Take Control of Your Organisational System

Since the latter half of the twentieth century, Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFE) experts have realised that workers must manage much more than their immediate tasks for doing their job.

Many significant incidents around the world attest to this fact. In the aftermath of an investigation, issues with the following have been discovered:

Design (Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster, 1986)

Culture (Bhopal Gas Tragedy, 1984)

Environment (Pike River Mine Disaster, 2010)

Ignoring expert advice (Challenger Shuttle Disaster, 1986).

Workers must manage a broad range of systems issues daily, which can influence their behaviour, the way they think, and the decisions they make. As a result, it has become a staple requirement of human factors to consider the broader system of an organisation when offering expertise. Whether Human Factors and Ergonomics experts are working on physical harm, cognitive performance, or organisational efficiencies, they will always consider the system. It is also important to realise that the system does not just involve the organisation. For example, transport-related human factors will include considering the influence of regulation on the people doing the work, will include the environment that the transport is operating in, the culture of those operating, and the transport itself.

The important thing to note is that any endeavour involving Human Factors and Ergonomics is holistic by thinking about the system. Our members have the skills to utilise state-of-the-art tools to analyse systems, and systems thinking is a fundamental part of the HFESNZ’s certification framework.