What is a human factors analysis, and why is it necessary to conduct one at different stages throughout the system design process?
Human factors Analysis was created by the United States Navy and was developed due to an increase in mishaps due to errors in human performance. There was an influx of problems caused by human error in the aviation community so in order to evaluate how aviation accidents were being effected by human error an accident investigation framework needed to be developed. The Swiss-Cheese model was developed in order to implement a systems approach to investigating accidents. Human factors analysis reveals that human error is a symptom of a larger problem within the organization rather than the cause of the accident itself (Friedland, 2012). It is important to conduct a human factors analysis during different stages throughout the system design process in order to pinpoint failures that are occurring throughout the entire process. Every organization has safety barriers in place in order to prevent accidents from happening. However, failures in leadership from the top down create holes in the safety barriers that are in place. The failures that tend to occur are organizational influences, unsafe supervision, preconditions of unsafe acts, and unsafe acts. Once these failures have continued for long enough the holes in the safety barriers will align and an accident will occur. In order to prevent the holes from aligning human factors analysis should be conducted at all different stages of the design process to pinpoint and fix deficiencies throughout the stages (Wolf, 2012). My squadron conducts a Human Factors Board once a month and senior personnel discuss potential human factors issues going on with the Marines under their charge. The Marines remain nameless to everyone expect for the said named Marine’s immediate leader. If the board believes the Marine has too much on his/her plate or has too many stressful situations going on, they will be removed from any situations where a mishap could occur. The topics analyzed are family issues, monetary issues, legal issues, etc.
Friedland, B. (2012). Control system design: an introduction to state-space methods. Courier Corporation.
Wolf, M. (2012). Computers as components: principles of embedded computing system design. Elsevier.