An academic definition of Human Factors Engineering The central focus of human factors relates to the consideration of human beings in the design of man- made objects, facilities and environment that people use in the various aspects of their lives. The central approach is the systematic application of relevant information about human characteristics and behavior to the design of the these objects, facilities and environments.
Design Design of: Products Systems Environments Why is design so important?
Design Is proactive Is driven by a need or requirement Can cost more initially, but Good human factors design yields returns in improved performance and reliability.
Design Let us look at a simple example of design This is a rather conventional American design
Design This car was imported into the US in the late 1970s from Italy. Note the Tachometer in the center with the Speedometer to the right along with more instrumentation. The cultural design difference is there were no speed limits in Italy, but engine speed was of considerable interest. Needless to say this design did not last long in the US.
Design considerations Safety Environment [hostile such as outer-space, deep sea] Population [age/geriatric, physical characteristics, etc.] Compatible work environments [lighting, color, temperature, etc.] Task to be accomplished Culture Efficient processes and workflows Right people in the right job
Assessment Assessment of: Products Systems Environments
Assessment Typically is in response to something gone wrong –Products - equipment –Systems - warnings –Environment - hazards Can be proactive in the context of –Prevent injury Assessment yields returns in the context of avoiding future losses, better design and improved operations.
Guard Design Design issues with guard Red line indicates a plastic piece across inner part of guard – sawdust collects making visibility difficult Dimension of guard width and ability to rip narrow pieces of wood Setup and alignment is tedious
Alternative A page from a newer saw – they afforded the user an alternative for narrow ripping cuts.
Table Saw Guarding Survey We conducted a very comprehensive Table Saw guarding survey. Below is a summary of the findings. Four reasons sited for not using guard Difficult to adjust Gets in the way Safer without it Inhibits my work One reason not sited for not using a guard Takes longer to cut Reason that they would more apt to use a guard Better design and loss of fingers was the reason respondents gave.
Better Guard Design Safer = fewer legal actions Marketing advantage = competitive advantage More sales for commercial users
Systems - Warnings Warnings represent a broad range of human interface issues. These issues include: –Effectiveness of warnings, –Whether warnings actually affect behavior, –Which types of warnings are most effective, –With which types of products are warnings most likely to be heeded
Systems - Warnings 1. Warnings must be provided if, without such warnings, the product would be unreasonably dangerous. 2. The ultimate users of the product, or those individuals, who might be expected to be proximate to the use of the product, are the ones to whom the warnings should be directed.
Systems - Warnings For a warning to be effective the user must: Notice the warning (color, design, etc) Perceive the warning (low voltage v. high voltage) Understand the warning (convey the right message)
Design of Warnings Product Safety Sign or Label: Sign, label, or decal affixed to a product that provides hazard and safety information about that product. Panel: Area of label having a distinctive background color different from adjacent areas, or which is clearly delineated by a line, border, or margin. Message Panel: Area containing word messages which identify the hazard, how to avoid the hazard, and the probable consequence of not avoiding the hazard. Signal Word Panel: Area that contains the signal word. For personal injury hazards, the signal word panel also contains the safety alert symbol. Symbol/Pictorial Panel: Optional area containing symbol/pictorial.
Design of Warnings Conventions an imminently hazardous situation which, if not avoided, will result in death or serious injury a potentially hazardous situation which, if not avoided, could result in death or serious injury a potentially hazardous situation which, if not avoided, may result in minor or moderate injury
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