In industry, the study of human factors is also known as Ergonomics. It is a study of how people behave psychologically and physically with respect to any particular situation, product or service. It is mainly about fitting people to the job they are doing. It focuses on the work environment and items such as the design and function of workstations, controls, displays, safety devices, tools and lighting to fit the employee's physical requirements, capabilities, and limitations to ensure his/her health and well being. To make your employees more efficient and to reduce risk of failure, it is very important to consider these factors. Especially when you are structuring and designing the work you need to make sure that it is comfortable for the people. There are certain principles which need to be considered in this aspect:
· Ease of use
· Productivity and performance
In different organizations, human factors are considered to enhance the productivity and performance of employees. Organizational policies, procedures and structures are included in this. These are designed in such a way that they could fit a job with the person who is performing it.
Cognitive Ergonomics answers the question that how the mind processes the information. How it takes input and convert it into an output. It's mainly about an interaction between humans and data. It can include signs and signals, visibility, retention of data etc. Humans are susceptible to failure if they are tired, distracted or unhappy. Failure could lead to the compromise of a work activity, detracting from the safety or the organisation and product/activity.
The physical perspective of ergonomics or human factors is all about tools and things. Its main focus is on the physical dimensions i.e. how people use different instruments and tools and how comfortable they are with them.
Ignoring the Human Factors at Workplace
For the success of any organisation, it is very important to consider human factors. The work environment is supposed to be comfortable for the end users who are actually working there. When these human factors are ignored they cause many health and safety issues. For instance, if the chair is too low and it's not an appropriate level with the desk. In this case, your back is not supported and your neck is tilted which could cause pain. Similarly, the use of upward sloping keyboard and sitting somewhere too long can also cause discomfort. In order to avoid all these situations you need to consider the human factors when you design a job.