Human Factors

Human Factors involves the application of engineering and science to the task of evaluating the characteristics of the environment and the implementations within the environment that a human being is undertaking an activity wherein the success or failure of concluding the activity may be significantly affected by the characteristics of the environment, the implementation, or the functional limitations of the human. Hence, Human Factors is seen to include evaluations of the environment as well as the products and objects the human interacts with to decide whether or not they are compatible with human abilities. The emphasis is whether or not the human sensory system, information processing system, anatomy and strength limitations are compatible with a product and/or the environmental conditions the typical user would encounter. Human factors science helps design better products and analyzes the source of error and potential accident causation characteristics in existing product designs. Almost all human actions involve visual perception. Everyday activities such as driving, reading, watching TV, or operating a device, involve the human ability to see and interpret visual phenomena. This capability is necessary in order for one to decide on a course of action and respond appropriately. Understanding and interpreting this type of phenomena is often the key to analyzing human behavior in an accident scenario. WHA engineers and scientists have expertise and the experience necessary to analyze and apply human factors scientific analysis in accident case investigations. This aids WHA in identifying the human factor issues that are relevant in a given accident scenario and to render opinions on the compatibility of a product, or an event situation, to human abilities and their relationship to accident causation.