Human Factors Integration, Considering People
A good human factors integration (HFI) strategy will demonstrate how human factors will be managed throughout the lifecycle of a product.
HFI principles can be taken and applied in any industry, tailored to meet the requirements of the workforce. The ORR advise that:
- A system is fit for purpose (from a human factors point of view) if it enables trained operators to carry out their designated tasks safely and reliably under normal, abnormal and emergency conditions
- The system should not place undue demands on error-free and/or rapid human actions in response to emergency situations
- Operators should be able to perform their tasks in a sustained manner without excessive workload, exceptional time pressure, significantly reduced levels of alertness or the need to use novel actions or procedures
- Any equipment (hardware and/or software) provided for operators should support their needs and be tolerant of human error. It should be designed to avoid any loss of confidence in, or frustration with, the equipment by users
- Equipment should be designed to minimise the need for trained operators to have frequent recourse to user instructions or to other forms of help or written procedures
- The terminology used on any equipment should match that in normal use by operators, to avoid confusion
- Priority operator responses to ensure the safety of passengers and staff should be clearly distinguished by suitable design means. Such responses should be quick and easy to make
- Different items of equipment (including equipment from different suppliers) used by an operator should present information in a consistent format with compatible means of navigation and control
- Any long-term health effects which may arise from the ergonomics of the workplace should be identified and suitable controls implemented
- Wherever possible there should be compliance with current human factors design standards and good practice guidelines .
It is strongly recommended, therefore, to consider ‘who’ is likely to be interfacing with a product during its lifecycle and ‘how’ they will be interfacing with it. This will allow the designer and client alike to make early well-informed decisions in the planning process, to reduce health hazards and associated costs later.