The overall aim of Human Factors Requirements Analysis is to understand any relevant requirements from a Human Factors Engineering point of view. Human Factors requirements analysis involves developing an understanding of what is necessary to meet customer, end-user, and/or regulatory acceptance.
You may have obligations to meet certain criteria and requirements before the product or system can be accepted. This activity will need to consider the system in total, including the human component.
HF requirements analysis should be performed as part of the project requirements specification stage. However, requirements analysis can be carried out whenever it is recognised that HF input is required.
In order to identify the human actions that are important to safety, it is first necessary to understand the tasks that are being carried out, and the context in which they occur.
If this is not done it is not possible to comprehensively identify where risks may originate.
It is possible to model and control the situations that lead to human contributions to hazards, and also human reactions to system failures. There are many techniques that allow a practitioner to identify human involvement in hazards, assess the risk, and devise methods to reduce that risk.
It is easy for these techniques to be abused, performed incorrectly or used inappropriately. We have many years experience in selecting the correct technique given a particular project situation.
Estimates of risk are often incomplete if they do not account for human behaviour.
The identification, assessment and reduction of risk are core parts of any safety process. Within this process we can help you to address the human contribution to risk, and its mitigation (humans can recover from problems as well as be involved in the development of system problems).
Our authorship of the International Engineering Safety Management Human Factors Handbook demonstrates that we are competent to carry out these tasks.
Fundamentally, Human Factors requirements can be derived to meet either operability or safety needs.
Specific operability requirements are not always defined within the formal set of requirements, but they will exist. These are user needs (expressed or not). Typically, this may involve the degree of effectiveness, efficiency, and conformance with expectations that exist in the equipment design. We can help you define these requirements through developing an understanding of user behaviour.
Safety-related HF requirements can arise as part of the safety assessment process. These documents will set forward a claimed operator action (e.g., the safety-significant tasks on which a claim is made). We can help to define and substantiate performance on these tasks.
A third source of HF requirements may be relevant product standards.
Human Factors requirements and assumptions (both operability and safety) will need to undergo design review. Without Verification & Validation of Human Factors requirements, the possibility exists that the equipment may not be fit for use, or meet it’s human-related safety requirements.