help optimize patient safety (Carayon et al., 2014; Rivera and Karsh, 2008; Bernardesa et al., 2018).

Human Factors Engineering (HFE) has a key role in promoting the inclusion of human factors knowledge at design and construction phase in socio-technical systems. Several research projects and programs (Taylor, 2013) on system safety engineering and Quantitative Risk Analysis in the last 40 years have offered very strong evidence of the crucial role that human and organizational factors (HOFs) play in major accidents. A coherent definition of HFE is provided by the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers(OGP), which states that HFE is a discipline exploiting a multidisciplinary approach that focuses on the  integration of five elements (“star model”): people, work, work organization,  environment  and  equipment (OGP, 2011). In other words a suitable HFE application framework should address the whole collection of these contributors with respect to the specific case study, so as to support the human inputs to production and reduce potential for human errors for Occupational Safety and Process Safety. HFE can be interchanged with the terms “Human Factors” and “Ergonomics”. In the Process industry the demands for safe and efficient operations has increasingly shifted the role of the human in the system from primary actor to supervisor of an automated process (Naghdali et al., 2014). This increase in the role of automation highlights   the need to properly consider possible hidden hazards when interfacing automation with the process to be controlled and the operators supervising them. In the past the development of new technology was much slower than it is at present and it did allow enough time for the hazards to emerge (Leveson, 2011);  hazards  that  may  also  originate  in  the  lack  of  adequate  support  for  operator’s  cognitive  processing  at  a  rule-based  level or at a knowledge-based level (Rasmussen, 1983). What is now more and more crucial are supports for the diagnostic capabilities of the operator  to  properly  identify  deviations  in  the  process,  to  suitably fix eventual problems coherently with the severity of expected consequence/s. When the  complexity  of  the  system  increases in fact the ability of the human to control the system and intervene in foreseeable and or unforeseen circumstances with even manual functions such  as  corrective maintenance) it’s still crucial in helping the system to recover from abnormal  conditions (HSE, 1999);  hence  the  need  for  Human  Factors  consideration in designing for operability and maintainability. Simple yet effective choices at both organizational and technical level can be observed to enhance human performance, prevent human error and improve safety and maintainability (Vicente, 2001; Wilson et al., 2005).

Reference

  • Bernardesa, M., Trzesniak, C., Trbovich, P., Henrique Pereira Mello, C. (2018). “Applying human factors engineering methods for hazard identification and mitigation in the radiotherapy process”. Safety Science, 109, 270-280.
  • Carayon, P., Xie, A., Kianfar, S. (2014). “Human factors and ergonomics as a patient safety practice”. Qual. Saf. 23, 196–205. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjqs-2013-001812.
  • (1999). “Offshore technology report 0992”. Human Factors assessment of safety critical task, health and safety executive, UK.Rivera, A.J., Karsh, B.T. (2008). “Human factors and systems engineering approach to patient safety for radiotherapy”. Int. J. Radiat. Oncol. Biol. Phys. 71 (1), 174–177. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2007.06.088.
  • Leva, M. C., Naghdali, F. Ciarapica Alunni, C. (2015). “Human Factors Engineering in System Design: A Roadmap for Improvement”. Procedia CIRP 38 (2015), 94 –
  • Leveson, N. G. (2011). “Engineering a Safer world”. Massachusetts: The MIT Press.
  • Naghdali, F., Leva, M. C., Balfe, N., Cromie, S. (2014). “Human Factors  Engineering  at  Design  Stage:  Is  There  a  Need  for  More  Structured  Guidelines  and  Standards?”  Chemical Engineering Transactions, Vol.36, 2014.
  • (2011). “Human factors engineering in projects”. International Association of Oil and Gas Producers, Report No.454, International Association of Oil and Gas Producers, London.
  • Rasmussen, J. (1983). “Skills, rules, knowledge; signals, signs, and symbols, and other distinctions in human performance models”. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, 13, 257-266.
  • Taylor, J.R. (2013). “Incorporating Human Error Analysis into Process Plant Safety   Analysis CHEMICAL ENGINEERING TRANSACTIONS”. VOL. 31, 2013 301-306.
  • Vicente, K. J. (2001). “Cognitive engineering research at Risø from 1962-1979”. In E.Salas (Ed.), Advances in Human Performance and Cognitive Engineering Research, Volume 1 (pp. 1-57), Elsevier.
  • Wilson, J. R., Corlett, N. (2005). “Evaluation of Human Work”. 3rd ed., 83–111, Taylor and Francis Group, Boca Raton, USA.

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