The Hazards of Human Factors

Human factors are one of the areas that need to be focused on in all industries. Human errors and actions can be hazardous and lead to risk that need to be controlled. This is a part of health and safety management that must be considered to help avoid ill-health and accidents in the workplace.

Learning about hazards and risks is one part of the NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety. According to the HSE, human factors relate to the environment where work is being carried out, how work is organised and the job factors. It's not all occupational though, human factors and their risks can also be down to personal characteristics of the workers that could influence health and safety at work.

Evaluating the Risks

The job must be looked at in detail. You need to consider the workload and nature of the tasks as well as where the work is taking place. This means that ergonomic factors and principles have to be taken into account along with the limitations of the person performing the job and their strengths.

Mentally the person needs to be considered fit for the job with attention, perception and decision making all being considered in the risks. The personality of the individual must be evaluated including their own skills, attitude and then it needs to be seen if the personality risks can be changed or enhanced in order to better manage the health and safety.

Not all personality traits can be altered, some are fixed. Working patterns can cause hazards, as well as poor communication, leadership and the resources used. Often these factors aren't considered when the job is created but they do have a direct influence on workers and groups so need to be evaluated.

Training to Spot Risks Caused by Human Factors

The NEBOSH General Certificate teaches about the basics in health and safety and how to control workplace hazards. The course will give the candidate a good grounding in how to identify hazards in the workplace including the physical processes and ill health effects of the work being carried out. The candidate will go on to learn strategies aimed at combatting these tasks as well as other hazards found at work.

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