Head Of Training, The Healthy Work Company

April 25, 2016

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Improving lives, business and society with ‘The Human Connection’

The collective works of ergonomists and human factors specialists across the UK has been published following the Ergonomics & Human Factors Conference 2016. A compilation of 29 thought-provoking case studies from a multitude of industries, ‘The Human Connection’ from The Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors showcases the very latest projects in people-led design.

Led by the CIEHF’s outgoing president, Professor Sarah Sharples, the publication demonstrates the innovation and diversity across the profession, and the numerous ways it touches people’s every day lives.

Professor Andrew McNaughton, Technical Director, HS2 Ltd said: “I’m delighted to see this document which highlights the extremely valuable contribution made by human factors professionals within a wide range of industrial settings. I’m personally aware from my work within the rail industry of the positive impact that systematic human factors activities can have on the workplaces of rail employees and the experience of rail passengers.”

Ergonomists and human factors specialists have been at the heart of changes to safety critical systems, resulting in accidents being avoided and lives being saved. From the latest armoured vehicle design, and assessing workload in the rail industry, to designing for patient safety and safer neonatal care, each project is centred upon the way people interact and behave with the world around them, to design systems, technologies and processes that make our lives safer and more enjoyable.

Professor Sarah Sharples, CIEHF President 2015-16: “This document is intended to be of value to a wide range of audiences, including government, policy makers, industry, third sector groups, educators, research funders, regulatory bodies and collaborators. Ultimately we hope that this will become a document that we can all use to help to understand the complexity, range and value of the discipline of ergonomics and human factors.”

The range and diversity of applications of ergonomics and human factors is immense. In aviation, the adoption of a human factors approach has changed the design of flightdecks and aircraft interiors. For many years, the high-hazard industries have recognised the importance of minimising the risk from human error. The nuclear sector has led the way in understanding, measuring and improving reliability, and UK nuclear regulation is seen by many as the gold standard.

In healthcare, ergonomists and human factors specialists work in partnership with clinicians, managers and IT specialists to contribute towards a safe and resilient 21st century healthcare system. Much focus has been placed on improving communication between clinicians, ensuring that teams of doctors and nurses work together to make effective decisions and reduce the likelihood of harm. In addition to this important work, many pieces of equipment that we find in a clinical setting, from ambulances, to drips that deliver life-saving drugs, have been developed and evaluated by human factors experts.

Stephen Barraclough, CEO of the CIEHF said: “We have such a wealth of experience amongst our membership that I believe can change our systems, processes and the way we interact with the world around us for the better. The Human Connection takes a slice of this innovation to demonstrate the capabilities within the profession to make our lives safer, more efficient, and ultimately, more enjoyable.”

To download your free copy of The Human Connection or visit www.ergonomics.org.uk.

The Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors (CIEHF) is a professional membership body open to all which recognises, protects and promotes standards of achievement demonstrated by ergonomists and human factors specialists.

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