Task analysis

This is one of the most useful tools in our human factors toolkit. In the right hands you can learn so much about existing tasks and future tasks when considered during design.

For some examples see sub-page https://abrisk.co.uk/task-analysis/task-analysis-examples/

Generic task analysis for 15 typical tasks https://abrisk.co.uk/task-analysis/generic-task-analyses/

Here is the job aid I used for carrying out task analysis. Includes a guide for scoring tasks to rank them by criticality (add the scores for each criteria and the highest is the most critical), a prompt sheet for human error analysis and list of Performance Influencing Factors https://abrisk.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Task-risk-management-job-aid06.pdf

In April 2023 the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF) published a guidance document on how to carry out human factors assessments of critical tasks. I was part of the creative team that developed the content. Following this publication I have made a few tweaks to the template I use for my task analysis reports. You may find this useful for your own reports. I am sharing the Word file so you can copy-paste it into your own template.

Task Analysis Report Templat (PDF format) for you to view

Task Analysis Report Template (Word format) for you to download and use

In 2021 I presented as part of a Task Analysis Masterclass webinar organised by CIEHF. You can view my slide pack with notes.

CIEHF Task Analysis Masterclass slides and notes

Other resources you may find useful:

2014 Hazards linking task analysis with safety studies

Putting task analysis into practice

Task risk management guide

Example task analysis for proof testing safety instrumented systems

1995 Loss Prevention Conf – Using task inventory to develop incident reporting

I am still a strong advocate of the approach to Safety Critical Task Analysis presented in the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report OTO 1999 092 – Human Factors Assessment of Safety Critical Tasks (I was lead author). It used to be a free download from the HSE website but this is no longer the case. You can download a copy at https://abrisk.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/OTO-1999-092.pdf