Human Factors Blog

Come and see us at Hazards 33

Julie and Pippa are both presenting papers at the 33rd Hazards Conference, November 7th-9th, Birmingham. Julie will be presenting on our Human Factors Health Check with Neil Kirk, EHS Manager at Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. We’ve found the Health Check enables sites to get a strong grasp of what they are doing well, and what could […]

Simon Bates illustration Anatomy of a 21st century educator.

Achieving Competence through Digital Learning

I’ve just completed the Open University’s on-line course “Online Teaching: Creating Courses for Adult Learners”.  No this isn’t a Brag Post, I don’t know if I’ve passed the assignment yet, but whether or not I do, I wanted to share some of the reflections I’ve had whilst studying the materials.  Anyone familiar with the Open […]

Why I love quantification

Introduction I came to Human Factors from a psychology background and the concept of quantifying human behaviour to predict the likelihood of errors seemed unrealistic to me.  Despite the patterns of behaviour that psychologists have identified over the years, I was convinced that there were too many variables, too many confounding factors, too many individual […]

What’s in a name

Introduction I have to admit, I’m a pragmatist when it comes to language.  Words are for communication.  If everyone understands what you are talking about, does it matter what word you use?  It seems to me that Human Factors struggles with names, sometimes to the detriment of the discipline. Analysis of Human Factors Right now […]

Moving the Goal Posts in Health and Safety

Introduction On one of my last Inspections as HM Specialist Inspector (Human Factors Engineering), I was asked the following question: “What does the regulator actually want?”  It was asked with some exasperation.  The beleaguered Operations Manager said that the regulator (in this case the COMAH Competent Authority) was constantly shifting the goal posts.  “Why can’t […]

Performance Influencing Factors Chart

Optimising Performance Influencing Factors (PIFs)

In Human Reliability Analysis, we identify the factors which influence human performance on a critical task so that we can "optimise" them. In response to my recent post on Positive PIFs...

Humans Factors

Identifying Performance Influencing Factors

Recently I have posted on Positive Performance Influencing Factors (PIFs), also known as Performance Shaping Factors (PSFs), and what Optimising PIFs means...

Changes in major hazard industries

Organisational Change in Major Hazard Industries – Some Common Problems

Whether because of the UK’s changing relationship with Europe, rising gas prices or the small matter of a global pandemic, the HSE are seeing a lot of organisational change in UK businesses at the moment...