Enhancing safety and productivity with Human Factors


Here at KD, we know how important it is to integrate Human Factors thinking at the very start of the design process, but its use also extends to industries such as rail, oil and gas, as well as in manufacturing.

Laura McDowall (Human Factors Consultant at KD) is consulted by Maddy White from The Manufacturer, on the benefits that Human Factors - commonly referred to as ergonomics - can bring to business and manufacturing, with a particular spotlight on safety and enhancing productivity. Laura adds:

We specialise in the way humans interact with products and processes, and how this can be not only beneficial, but for some regulated industries a legal requirement for many companies, especially in the medical sector. Human Factors is widely acknowledged in many industries from rail, oil and gas, to aviation, medical and defence.  Recent years have also seen an emergence of related methodologies in the field of UX, albeit less safety focused, it promotes a user / human centric mindset when designing services and systems.

As Human Factors specialists, our role is to understand the influences on human behaviour, helping to reduce incidences of error through the building of systems that support users, minimising the potential for failure, and managing failures as they occur. Human Factors can help establish whether the user-tasks involved are feasible and achievable, if the environment and equipment are usable - which can enable appropriate behaviour - and if the required level of performance is reliable. This can be done through targeting key areas, such as: critical tasks, job design, processes and procedures, competence management, workload and fatigue, and change management.

Read the full article here: How Ergonomics can Improve Productivity and Safety in Manufacturing.

Laura McDowall

Find out more?

Read more from our experts at KD, delving into questions such as:

What really is HF? And how could you explain it to a room of five year olds? Click here.

What is the true value HF can bring? Click here.