Human Factors Engineering in the hazard identification process


Complex sociotechnical systems are defined as systems consisting of plant, processes and people as well as the interaction among these three components. Sociotechnical systems mean that organisations have various interfaces to different parts of the system and that transactions take place within the system, its subsystems, and between the larger context and dynamics in the environment. Therefore, a sociotechnical system is often described as an interconnected system based on a mix of people, technology and their environment. In this system, the interaction between; people and people, people and plant/asset, and people and processes are crucial factors for success when designing, commissioning, operating, and decommissioning a plant in a safe and risk-minimized manner.

In general, few engineering team members have detailed training or awareness of the scope, range or complexity of human and organisational factors that can lead to major process incidents, or have had the opportunity to study research or investigations related to human and organisational factors.

The Human Factors Engineering process enables organisations to extract maximum value from existing practices by raising awareness around various human and organisational factors issues in complex sociotechnical systems. This will assure the company to better identify risks arising from the range of complexity of human and organisational factors.

Our Approach

The training course covers introduction to Human and Organisational factors, Human Performance and Reliability. Course participants will get hands on experience from using this add-on methodology and procedure. They will also receive a practical framework to be used when planning and completing hazard identification.

Relevant examples, case studies and practical exercises are used to enforce key learning points.


The benefits of incorporating Human Factors into organisations existing engineering methodology is the following:

  • It will enable the organisation to extract maximum value from existing hazard identification practices, and in effect minimum change to practices already in use.
  • It will ensure that appropriate Human Factors Engineering competence within the engineering team is considered when completing hazard identification.
  • It will raise awareness among the engineering team of factors likely to impact on human performance and reliability at the asset, as well as the ability of the project to provide engineering solutions to identified risks. The aim is to try to prevent the engineering team from making unreasonable assumptions about the sociotechnical system being analysed.