Human factors refer to environmental, organisational and job factors, and human and individual characteristics which influence behaviour at work in a way which can affect health and safety. A simple way to view human factors is to think about three aspects: the job, the individual and the organisation and how they impact people’s health and safety-related behaviour.

(Health and Safety Executive, United Kingdom)

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We can have state of the art designed systems in place, but if the people interacting with those systems don’t feel valued and respected for the meaningful part they play in the overall process, it can lead to them becoming emotionally disengaged from the tasks at hand and result in safety, quality & performance incidents.

The latest research in the field of Emotional Intelligence shows that if certain emotions are evoked, logic takes a back seat and emotion wins. If there is a tendency within an organisation to overdepend on procedures and rules, there can be a perception by employees that their input is not valued and their initiative not welcome. This can potentially evoke emotions such as anger and frustration in the workforce, which in turn can result in a lack of engagement. Without engagement, businesses may struggle to survive – let alone flourish.

A good grasp of personal resources such as Emotional Intelligence can really enhance Human Factors in safety. Educating and training individuals and management in this area can bring about great improvements, and Upstream are here to help you in this area.

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