What are the key HOF issues? The Safety Management Intelligence System, known to many as SMIS, is the rail industry’s on-line health and safety reporting and business intelligence software. It collects and provides...
HOF in Design
About this topic
Considering HOF in design of railway sub-systems is fundamental to achieving a safe and efficient railway. The tools, equipment, procedures, and information provided to workers all need to be fit for purpose and considering HOF during the design process helps to ensure that this will be the case. The design considerations include things like whether the end users can physically reach, see and/or lift the equipment, the usability of any computer interfaces, and the impact of the change on end user workload and situation awareness.
Relevance to rail
Whether it’s an entirely new fleet of vehicles, a change to a button on a control centre desk, or a new tool for track maintenance, all must be designed. And if they are designed with the train drivers, signallers, controllers, or maintainers in mind, this will enable the design to be more successful.
Approaches and models
The primary approach to HOF in Design is to apply a Human Centred Design approach using a Human Factors Integration (or Human Factors Assurance) process. Different industries and sectors have different approaches to this, but in general it involves the production of a plan which describes the scope of the project or change, the end users affected, the relevant areas of human factors to be considered, and the planned human factors activities over the course of the project or change. The objective of the process is to ensure the system is fit for purpose, but also to design out opportunities for human failures, account for user capabilities and limitations, and ensure the design reflects the context of user. The specific human factors activities applied in each design process will vary according to the needs of the project, but they may involve setting user requirements, assessing the reach and visibility of controls and displays, assessing the usability of any software or user interfaces, considering the workload of end users under different conditions, etc.
What are the key HOF issues? The Safety Management Intelligence System, known to many as SMIS, is the rail industry’s on-line health and safety reporting and business intelligence software. It collects and provides access to information on thousands of...
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