Human factors aims to understand and improve the wide range of topics that influence how people behave and think. By managing these topics you will set people and organisations up for success.

organisational change-

Human factors requires an understanding of:

1. Work

2. People

3. Organisations

Put simply – we’re interested in what people are being asked to do, who is doing it, and where they are working. All three of these elements must be considered – whether you are trying to prevent things from going wrong, or understanding why something has gone wrong.

What is ‘human factors’?

We’re all human. We all make mistakes and forget things. Our attention span is limited. We overlook key information when making decisions. We get distracted, bored, tired or preoccupied. We mishear and…

When designing equipment, activities, products or systems, the human factors approach is “to make it easy for people to do the right thing and hard to do the wrong thing

Case study: Improving human performance

Human factors and Homer Simpson

What is human factors? Do you have difficulty explaining the topic to others? And what value does human factors add?

This case study examines the factors that might influence a control room operator’s behaviour (Homer Simpson) and how we might improve his performance. These ‘Performance Influencing Factors’ are key to understanding and optimising human performance.

The article provides a definition of human factors: “making it easy for Homer to do the right thing”.

The goal, ultimately, is to create systems that are based around the capabilities, characteristics, and needs of people. Doing this will improve human performance: which in turn reduces accidents and ill-health, as well as increasing productivity, quality and other positive outcomes.

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Key topics

It is these key topics that influence how we behave and think.

Understanding and improving these topics is the essence of human factors.


These are stories of how clever and complex organisations sometimes fail.

The investigations into these incidents provide a good introduction to the breadth of human factors.


Articles on a range of human factors, psychology and safety issues; ranging from comments on current affairs to book reviews.

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Martin Anderson:
Creator of

Understanding and optimising human performance

I’ve spent over 30 years working as a human factors professional in senior roles across consultancy, industry, regulation, and research. I’m sharing my experience with you on this website.

Martin Anderson,

Follow me on LinkedIn, where I write about human factors, human performance, organisational failures, safety leadership and work psychology: