What is human factors? Do you have difficulty explaining the topic to others? And what value does human factors add? This article examines the factors that might influence a control room operator's behaviour (Homer Simpson) and how we might improve his human reliability. These 'Performance Influencing Factors' are key to optimising human performance. The post provides a definition of human factors: "making it easy for Homer to do the right thing".
Human error is a central concept in ergonomics and human factors. But what is 'human error'? Is it helping us to improve safety? The language we use may be preventing us from learning or improving. In this article, I discuss a better way of thinking about human error.