How human factors engineering can add value to your project

Aerospace, Renewables, Harbours & ports, Life sciences, Maritime, Oil & gas

People are sometimes viewed as a separate part of the business, best left to HR.

But people are involved in every aspect of work, which is why looking at the part that human factors play is so important.

The end result in helping to avoid accidents and ill health at work cannot be underestimated.

What I do

As a human factors consultant, I carry out a range of human factors engineering (HFE) assignments.

We have developed a methodology at Marex that supports clients in integrating human factors into particular projects.

And like most things, it’s best to start early. The most efficient way is to consider the impacts of the interaction between humans and systems is when you’re in the early stages of your project development.

We work closely with clients and engineering contractors to carry out HFE screening and design analysis so it’s “built in” to the whole process. This avoids expensive retro-fitting and can have a positive impact on life cycle costs of operations and maintenance.

HFE screening

We can all accept the importance of this approach in theory. But what does it feel like in practice?

If we look at the first stage of HFE screening, we evaluate aspects like

  • task complexity: how difficult is it?
  • unit criticality: how essential is the task to the overall operation?
  • task frequency: how often is it carried out? Different risks are attached to frequent and infrequent tasks
  • novelty: is this something that would seem like a typical task?
  • design scope: a description of the operational aspects of the design concept and identification of novel aspects of the design
  • known problems: we use things that have already been identified as problems in practice and address these as part of the process 

We carry out the screening in the early stages of a project and it results in either an HFE strategy, or a minuted record that there are no further benefits to be gained from applying it.

Further stages can be involved. The strategy may identify design analysis activities which could add value to the front end engineering design (FEED) phase.

Or for complex projects, HFE analysis might continue into the detailed design stage.  This is most likely to involve further analysis of critical operations or maintenance tasks not covered in sufficient detail in the FEED.

Marex has the experience and expertise to guide you through the whole process.

Our team of specialists includes a chartered ergonomist (CErgHF) with over 20 years’ experience who is also a Fellow of the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (FIEHF) and a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (CFIOSH). I myself have over five years’ experience as a human factors consultant. In addition, I am also a technical member of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (TechCIEHF).

You are in safe hands.

If you’d like to find out a bit more about the whole process, get in touch now.

Neil Smeaton

Varun Sarpangal Principal technical consultant

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