Human Factors Engineering in Project Execution

  • September 26, 2012
  • Feature
September 27, 2012
ISA Automation Week
Track: Human Performance
Bridget Fitzpatrick from Wood Group Mustang presented on the topic of Human Factors Engineering (HFE) in the context of Automation projects. The talk centered around defining HFE and providing an overview of how it applies to automation projects. HFE was defined generically as a sociotechnical approach to system design. HFE was then expanded to suggest that at its best, HFE resulted in systems that leverage the best of human capabilities. The overall goals and effect of HFE were noted. HFE was further reviewed using the HFE Star from OGP (2011) Report 454, which places HFE in the context of People, Work, Work Organization, Environment, and Equipment. Impacts and key considerations for all five aspects were discussed.
Reasons for less than optimal application of HFE were noted as: requiring more engineering effort with more disciplines, being thought to be hard to do well, adding reviews and changes that at times may be not the way we have always done it, being Ill defined with many different types of analyses, and seeming to be expensive.
HFE concepts were then discussed in the context of the stages of project execution, including Concept, FEED, Detailed Design, Commissioning and Operations. Focused areas of discussion included: HMI, Alarm Management, Console Design, Control Room Design The need for a strategy that defines the HFE risks and selection of mitigations plans was suggested. Possible applicable standards were noted. Specific studies to included were also noted including: Equipment Criticality and Sparing, 3-D Model Review, Critical Vendor Package Review, Task Analysis, Mental Workload studies, Fatigue Studies, and Human Reliability Analysis.

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