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Human Factors Engineering

by: Lindsay Kozey

Human Factors Engineering IENG 360

Lindsay Kozey
GPA 3.73

Ashish Nimbarte

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About this Document

Ashish Nimbarte
Class Notes
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Popular in Industrial Engineering

This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lindsay Kozey on Saturday September 12, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to IENG 360 at West Virginia University taught by Ashish Nimbarte in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 27 views. For similar materials see /class/202730/ieng-360-west-virginia-university in Industrial Engineering at West Virginia University.


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Date Created: 09/12/15
Introduction Human Factors and Systems Technological developments have focused attention of the need to consider human beings in a field called human factors engineering or human factors or ergonomics The goal of human factors is to guide the applications of technology so that it better benefits humanity Human factors focuses on humans and their interaction with products equipment facilities procedures and environments with the emphasis on human beings and how the design of things influences them The aim is to better match things to the capabilities limitations and needs of people Human factors has two objectives 1 Enhance the effectiveness and efficiency with which work and other activities are carried out 3 Convenience b Error reduction Productivity Z Enhance desirable human values a Safety b Stressfatigue reduction c Comfort d User acceptance e f Squot Job satisfaction Quality of life The two objectives often occur together Enhancing effectiveness often enhances other positive aspects like safety and comfort in order to become more efficient The approach of human factors is systematic application of relevant information about human capabilities limitations characteristics behavior and motivation to the design of things and procedures people use and to the environment in which they use them Human factors uses evaluation of the things we design to ensure they satisfy their objectives Definition Human factors discovers and applies information about human behavior abilities limitations and other characteristics to the design of tools machines systems tasks jobs and environments for productive safe comfortable and effective human use Doctrines of the human factors profession 1 Commitment to the idea that things are built to serve humans and must be designed with the user in mind Recognition of individual differences and an appreciation for their design implications Conviction that the design of things influences human behavior and wellbeing Emphasis on empirical data and evaluation Reliance on the scientific method and the use of objective data Commitment to a systems orientation and recognition that things and people do not exist in isolation P P PF E J Corrections on common misconceptions 1 Human factors is not just applying checklists and guidelines There are always other factors to consider and one checklist can t cover everything 2 Human factors is not using oneself as a model for designing things Just because it works for you doesn t mean it works for everyone due to individual differences 3 Human factors is notjust common sense Common sense can help but it s not always intuitive and common sense ideas can vary by person Human factors is intertwined with developments in technology and began in the industrial revolution late 1800s to early 1900s Frank and Lillian Gilbreth studied among other things skilled performance and fatigue in the design of workstations and equipment for the handicapped The major emphasis of behavioral scientists through WWII was selecting the proper people for jobs and development of improved training procedures ie fitting the person to the job After the war the focus shifted to fitting the job to the person bringing about the human factors profession Human factors grew rapidly between 1960 and 1980 as it expanded beyond military and space applications so that it was found in many companies The computer revolution 19801990 made human factors even more wellknown Forensics dramatically increased human factors involvement particularly in product liability and personal injury litigations human factors experts define issues of defective design and assess the effectiveness of warnings and instructions It is expected the human factors will continue to grow During most of history the development of tools and equipment depended on evolution and trial and error One used a device noted its deficiencies and then improved those deficiencies in the next generation of the device Human factors now needs to be considered earlier in the design phase due to the increased rate of technological development This is because it is impractical and costly to modify a design after the product is already produced Therefore initial designs must be as satisfactory as possible S stem an entity that exists to carry out some purpose 0 Composed of humans machines and other things that interact to accomplish some goal which the components could not produce independently o Humanmachine system a 39 39 of one or more human beings and one or more physical components interacting to bring about some desired output from given input 0 eg a person with a hammer a person driving a car a pilot controlling an aircraft 0 A human must interact with the machine in some capacity for the system to work Displays can serve as stimuli for an operation triggering information processing in the operator resulting in some action that controls the operation of the machine One way to characterize humanmachine systems is by the degree of manual versus machine control 0 Manual consists of hand tools and other aids coupled by a human operator who controls the operation with their own physical energy as the power source o quot quot 39 39 quot 39 39 wusists of vaii 39 g 39 physical parts generally designed to perform their functions with little variation under the power of the machine and the control of the operator 0 Automated performs all operational functions with little or no human intervention but requires humans to install program reprogram and maintain them Characteristics of systems Systems are purposive Every system has at least one purpose called the goal or objective Systems can be hierarchical Systems can be composed of subsystems andor be part of bigger systems To describe such a complex system you have to decide on the boundary of the system where the system ends and the outside environment begins which must be logical and result in a system that performs an identifiable function You must also decide where to set the limit of resolution how far down into the system you consider At the lowest level are the components The proper limit depends on what you want to analyze or describe Systems operate in an environment everything outside a system s boundaries You can describe the 39 39 eg 39 39 lounge chair the intermediate environment eg home school football stadium or the general environment eg neighborhood city highway system Some aspects of the physical environment are natural and not easily modified which can cause the environment to impose certain constraints on behavior Components serve functions Every component serves at least one function related to the fulfillment of one or more of the system s goals There are four basic functions components serve o Sensing information receiving of information from outside the system or within the system 0 Information storage memory of learned material 0 Information processing and decision typically resulting in a decision to act or not act when humans are involved or resulting in following a program when automated machines are involved 0 Action functions operations which occur as a consequence of the decisions made There are two classes of action functions physical control actions handling movement modification or alteration of materials or objects and communication actions voice signals records or other methods Components interact Components work together to achieve system goals Systems subsystems and components have inputs and outputs The outputs of one subsystemcomponent are the inputs to another A system receives inputs from the environment and makes outputs to the environment 0 Closedloop system performs some process which requires continuous control and requires continuous feedback for its successful operation 0 Openloop system needs no further control or cannot be further controlled when activated Feedback can only improve subsequent operations of the system Reliability the dependability of performance in carrying out an intended function usually expressed as the probability of successful performance or as the mean time to failure If a system includes two or more components the reliability of the system will depend on the reliability of the individual components and how they are combined o In series successful performance of the total system depends on successful performance of each and every component The failure of any component results in system failure Component failures are independent of each other Reliability of the system is the product of the reliabilities of the several components decreasing reliability as more components are added The maximum possible reliability is the reliability of the least reliable component o In parallel two or more components are performing the same function working in a backupredundancy arrangement If one fails the other can take up its function so that the entire system can only fail if every component that does the function fails Adding components in parallel increases the reliability of the system Reliability changes as a function of time in that it decreases over time in most cases


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