All organisations involve people in some way.  One issue that this brings is that all people make mistakes, forget things, get distracted, break rules and generally fail.  Human Factors helps us understand how people fail, the potential consequences of failure and how the associated risks can be reduced.

Why are human factors important?

Person at an industrial site Despite great advances in technology over recent years, people are still heavily involved throughout any organisation's lifecycle.  Even where a process has been largely automated, the equipment is still designed, maintained and monitored by people.

People have many abilities that cannot be replace by machines. They are particularly good at applying judgement, working flexibly and recalling information gained from many different experiences.  But they have natural weakness that mean error is always a possibility. Human Factors uses the knowledge of people to make sure their strengths are achieved whilst avoiding the weaknesses.

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