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Human Factors in Safety

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Lancaster University
Contact Provider
35 hours over 5 days
Short Course
Graduate engineers working in senior positions in the nuclear, aerospace or safety sectors
Engineering Department , Lancaster University , Lancaster , LAI 4YR, Lancashire, United Kingdom

ENGR516: Human Factors in Safety


To provide students with knowledge of the human factors and psychological issues that underpin human performance in safety-critical systems, and to introduce fundamental design and evaluation techniques and skills that enhance system safety and usability.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this module students should have:

  • The ability to investigate and define a problem and identify human factors constraints and limitations, and the limits of human reliability in a system
  • Understanding og the way in which individuals react in extreme conditions
  • A total systems view of an engineering activity, how humans fit into the system and an appreciation of the influence of human factors on the design of user interfaces
  • An appreciation of the benefits for safety-critical industries of motivational aspects of psychology
  • An awareness of key case study examples where human error has been the root cause


Cognitive, social and organisational determinants of human reliability; efforts of task factors (e.g. load, frequency, criticality) and human dispositional factors (e.g. motivation, cognitive styles) on performance in safety engineering environments; psychological issues in the design and evaluation of user interfaces; task analytical approaches to safe systems design (Heirarchical task analysis, Cognitive Work Analysis); Evaluating safety-critical interfaces (e.g. Heuristic evaluation, cognitive walkthroughs). 


 58% Exam; 42% Coursework

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