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No. 557 | Jan-Feb 2017

Ergonomist Bringing human factors to life

ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE Building new commuter trains

POWER TO THE PEOPLE How human factors has become embedded in nuclear energy generation


MINING MATTERS Making progress in a diverse society 22

ENERGY AWARENESS Driving effective behaviour change

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Human Science Research

• • • • •

Human Factors Research and Engineering Cultural and Behavioural Analytics Cyber Influence IoT, Smart Cities and Smart Communities Impacts Social Media Effects Twitter: @KSharpLtd Tel: 01452 723051 Email: Avionics House, Newhaven Road, Gloucester, GL2 2SN

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No. 557 | Jan-Feb 2017 / 3

Contents The magazine of The Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors


NEWS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS 6/ Occupational health Learning from other discplines and cultures

27/ Book reviews Does listening to music affect the way you drive?

10/ Perspectives Comment and opinion on news and issues

28/ Energy Understanding what people know about energy use

12/ Education The rise of user-centred design in undergraduate study

30/ Education Answers to important questions about PhD research


32/ Journal extracts Coping with high stress situations


14/ Rail Improving passenger experience through human factors design

34/ Events Great networking opportunities at local and national events

19/ Energy The key role of human factors specialists in the nuclear industry

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CIEHF NEWS 33/ AGM notice Influencing Institute activities


17/ Aviation The big issues concerning aviation today

The Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors Elms Court, Elms Grove Loughborough, LE11 1RG 07736 893350

25/ Healthcare Reducing mistakes in prescribing medication


8/ A day in the life Experiences of work as a railway engineer


22/ South African perspective Challenges in a land of extremes

35/ Publications A look ahead to an important white paper

EDITORIAL Editor: Tina Worthy 07736 893350

ADVERTISING Ben Nelmes 020 7880 6244

Senior lead designer: Carrie Bremner Senior picture editor: Chloe Crisford

PRODUCTION Aysha Miah-Edwards 020 7880 6241

PUBLISHERS Redactive Publishing Ltd 17 Britton Street London, EC1M 5TP 020 7880 6200

©2016 The Ergonomist is the quarterly magazine of The Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors. The views expressed in The Ergonomist are not necessarily the views of the institute. Publication does not imply endorsement. Publication of advertisements in The Ergonomist is not an endorsement of the advertiser or of the products and services.

Jan-Feb 2017 | The Ergonomist

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4 / Advertisement

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Editorial / 5


Bringing diverging communities together


uman factors and ergonomics is concerned with the design of interfaces and the interaction of people with technology, right? We would like to think so, but when it comes to the design of digital interfaces (websites, ecommerce, smartphone Apps, etc.) this has now very largely become the domain of user experience (UX) designers. There has been a divergence of human factors and UX, both as disciplines and as communities of practitioners. This issue was discussed in a session at the CIEHF Human Factors and Ergonomics conference in April 2016 and was followed up by an excellent article by Dan Jenkins in The Ergonomist and which was also published as a LinkedIn post (see http:// I raised this at the recent CIEHF Executive Committee and Council meetings and it was agreed that we want to take steps to bring the

UX and human factors communities closer together. If we don’t, the influence of human factors on the world of digital interface design will continue to decline. I have consulted some of those who have, to some extent, a foot in both camps (many thanks to Dan Jenkins, Jon Fisher, Francis Rowland and Jim McKenzie). They have provided more insight and wisdom than I have space to cover here, but there was a common belief that human factors could learn about and benefit from being more agile and UX could learn from the structure and rigour of the established human factors toolset. I would like to open up this discussion amongst the CIEHF membership to determine how we can reach out to the UX community for our mutual benefit. If you are working in UX or have views on the divergence of human factors and UX please get in touch.


Insight across sectors Much of the content of this magazine is written by CIEHF members and gives an insight into their work, thoughts and ideas across a number of major sectors. Suzanne Heape tells us what it’s like to be a human factors engineer on the railways, while Lisa Kelly describes the work being undertaken on train design for London’s Crossrail project. An illuminating insight into the role of human factors specialists in the nuclear sector is the topic of one article, while another looks at how we might make people more aware of their

Editorial President and Editor__The Ergonomist 5

energy consumption. Coverage is also given to activity in healthcare, aviation and education. This issue also brings news and information from further afield. We welcome Andrew Thatcher and his colleagues who give their perspective from South Africa. They describe the challenges and success of those working in ergonomics and the efforts being made to improve opportunities in the discipline. A report from France tells of a meeting where discussions focused on regulation, practice

Dr Ian Randle CIEHF President @IanRandleHuTech

Human factors could benefit from being more agile

and sustainability in ergonomics. And Joanne Crawford relates her experiences of a trip to Abu Dhabi where she presented at an occupational health event, and details how the region is keen to build competencies among its workers. Many thanks to those readers who have sent kind messages of appreciation for the new look and feel of this magazine. If you would like to contribute or have ideas for future content that showcases the applications and benefits of ergonomics and human factors, please contact me. Tina Worthy @ciehf

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6 / News and current affairs | Occupational health

Rather than sending consultants in, they were training people and building competencies within the region

The benefits of going further afield Joanne Crawford talks about the value of learning all you can when you have the opportunity to be among those from other disciplines and cultures.

The conference was very interesting with a range of international speakers from across the profession, both researchers and practitioners. This was an opportunity to find out what our colleagues are doing and where our work links together. Richard Topliss, a senior industry hygienist, and Wendy Parker of BP Health, talked about building competency in occupational hygiene in the Rumaila oil fields in southern Iraq. Rather than sending consultants in to problem-solve, they were training people and building competencies within the region to deal with occupational hygiene issues, bringing on the next generation of

k Excess gas is burned off near workers at the Rumaila oil field, south of Basra

occupational hygienists. At a professional level it is always good to get out of your own silo in relation to your own regulatory framework and field of work. While I think there has always been good working relationships between ergonomists and other health, hygiene and safety professionals, we need to work at those relationships. I’m lucky enough to work at the Institute of Occupational Medicine and we do work with those in occupational hygiene and occupational safety. It was also positive to discuss regulation with those outside the EU where things are different. While regulations do help,


Imagine yourself in full fire protection kit walking into 190°C of heat. I did this many years ago (and this might be the time to apologise to all those firefighters we tested in live fire exercises in the 1990s!), but I still wasn’t quite prepared for the heat on arrival at Abu Dhabi airport. Within three minutes I wanted to find some cooler air, especially to protect my Scottish skin, but I had come prepared with the highest protection factor sun cream I could find. But I wasn’t here on holiday. It was September and I had been invited to attend the BOHS Worker Health Protection Conference in Abu Dhabi on CIEHF’s behalf and give a presentation on ergonomics. As ergonomics encompasses so many sectors I sought advice from CIEHF President Ian Randle who had presented at the previous conference. That was really helpful as, never having travelled to the Middle East before, it was good to get some insight into the region and what would be of most interest to the audience. The decision was made to concentrate on musculoskeletal disorders as it’s something we don’t seem to be able to completely resolve. It was a good opportunity to think about the tools we use in assessing musculoskeletal disorders and how we can collect data to identify our problems and solutions. It was also a good time to think about some of the issues around data sources for these disorders, mainly that injury data is only getting us so far. Whilst there are strain and sprain injuries recorded in many workplaces, how are we getting information on the impact of cumulative exposures over time?

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News and current affairs / 7

often having organisations taking a lead using agreed international standards for health protection is a different way forward. What did I learn as an ergonomist? Firstly that although certain chemical exposures are likely to kill you, there is a growing recognition of the importance of managing musculoskeletal disorders and psychosocial issues at work. The former, because it is appreciated that disabling your workforce and preventing them from being able to take care of themselves in future life should not be part of what work is about; the latter, because of the growing knowledge base which highlights the impact that poor mental wellbeing has on health, family life and workplace culture. The evening after the conference, I was asked to join the organising party from BOHS to visit the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, a most incredible marble building which turns from white to indigo as night falls. During the walkthrough, I did have to quieten my inner ergonomist who kept asking questions like how many shoulder and elbow injuries had happened whilst moving all that marble around. All in all, a really good experience and in our own politically turbulent times, the importance of keeping up relationships with other countries and other professions is a worthwhile learning point. We all have one thing in common after all, which is trying to improve the life of those at work by preventing injury or ill-health and humanising tasks. • Joanne Crawford is a Chartered Ergonomist and Human Factors specialist. She has more than 20 years’ experience working in higher education and research. Her interests include ageing and

UK regulators discuss human factors integration in safety management The UK regulators’ human factors specialists from the Civil Aviation Authority, Health & Safety Executive, Health & Safety Laboratory, Office of Rail & Road, Rail Accident Investigation Branch, Marine Accident Investigation Branch and Rail Safety Standards Board held their six monthly meeting recently to discuss how human factors has been integrated into the safety management system (SMS). Many similarities were noted in the approach being taken by the regulators though

notable differences in the detailed criterion requirements. Each regulator reviews the written SMS every five years then formulates their inspection plan to verify that the document and conditions on site were consistent and that standards of health and safety performance were sufficient. The next meeting in June 2017 will cover the human factors in investigation approaches. • Claire Dickinson, ORR

Range of topics presented at HFES conference The annual Human Factors & Ergonomics Society (HFES) conference was held in Washington DC in September. The conference brought together a diverse range of over 1400 academics and practitioners from the US human factors profession and featured in excess of 500 presentations spanning the latest developments in everything from virtual environments, trust in automation, augmented cognition through to healthcare and systems ergonomics. Amongst the highlights were sessions given over to the future of sustainability, global ergonomics, barriers and facilitators in implementing Safety II in healthcare, as well as Don Norman debating the myths and realities of driverless cars. There was something for everyone and the standard of presentations was generally very high. Next year’s conference is in Austin, Texas in October 2017. •

work, mental wellbeing, firefighter health risks and the health of health professionals.

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Patrick Waterson & Roger Haslam, Loughborough University

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8 / News and current affairs | A day in the life


A RAILWAY ENGINEER Suzanne Heape, Senior Human Factors Engineer at Siemens Rail Automation.


n October 1999 the UK experienced its worst rail crash in which 31 people died and 220 people were injured. This horrific accident at Ladbroke Grove near Paddington occurred because a newly qualified train driver passed a red signal and drove into the path of a fast moving intercity train. The signal was one of a set of badly laid, potentially dangerous, signals in a well-known black spot and had been passed at red by seven drivers in the previous five years. The investigating report was published the year I graduated as an ergonomist. It called for action, stating: “Where the safe operation of the railway is dependent on one person it is essential that the demands which the railway system makes on him or her take adequate account of human factors.” This call resulted in the birth of rail human factors in the UK, and fifteen years later we are world leaders in this area. That spurred my interest so much that for much of the past fifteen years I have worked as a human factors specialist in the rail industry, working first in a consultancy and then in-house with Siemens. On my more cynical days I see my job as helping those working in the rail industry to get those travelling on trains to their workplace efficiently and safely. On my better days I realise what I do also helps all of these people to have a more enjoyable and rewarding experience. As lead Human Factors Engineer at Siemens I ensure all of our products, internal and external, are ergonomic. This includes our trackside signalling, control systems,

maintenance and remote monitoring systems, and trains. Signalling systems maintain safety on the track and consist of equipment such as signals, signs, level crossings and interlockings (equipment that controls which track a train may travel on). Train and signalling control systems direct the behaviour of the trackside equipment and share information with the train systems to ensure the rail service runs efficiently, effectively and safely. Maintenance and remote monitoring systems ensure any faults or failures with these products can be identified and fixed as quickly as possible. To ensure the ergonomics of our products I work on the whole of the product and project lifecycle so on any particular day I might interact with any department including: b Bids and Tendering: so all proposals identify what human factors activities we will conduct and allow for an adequate budget. b R&D: so human factors is integrated into our product design from conception. b Client Projects: so we accurately identify the requirements of all stakeholders and ensure the solutions we deliver are operable, fit-for-purpose and enjoyable to use. b Siemens Process Management: so human factors is integrated into all of our processes so each person in the company can identify when to engage with human factors experts. In common with other industries rail is employing technology to improve the service it can offer, whilst cutting costs including reducing staff numbers. This means the use of highly-automated signalling and control systems and trains. The latest systems are removing signals from the trackside and removing country boundaries. This places a huge emphasis on the integration of diverse systems and transmission of data. So part of my job is to sift mountains of information to present only the right information to the right person at the right time, ensuring they have the knowledge they need to act in the correct way to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the train service. Hence, the watch words are situation awareness, alarms management, workload and system flexibility. The thing I enjoy most is guiding development to ensure the product delivered to the users is greeted with anticipation and enthusiasm, and not anxiety or antipathy. I like working with stakeholders and users so I can understand what each person is trying to achieve and how they interact with each other, their environment and the equipment they use to get their task done. I enjoy getting people to work collectively, such as getting

I enjoy guiding development to ensure the product delivered to the users is greeted with anticipation and enthusiasm

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A day in the life / 9

engineers to work with the users, and observing as their appreciation of each other develops so that the engineers really understand what the users need and how they can work with them to provide the product that really fits. In return the users learn how a product is developed, what can be achieved, and take ownership for the product they have helped develop. I previously worked as the Human Factors Delivery Manager for Siemens on the London Underground Victoria Line Upgrade between 2006 and its commissioning in 2012, just in time for the London Olympic Games. I was lucky enough to get access to the users from the start and was able to conduct a perfect example of Human Factors Integration. It was great fun, with all sides working together to produce a world class product. Part of my job was to ensure users were engaged at all phases of design, from requirements gathering at our own ‘Day in the Life’ workshops, through paper prototyping for human/machine interface development and function allocation, to simulator workshops to assess operability, situation awareness, workload and maintainability. User representatives from all relevant roles were identified and became part of a ‘Vanguard Team’. Team members remained consistent throughout the project and eventually took up roles as trainers for the new systems. How different roles and systems would interact was considered so that maintainers and signallers referring to different interfaces would be talking the same language. Interfaces were designed to be consistent using the same object names, colour codes, track layouts, etc. All the

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hard work was rewarded when the Victoria Line was found to be the most reliable Underground line during the Olympics. Since then the Victoria Line has gone from strength to strength, so much so it is currently being enhanced further so it can run more trains per hour to cope with the increased number of passengers. Some of my work needs patience and determination. After seven years of work to convince engineers and management of the importance of integrating human factors into the development of all our products, I was invited to write and integrate a human factors process into the Siemens R&D product development process, called GUIDE, with activities from concept to implementation identified. As well as human factors activities, high level outlines of methods and document templates, GUIDE also includes a human factors delivery manager job description. The modifications to GUIDE were implemented in April 2016, when they became part of the formal process for Siemens R&D teams in the rail sector worldwide. The impact of this change is already evident, with requests for advice and support coming from project and bid teams in Germany, and more emphasis on human factors in areas where it has been seen as less important such as trackside hardware design for maintainability. Going forward I’m excited by the vital role human factors will need to play in the huge automation changes that have started in mainline railways around the world. This includes the widespread adoption of ERTMS, the European Railway Traffic Management System, and high speed railways, with intelligent service and train control systems moving in-cab and into centralised control centres, and discussion of driverless trains. I see a bright future for any young professional who has aspirations to work in the field of rail human factors, one which I can highly recommend. •

k Ladbroke Grove accident 1999

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10 / News and current affairs | Perspectives

The UK main battle tank, Challenger 2 n


Enabling humancentred organisations to value talent


he recent summary by Tom Stewart (The Ergonomist 556, Nov/ Dec 2016) of BS IS0 27500 ‘The Human-Centred Organization’, a standard that incorporates ergonomics and human factors knowledge and approaches to guide organisations in becoming humancentred, prompted a letter to The Ergonomist from CIEHF member Kieran Duignan. He was pleased that the standard was likely to support and deepen the thrust being carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in spearheading a Valuing Your Talent initiative (www. in alliance with two other chartered professional societies. Kieran says that with a membership of over 140,000 [about 70 times our own] working at the very heart of complex organisations of all sizes, CIPD is well positioned to respond to the vision outlined in BS ISO 27500. Here is a prime example of productive leverage, where, through the visible publication of a really useful piece of thinking by a small group, a better understanding of ergonomics and human factors can be cultivated amongst, in this case, HR professionals. Kieran says that if the publication of this standard affords occasions for CIEHF members to relate to even one percent of the HR community then how much understanding of organisational behaviour could be shared to great effect, to the benefit of employees and employers whose joint

interests are addressed in the standard? This example provides a pragmatic model of the way in which we can amplify the messages that our discipline can, and often does, provide. One sector which could embrace the standard and test its own compliance, but one in which we are often seemingly unable to share the results of great work done by ergonomists, is in defence. British military intelligence recently issued a notice about a ground-breaking tank being developed by a potential adversary. The paper noted that no plans for a rival tank looked likely in Britain for at least 20 years, given that strategy had, somewhat understandably, concentrated available resources on the potential threat from improvised explosive devices rather than that posed by tanks. Challenger 2, a British tank, is currently due to remain in service until 2035. Without adopting a moral or political standpoint, human factors has played and will continue to play, a key role in defence developments across the services, and in so doing has the opportunity to attract very nimble minds into the discipline. But how will that happen, if the challenges remain half-known? The tank in question is claimed to represent the most revolutionary change in tank design in the last half century, the first tank to feature a fully automated and unmanned turret design that renders the crew, who are enclosed within an armoured capsule in the hull front, less

vulnerable under fire, therefore improving crew survivability. Lighter, faster and lower in profile than rivals, with a radar system currently used on fighter aircraft, new composite armour, and a reported higher muzzle velocity weapon and with an upgraded missile system, this is reportedly the first tank designed from the outset with an active protection system to intercept incoming anti-tank guided missiles and shoulder-launched anti-tank weapons. By way of context and by example only, Russia has an estimated 2500 tanks and a reserve of 12,500, with 2200 new-builds expected. The British Army currently has just over 200 Challenger 2s, dating from 1998, Germany has just over 400 Leopard 2 tanks, and France 200 Leclerc tanks. The US reportedly has just over 2300 M1 Abrams main battle tanks. In a world in which the incoming US President has mentioned the potential revisiting of a core tenet of NATO - that an attack on one member is an attack on all - driven by a belief that Washington is shouldering too much of the financial burden for the NATO alliance, this set of circumstances illustrates well that contributions by human factors specialists

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Perspectives / 11


French perspectives on the future of ergonomics

in Europe - and we are by far the largest professional body of ergonomists here - could continue to make for a safer world. After all, work by ergonomists 70 years ago sought to reduce the numbers of men operating weapons in specific naval situations, resulting in more effective operations with fewer men exposed to risk. I believe we have a real challenge in hand as an Institute to go further than in the past to illustrate the contribution that ergonomics and human factors routinely makes to the defence sector, and arguably to making the world a safer place. I would like to see an active, communicative Sector Group within the Institute that meets often, showcases developments across the services and in security, and provides a beacon for some of the challenges available within the defence sector as a whole. By doing this we shall have more opportunities to encourage and enthuse ergonomists and potential ergonomists to join the profession, to do great work, and to encourage people they know to do the same.

In the 1990s, two key French ergonomists expressed their views on the discipline and the work of practitioners. The first, Alain Wisner, Professor of Ergonomics in Paris, said: “If, in order to deal with an issue, it is necessary to enlarge the discipline, to consider other aspects then why not? It is an exciting side of ergonomics but also unsatisfactory from the theoretical standpoint. The more questions you have, the more you face very different and diverse fields and scientific models. Who can say what is and what is not ergonomics? There are multiple ways of doing ergonomics in the world.” The second, Jacques Christol, one of the pioneers of the ergonomist counselling in France, wrote: “Too often, unfortunately, there is a shrinking of the discipline. Ergonomics is then either classed as an existing discipline (such as physiology, neurophysiology or psychology), or is thought of as of limited concern (to ‘humanise’ the work), or is limited to certain aspects, certainly important, but which are peripheral in regard to the operator’s activity: aspects of the video display unit, position of the controls, the physical environment, for example.”

These standpoints highlight the diversity inherent in the discipline and the professional practice due to the nature of the object, environment or system with which we interact. More than 20 years later, in September 2016 in Marseille, the congress of SELF (Société d’Ergonomie de Langue Française) aimed to give an overview of the evolution of issues related to occupational safety and health, new ways of organising work and the development of IT. Several questions were asked such as: What are the challenges facing ergonomists? Does the evolution of the discipline bring relevant answers to social and economic needs? What changes should be made in the academic training of ergonomists? During three days of the congress, there were more than 500 participants, 70 oral presentations, 11 round tables and 7 symposia. Discussions centred around the need to regulate more strongly the ergonomics profession, ergonomics practice in large companies, and sustainable development. Keynote speakers included François Hubault, professor of Ergonomics in Paris, Véronique de Keyser, a prominent Belgian ergonomist who has been also a Member of the European Parliament, Tommaso Bellandi, an Italian specialist of safety in healthcare systems, and Taoufik Kalfallah, the president of the Ergonomics Society in Tunisia and the new network, ErgoAfrica. The congress allowed fruitful and friendly exchanges and revealed the strong identity of ergonomists and the discipline. • Sylvain Leduc, President of the Federation of European Ergonomics Societies, Assistant

Steve Barraclough Chief Executive of the CIEHF

Professor of Work Psychology and Ergonomics at the University of Aix-Marseille & Gérard Valléry, Professor of Work Psychology and Ergonomics at the University of Picardie-Jules in Amiens.

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12 / News and current affairs | Education

User-centred design comes into its own Loughborough University has more than a passing attachment for many ergonomists. With accepted claims to have played a pivotal role in influencing the development of the discipline many ergonomists will have completed the BSc Ergonomics degree course offered at the University. That course is now set to disappear with the last intake occurring in September 2016. Some thoughts emerged from documentation provided by Loughborough Design School following the decision to introduce a BSc qualification in User-Centred Design (UCD). Discussion was also had with members of the faculty who have been involved in the design of the new course. Has the way in which the Institute continues to define ergonomics and human factors rather ignored the huge growth in interest in design as a subject, particularly amongst younger people? Has the adherence by the Institute to demonstrate competence across a broad set of expertise areas for professional ergonomists effectively acted to deter a large potential and related audience, not least in the eyes of employers? Is the loss of the only pure ergonomics undergraduate qualification available in the UK a hasty step, or is it a pragmatic, strategic response

to an evident opportunity in a very competitive world? Is it a development that can re-situate the essential expertise of ergonomics and human factors in the area of design and within a user-centred context? According to the documentation, the UCD programme is “driven by the need to design products, services and systems that meet the needs, desires and aspirations of all users”. The programme aims to synthesise existing offerings in ergonomics and industrial design “whilst retaining key elements of their content”. The documentation defines users not only as those who purchase or use products, “but also those who manufacture, operate, service, recycle, clean or otherwise interact with the design in any way. As such designing will be supported by a fundamental understanding of human needs, desires, capabilities and behaviours.” The proposed programme seeks to “address limitations currently experienced by Loughborough in

k Loughborough University Design School

The programme aims to synthesise existing offerings in ergonomics and industrial design “whilst retaining key elements of their content”

attracting numbers of high quality, direct applicants to the Ergonomics (Human Factors Design) and Design Ergonomics programmes”. It also claims to offer additional choice to existing design course applicants beyond established Industrial Design and Product Design & Technology courses. Widening the focus of the new course to include service, system and digital design is argued to increase the potential number of applicants. According to the course outline, the University hopes that the new programme is the right response to the need to exploit the current market value placed upon designers who are capable of evidence-based approaches and in a format capable of attracting high quality applicants. The University claims that ‘ergonomics’ and ‘human factors’ are not terms familiar to prospective students, in much the same way that the terms are routinely misunderstood by the public at large. It believes that an interdisciplinary offering (that is, broader than the existing ergonomics offering alone) is not only more attractive and recognisable to potential primary applicants, but critically more appropriate to the demand seen from


CIEHF Chief Executive, Stephen Barraclough, discusses the demise and replacement of the BSc undergraduate course in ergonomics from Loughborough University.

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Manufacturing Education / 13

Minding the machines

current industrial markets. The University argues that the new programme will provide “a theoretical and practical skill set that will allow [students] to engage in product, service and system design from the perspective of the user.” If this approach does indeed result in a recognisable offering, attractive to applicants both of a design-oriented and scientifically-based mind-set, then employers may also be particularly pleased, given an increased appetite for graduates to be able to demonstrate flexibility around both creativity and evidence-based capabilities. Loughborough may have distilled together a broad educational experience in design and user-centred studies, leading to careers in the design, engineering, manufacturing and creative industries where expertise in understanding user interaction and product performance is in demand. Given that, how many of these students and those graduating from the new programme will see membership of the CIEHF as relevant and desirable? •

I wonder if American psychologist Paul Fitts ever envisioned how much machines could influence our lives as much as they do now. He devised a list, first published in 1951, to determine the best allocation of functions between people and machines, based on physical and cognitive abilities such as performing repetitive actions and reacting to unexpected events. It seems that this list must surely now be skewed towards machines, which will leave the majority of us unemployed if certain headlines are to be believed, for example “Robots will take over most jobs within 30 years, experts warn” (The Telegraph, 13 Feb 2016, Can this truly become reality? Just a small amount of delving into the discipline of human factors should put most people’s minds at rest. Humans are highly skilled at decision-making, problem solving and adapting to evolving situations. Our senses detect minute changes in our environment enabling us to react quickly and effectively. Many of these attributes are essential for all kinds of work. One area where machines and automation are having a huge impact is in manufacturing. The focus today is on intelligent automation in factories to take away the mundane, dangerously repetitive and unhealthy tasks but there will always

be roles for people as businesses become more flexible in increasingly competitive marketplaces. In an article published recently in The Manufacturer (, CIEHF member Dr Sarah Fletcher of Cranfield University explains how human factors will play a vital role if we are to successfully integrate people and technology in future manufacturing environments. Cranfield was the venue for CIEHF’s ‘Human Factors in Manufacturing’ event in October that included a presentation by Iain Wright MP, chair of Parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee, who recognised the value of human factors in future work. The event also marked the launch of our Manufacturing Sector Group, which is led by Dr Fletcher. The CIEHF is organising a further event on 20th March 2017 at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Sheffield. The AMRC houses state of the art technology used in research programmes designed to revolutionise UK manufacturing. The event will feature a series of presentations that highlight the contribution of human factors to manufacturing success and a tour of the AMRC. More details are available at events.

l Robots in a vehicle assembly plant

Views on this article are welcome by emailing

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14 / Applied ergonomics and human factors | Rail

Rail for London’s Crossrail project is a £14.8 billion project to deliver an increase in rail capacity and a decrease in journey times through central London on the recently designated Elizabeth Line. Lisa Kelly explains her team’s role in Bombardier Transportation’s contract to build the new fleet of trains that will support the service from 2017.

Integrating human factors into new commuter trains

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Rail / 15


he Crossrail project involves the creation of new tunnels as well as taking over existing services on both the West and East of London from Reading through to Shenfield. The new Class 345 (CL345) trains consist of 9-car units based on the Bombardier AVENTRA™ platform that succeeds the ELECTROSTAR™ trains in use across the Southern UK network. AVENTRA™ has evolved using lessons learned from the successful ELECTROSTAR™ as well as the Victoria Line 2009 Tube Stock and the CIEHF-award winning S-Stock. It also complies with new European legislation and standards and emerging customer requirements. Bombardier have a dedicated and experienced in-house Human Factors (HF) Team who are responsible for realising design solutions based on the requirements of the train’s users - drivers, crew, passengers and maintainers. The HF Team forms part of the Engineering Team and is integrated into the engineering project plan, which ensures that human factors is actively incorporated into every stage of each Bombardier product, from the bid through to in-service. The HF Team employed a number of new activities in the CL345 human factors programme to enhance and improve efficiency during the project’s delivery.


Evaluating risk

design phases to facilitate discussions with end user representatives and Train Driver Unions regarding issues with existing rolling stock, lessons learned, and preferred layouts for controls. A second cab mock-up was then created to demonstrate the design at the detailed design phase and to conduct user testing to further reduce any risks with the design. Many of the cab requirements were then assured prior to or during train-build. Human factors testing on the finished design then validates that the test conditions were representative of the actual train. By doing this, late and costly changes to the design of the cab can be avoided.

Assessing effects of glare The effect of glare from both external sunlight and internal lighting on cab controls and displays is difficult to predict and remove before a train is built. Glare causing a reduction in contrast (known as disability glare) and glare from reflections (called ‘veiling’) can impact upon the driver’s ability to discern safety-related information and it is necessary to determine if this is likely to occur. As cabs move towards more in-cab displays, the opportunity for reflections inherently increases. For the CL345 cab, a physics-based lighting and human vision simulation of the cab environment was created by virtual prototyping company OPTIS™, using information about the reflective properties of cab controls and displays. This allowed the environment 3

During the early concept design phase, the HF Team needed a way to log and explain the equipment on the train and its degree of novelty in form, function or context, together with the amount of human factors ‘assurance’ that already existed from previous Bombardier projects. They also needed to evaluate any resultant risk as well as the impact on safety from incorrect use. A Human Factors Risk Matrix was created which separates the train into cab, saloon and exterior. These areas are then further divided into sub-systems that followed Bombardier’s ‘Vehicle Architecture’. Once each item is identified, a systematic process evaluates the design pedigree and human factors risks to calculate the required level of human factors input and documentation at each project phase. Novel and high risk items require greater input than those which are carry-over designs with existing human factors assurance. Not only does this method allow the HF Team to identify any gaps and streamline the human factors work packages, it also allows any design changes to be assessed and provides a means to demonstrate that a pragmatic, risk-based approach is being followed.

Building early mock-ups The development of the AVENTRA™ platform, including associated human factors activities, began prior to the award of the CL345 contract. A full-scale wooden mock-up of the cab was built to provide engineers, designers and prospective customers with a physical representation of the design. This mock-up was used during the concept and early preliminary

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16 / Applied ergonomics and human factors | Rail

to be evaluated, potential issues to be identified and further assessed, and even highlighted the impact of the colour of the driver’s uniform on reflections.

Developing a signalling interface A significant area of novelty on the CL345 is the integration of three separate signalling systems onto one in-cab interface called the Protection Driver Machine Interface (DMI). Traditional, lineside signalling is employed on the East side of the route and the new European Train Control System (ETCS) will be implemented on the West side. Sitting between these two areas lies the core section which will use a Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) system similar to those employed on London Underground and permits driverless ‘Automatic Train Operation’. This presented three challenges: b Ensuring that the traditional and CBTC DMI screens match the design of the mandated ETCS interface whilst remaining different enough in appearance for the driver to maintain situation awareness. b Ensuring that the suite of in-cab audible indications associated with each signalling system meets Rail Safety Standards Board (RSSB) guidance as well as human factors good practice regarding audibility and distinguishability. b Integrating the signalling interface with other controls and displays to ensure that terminology, labelling, colour use, etc., do not introduce risks associated with workload or human error. In order to ensure these risks are addressed, a document was created which records each control and indicator on the DMI. It specifies why the item appears the way it does and provides the human factors assurance for the design. The development of this document requires a close working relationship with the signalling team to ensure that the item’s specification can be achieved by both hardware and software. The required audible indications have also been collated and reviewed. Where the same action is required in different signalling systems, it has been proposed that the same sound be provided in order to meet RSSB guidance and minimise driver workload.

Recording controls and indicators For CL345, the HF Team expanded their existing Cab Controls and Indicators documents to also record items in the saloon, on the exterior and the specifics of the two primary cab interfaces: the Protection DMI and the Train Control Management System Human Machine Interface. Similar to the Human Factors Risk Matrix, each of these documents records equipment on the train but it also includes more detail regarding the human factors input to the design,

k The new Class 345 cab design m The new Class 345 trains consist of 9-car units based on the Bombardier AVENTRA™ platform

and the reasoning and acceptability for their physical design and appearance, including any labelling. Some elements, such as the Traction Brake Controller, have sufficient human factors input to require a separate document. The information in these documents supports the assessment of human error risks and workload pinch points which use normal, abnormal, degraded and emergency scenarios. The safety team use the details when performing the safety analysis for the train.

Further applications The HF Team at Bombardier demonstrated a pragmatic approach to the design of the CL345 to ensure its users have been considered throughout the lifecycle. They used existing and new methods which are now being applied to the design of the Class 710 train for West Anglia, also in conjunction with Rail for London. • Lisa Kelly is the Human Factors Lead for the CL345 Crossrail project responsible for the human factors programme, deliverables and customer-facing elements. She is specifically responsible for the human factors input to the design of the onboard Train Management Interface and alarms design. For more details about Crossrail visit Acknowledgement: Thanks go to Amy Barratt, Christopher Patrick and Fiona Bird in the HF Team at Bombardier, the team at Rail for London for their permission in writing this article, as well as the Crossrail project team at Bombardier, working on the trains for the Elizabeth Line.

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What’s trending in aviation safety? Barry Kirwan shares his thoughts on a recent conference highlighting human factors issues in aviation safety.


does their own job it’ll all work out is no longer a best-in-class business model. Safety culture was very much back in vogue, with EUROCONTROL and its academic partner London School of Economics leading the way, but there were military aspects too, with a fascinating presentation on safety culture in Afghanistan, where many different countries share air traffic operations in a hostile environment. Wellbeing or the lack of it, is becoming a serious concern, as it can significantly degrade performance. NATS, who also sponsored the conference this year, shared its own approach for instilling emotional resilience in novice controllers, saving the company a small fortune by dramatically reducing the

Barry Kirwan is a Safety Research Coordinator at EUROCONTROL.


’m heading home from the CIEHF’s excellent conference on ‘Human Factors in Aviation Safety’ in November where 26 presentations were given to attendees from 60 civil and military organisations from 16 countries. So what’s trending in aviation human factors? The first notable trend was an attempt to analyse how people work across system boundaries. Aviation is known as a ‘system-of-systems’, and what connects them and makes them work seamlessly are people. A number of presentations didn’t focus only on controllers or pilots, but the whole gate-to-gate operation including dispatch, ground handlers, baggage handlers, etc. Thinking that if everyone

number of controllers who fail to make it through training. A darker wellbeing aspect mentioned was the mental health of pilots, highlighted via a stirring presentation showing alarming results from a survey of pilots, more than half of whom had experienced feelings of depression in the past twelve months. Following the Germanwings accident and the setting up of a European Aviation Safety Agency task force to determine better mental health measures, a worry is that pilots may fear reporting any symptoms, driving the issue underground. We’re now waiting for the study report to come out. The last main trends of note were neuroscience, which is making a comeback, with several studies measuring brain waves to combat such issues as fatigue, and EUROCONTROL’s involvement in the Future Sky Safety work which is trying to chart the ‘human performance envelope’ for pilots and controllers. Early indications show a healthy appetite for another event next year so watch out for more news from the CIEHF. •

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18 / Applied ergonomics and human factors | Energy

The nature of the activities carried out at each site can vary significantly, which in turn impacts on the issues influencing human performance

Power to the People Human factors specialists have played a key role in the design, regulation and operation of nuclear facilities for over 30 years, as David Gledhill explains.

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m East Barnes Nuclear power station, East Lothian, Scotland



hether it’s estimating the risk of human error, identifying user requirements, assessing working environments, or supporting simulator training, human factors specialists contribute to all levels of the life cycle of a nuclear facility. Their role in the nuclear industry, as with other industries, is primarily to optimise human performance and minimise the risk of human error. However, it’s important to note that the UK nuclear industry covers a broad range of areas that affects the type of work specialists are involved with. In reality there is no single nuclear human factors role applicable throughout the industry but multiple roles with a core set of relevant skills. In order to understand what nuclear human factors specialists actually do, it helps to know something about the make up of the industry first. The key areas are: b Power generation including the operation of the existing eight nuclear power stations in the UK run by EDF and the licensing of new power station designs proposed by NNB GenCo Ltd (EDF New Build), Horizon Nuclear Power and NuGeneration Ltd. b Decommissioning of former power stations and research sites: a Former UKAEA research sites, including sites at Windscale, Harwell, Winfrith and Dounreay now run by Sellafield Ltd, Magnox Ltd and DSRL. These sites once included some of the most advanced facilities in the world, including the UK’s first reactor and the UK’s fast reactor programme. a Former Magnox Power stations, the first generation of commercial power stations, located at nine sites around the UK.

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a Former storage facilities, laboratories, decommissioned reactors and reprocessing facilities at the Sellafield site. b Defence including provision and maintenance of the UK’s nuclear deterrent and the UK’s fleet of nuclear submarines. b Fuel manufacture including manufacture of oxide fuels for advanced gas cooled reactors and light water reactors. b Fuel reprocessing activities carried out at the Sellafield site. b Healthcare including diagnostic imaging pharmaceuticals designed for use with x-ray, magnetic resonance systems and nuclear cardiology systems. b Low Level Waste Storage. Organisations working in the industry tend to be broken down into three Tiers, with Tier 1 organisations responsible for the day to day running of the sites, Tier 2 organisations responsible for running facilities on nuclear sites and/ or major projects taking place on these sites, and Tier 3 organisations delivering specific services to the site licensee companies. The Tier 1 organisations for decommissioning sites have accountability to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, an executive non-departmental public body who have responsibility to ensure the safe and efficient clean-up of the UK’s nuclear legacy. The nature of the activities carried out at each site can vary significantly, which in turn impacts on the issues influencing human performance. For example, power stations have the primary function of generating electricity and are private organisations generating a revenue from this. For decommissioning sites, which often resemble construction sites, the primary objective of the licensee will be to clean up the site and return it to a safe state. These activities present different factors affecting human performance which require their own approaches to managing hazards and different skill sets among human factors specialists. One common theme on all sites is a strong focus on safety, which human factors specialists have a key role in supporting. All 37 civil nuclear facilities in the UK must be granted a nuclear site licence by the ONR, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (, which requires them to develop procedures to satisfy 36 Licence Conditions. Defence sites are regulated by the ONR and a separate regulator, the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator. Both organisations use a similar approach and maintain a close relationship to ensure consistency across the industry. Human factors is a key part of the regulation process, in the case of the ONR, and expectations for human factors sits in the Safety Assessment Principles (SAPs), which support the Licence Conditions. All nuclear site licensees must develop guidance to comply with the Licence Conditions and SAPs. It should be noted that the role of the regulator is not to prescribe procedures for human 3

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m Hunterston B power station fueling machine l Oldbury, decommissioned in 2008, is one of four Magnox power stations still generating power in the UK



CIEHF’s Nuclear Ergonomics Special Interest Group

factors, this remains the responsibility of the licensees who develop arrangements that comply with good practice aligned with ONR guidance. Therefore it is always important to establish what arrangements are in place relating to human factors for each licensee. For some, the role of a nuclear human factors specialist brings to mind someone working with cutting-edge technology in a reactor control room. Others might think of a highly academic individual working in the field of research or someone working in human reliability, calculating error probabilities. While all of this can be true the reality of day to day work and the scope of human factors activities isn’t always what people expect. To begin with it is easy to forget how embedded human factors has become on many nuclear sites. In many cases human factors good practice has been embedded in safety assessment, design and operation for a number of years. This often results in very specific human factors skill sets being applied to one area for a particular reason relating to the nature of that site. There are a variety of skills that human factors specialists who work in the nuclear industry have and develop as a result of working in a particular role, however, defining core skills isn’t straightforward. One common theme in many nuclear companies is the ability of human factors specialists to demonstrate clearly and concisely that the roles of system users are being considered at all stages

The group was established in 2008 and has been important for those working in this industry as human factors tends to be carried out by relatively small teams who come from a wide range of backgrounds. Finding other individuals with similar experience to compare thoughts and ideas with isn’t always easy. The Nuclear Ergonomics Special Interest Group, based within the CIEHF’s Energy Sector Group, provides a forum for human factors specialists to share experiences and ideas. If you work in the nuclear industry and are interested in learning more, please email David Gledhill at

in the life cycle of a nuclear facility and therefore the risk of human error is being managed. While this may seem onerous when compared to other industries, the nature of the nuclear industry, where hazards cannot be easily detected without appropriate analysis and equipment, requires a robust approach to assessing and substantiating an acceptable level of risk. This means that not only does the role involve reducing hazards but being able to explain clearly and concisely how this can be achieved. This is in addition to understanding the nature of the hazard we deal with, the structure of the industry and how we’re regulated. • David Gledhill is a Senior Human Factors Specialist in Cavendish Nuclear Human Factors capability who has worked on a wide range of projects in the nuclear industry from supporting the design of submarine refuelling equipment to developing competency processes for new build projects. David is currently the co-ordinator for the Nuclear Ergonomics Special Interest Group.

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Ergonomics & Human Factors 25-27 April 2017 | Daventry Be inspired This three day conference is the CIEHF’s flagship event. Ergonomists and Human Factors Specialists from around the world in both industry and academia will come together along with delegates from related disciplines such as psychology, health & safety, and occupational health to listen to and take part in thoughtprovoking presentations, workshops and discussions and engage in numerous networking opportunities. Ergonomics & Human Factors 2017 will feature nearly 60 presentations, workshops, and discussions across a wide variety of sectors including design, healthcare, rail, technology and people, occupational health, safety culture, cognition, sensing, and interpreting data and systems. New this year will be panel discussions on the subjects of human factors competency and the future of ergonomics and human factors. Professor of Industrial Psychology Rhona Flin, of Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, will give the Donald Broadbent Lecture. Confirmed keynote speaker, Andrew Thatcher of the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa will give a presentation on sustainability. Plenary lectures will be given by David Watts, Director of CCD Design & Ergonomics, who will talk about design case studies, and Jim McPartlin from the RAF who will talk about safety culture in hostile environments.

Poster presentations, an awards celebration and annual dinner, an exhibition and a quiz complete the programme, so come along to the showcase event for ergonomics and human factors in the UK. See the full programme at

Organisations represented in 2016 included • BAE Systems • BP • Civil Aviation Authority • Etihad Airways • Great Ormond Street Hospital • Health and Safety Laboratory • Imperial College London • Institute of Occupational Medicine • Loughborough University • Military Aviation Authority • Network Rail • Office of Rail and Road • QinetiQ • Rolls Royce • Royal Air Force • University of Nottingham @ErgsHF2017

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• BAE Systems Jan-Feb 2017 | The Ergonomist • BP • Civil Aviation Authority • Etihad Airways 14/12/2016 10:16

22 / Applied ergonomics and human factors | South African perspective

A human factors perspective from South Africa

Some of the leading professionals in human factors and ergonomics in South Africa talk about the challenges facing the country and how the national society’s eorts are gaining momentum.


outh Africa presents an interesting challenge for those working in the field of human factors and ergonomics. At the one end of the spectrum we have highly automated factories and on the other end of the spectrum, we have a large informal economy. Each of these, as well as the great

diversity of work forms in between, has its own host of challenges. This certainly makes for interesting work within the field where consideration needs to be given to our diversity in cultures, infrastructures, and worker capabilities. The country has one of the largest extremes of wealth and poverty; there are international companies paying market-related salaries and who have established ergonomics programmes and

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South African perspective / 23


m Workers at fruit farm loading figs onto a trailer l Core drilling at Fluorspar Mine, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

there are those informal workers who are barely managing to scrape together $1 US per day, if they are lucky. A great deal of the work that has taken place on ergonomics in South Africa has been within primary industries, particularly within mining, agriculture and forestry. There is a growing contribution of ergonomics to certain manufacturing industries, notably in the automotive and military sectors. There is also a growing understanding of the value that ergonomics can add to general office environments with recent green building certification systems having recognised ergonomics as a work wellness credit. It should be noted that much of the ergonomics work is still focused on various aspects of physical ergonomics. There have been increased contributions towards a number of different aspects of cognitive ergonomics including control room design, for power stations, power grid management, and modular nuclear reactors, and disaster management coordination systems. Despite the fact that our national ergonomics society is now more than thirty years old, human factors and ergonomics is still in its infancy in South Africa and there is so much that can be done to improve work systems within all industries and work environments around the country. Although this is a challenge, it is also seen as a tremendous opportunity to make a difference in a country that desperately needs human factors and ergonomics input. Education in human factors and ergonomics within the country is limited. While there are numerous departments in various higher education institutions around the country that offer modules within departments on human factors and ergonomics topics, there is a need to increase the educational opportunities across the country. An exciting development in this context is that the University of Fort Hare, in the Eastern Cape (one of our poorest provinces), is currently looking to start a degree in human factors and ergonomics. Currently the only full-time degree programme offered is that by the Department of Human

Perspective South Africa__The Ergonomist 23

Kinetics and Ergonomics at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, also in the Eastern Cape. The department offers an undergraduate programme as well as a fourth-year honours degree and MSc and PhD degrees by full thesis. The department changed its focus from Human Movement Sciences to Human Kinetics and Ergonomics in 1996 when Professor Pat Scott took over as head. It was through her efforts that this programme gained much traction and became internationally recognised largely due to her position as Chair of the International Ergonomics Association’s (IEA) Industrially Developing Countries standing committee, a position she held for six years. Human factors and ergonomics practice in South Africa started with preliminary meetings held at the Chamber of Mines in Johannesburg in March 1983. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the path forward for ergonomics in the country. There

There is so much that can be done to improve work systems within all industries and work environments around the country

was very little progress thereafter until February 1984 when the first principal meeting was called to address the feasibility of an Ergonomics Society in South Africa. The inauguration of the Ergonomics Society of Southern Africa (ESSA) officially took place in February 1985 at the first conference, ‘Ergonomics ‘85’. During this conference, over 40 papers were presented and the first chair was elected, Tony Golding. After the end of apartheid, ESSA formally became a federated society of the IEA in 1994, with a name change to Ergonomics Society of South Africa. The current chair is Professor Andrew Thatcher from the University of the Witwatersrand who, in this capacity, serves on the IEA council. Currently ESSA has 56 members that include a good mix of academics, practitioners and students. Our biggest challenge as a society is in growing our numbers which is slowly happening due to the impending legislation of ergonomics regulations. This will have the spin-off effect of increasing the number of people interested in pursuing further study in the discipline which will then benefit our higher education institutions. An exciting recent development of the society has been the establishment of the Professional Affairs Board (PAB) which is currently chaired by Dr Swantje Zschernack from the Department of Human Kinetics at Rhodes University. The PAB has the responsibility and authority for all matters relating to professional standards and practice of human factors and ergonomics in Southern Africa. With respect to professional certification, the PAB regulates the profession with particular reference to registration, use of title and ethical conduct of certified members of ESSA. In order to meet the different needs associated with knowledge and practice, the PAB has defined two categories of certification: a Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE) and a Certified Ergonomics Associate (CEA). The scope of practice of a CPE covers the full range and depth of knowledge to address complex problems and advanced technologies and methods. 3

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24 / Applied ergonomics and human factors | South African perspective

m The Masakhane settlement, mainly consisting of migrant workers who converged to the coal rich Witbank region to search for job opportunities l Production line at the Bayerische Motoren Werke AG plant in Rosslyn, South Africa

A CPE is expected to provide leadership in professional matters, to apply and develop methodologies for analysing, designing, testing, and evaluating systems and therefore may undertake ergonomics analyses and design of the interaction between objects, work stations and work systems. A CEA is an interventionist who applies a general breadth of knowledge to analyses and evaluation of currently operating work systems. The scope of practice of a CEA is limited to the use of commonly accepted tools and techniques for the analyses and enhancement of human performance in existing systems. CEAs may, for example, be responsible for the co-ordination of a Human Factors Facilitation Team within their own industry to create an awareness of the discipline to identify problems, to implement the basic solutions and to recognise when to consult a CPE. The official journal of ESSA is Ergonomics SA: Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa which is an accredited, subsidy-earning journal. Articles from all over the world are published in the journal but particularly from developing countries. The editorial board is from all corners of the globe to ensure increased exposure and readership of the journal. The journal is a major income generator for the society and we are currently in the process of facilitating an online portal which will hopefully increase the number of papers submitted. The journal has developed into the major human factors and ergonomics journal on the African continent and the editors have worked tirelessly to ensure that the review

process is internationally comparable. The society has recently hosted its 12th conference which saw international representation by Professor Orlando Gomes (as a member of the IEA Executive), Professor Hakim Benchekroun (from CNAM in France; originally from Morocco) and Dr Lamia Bouzgarrou (from the Tunisian Ergonomics Society). Their invited presentations emphasised the links that ESSA is trying to generate with other countries in Africa in an effort to support the growth of the discipline across the continent. Furthermore, the Human Factors and Ergonomics in Aviation conference that has now been successfully hosted twice in South Africa is another indication of the leading role that ESSA is playing in promoting the profession in key sectors in South Africa and more broadly in Africa. This conference continues to grow and to attract important African aviation stakeholders as well as international guests of the highest quality.

ESSA members have also been very active in growing human factors and ergonomics across the African continent. ErgoAfrica is a network of ergonomics societies in Africa and was recently recognised as an official network of the IEA. Andrew Todd is currently the president of ErgoAfrica while ESSA president, Professor Andrew Thatcher, is the head of the science, practice and technology standing committee of ErgoAfrica. They are working together with other African societies to create a demand for high quality human factors and ergonomics professionals in other African countries while simultaneously strengthening the profession in their own societies. Another area of activity for ESSA has been working together with the IEA, and the federated societies from Brazil, Russia, India and China to form the BRICS network. The BRICS network is the first cross-continental network in emerging markets focused on the utilisation of human factors and ergonomics to facilitate development, an exciting prospect going forward. The network will be having its first face-to-face meeting in December 2016 in Beijing with two representatives from ESSA in attendance at the meeting. Closer to home, ESSA has been working hard to identify stakeholders and to foster a closer working relationship with these stakeholders. There are some exciting initiatives in the pipeline, with the South African Department of Labour recently indicating that draft regulations for ergonomics will be released shortly for public comment. Furthermore, there is a strong relationship with the transport industry developing with the ESSA congress in 2017 promising to be the biggest conference organised by the society. We would welcome the support of members from the CIEHF. • The authors Professor Candice Christie, Professor Andrew Thatcher, Andrew Todd, Dr Jonathan Davy and Dr Swantje Zschernack are all members of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa Executive Council.

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Healthcare Rail / 25

Improving the accuracy of drug prescriptions Preventing harm by ensuring medications are prescribed accurately for patients on admission to hospital is a patient safety priority and should be achievable. Joanne Carling and colleagues discuss when and why problems sometimes occur.



edication errors pose a significant threat to patient safety in England and Wales, with over 130,000 medication incidents in the NHS reported annually. Patients are often unable to provide an accurate drug history on hospital admission due to the nature of their illness. This, combined with limited information available for the admitting doctor, can at times result in inaccurate prescribing. Medicines reconciliation (MR) is a process that ensures medication prescribed for adults in hospital corresponds to that which they were taking before admission. It aims to avoid errors such as unintended omissions, over prescribing, dosing errors or adverse drug reactions. Inadequate MR on admission

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is commonly identified as a major cause of patient morbidity, with poor access to patients’ regular medications lists cited as a barrier to care. Effective MR reduced adverse drug events caused by prescription changes on admission by 43% in one US study. There are two levels to the MR process. Level One is completed by the admitting doctor and requires taking an accurate drug history. Primary sources of this information include accessing the patient’s own medication list or drug boxes, GP letters, or the GP’s electronic Summary Care Record (eSCR) using an NHS Smartcard. Over 80% of the GPs in the local area have uploaded data to the eSCR making it an ideal, up-to-date source of information containing key clinical data on medicines, allergies and sensitivities. This is especially useful as patients are often unable to offer an accurate drug history that includes 3

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organisational conditions. Adopting this broader systems approach identified the following fundamental issues:

People b There was limited engagement in MR by junior doctors who tended to rely upon pharmacists to resolve prescribing issues. b Engaging in the MR process was not an explicit learning outcome for junior doctors.


Medication errors in the NHS pose a significant threat to patient safety with over 130,000 incidents reported annually

all the details about drug dose and frequency. Level Two MR is carried out by pharmacists who check and verify the accuracy of the drug history against the current prescription chart, identifying any discrepancies which are then resolved and documented. When conducted as intended MR is a sound patient-centred, inter-professional process that supports effective prescribing. Evidence suggests that Level One MR is undertaken inadequately both locally and nationally, despite substantial attempts to improve this and policies and guidelines being in place. Locally, the limited use of NHS Smartcards and access to the eSCR by junior doctors was frequently cited as the key obstacle to effective MR. However, it felt pertinent that a broader human factors approach was required to explore why the Level One MR process was inadequately completed rather than focus just on junior doctors and their limited use of Smartcards. The System Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety (SEIPS) model was used locally to analyse the barriers to effective MR. This model clearly recognises the interrelated nature of the five major aspects of work systems: people, tasks, tools and technologies, physical environment and

b Junior doctors received limited training on how to use the Smartcard and eSCR, experienced difficulties finding the information required and were therefore reluctant to use this system.

Tools & Technology b The nature and placement of computer icons used to identify the eSCR system differed across the organisation, making easy identification and navigation more challenging. b The organisation provided identification badge holders that only held a single ID card, meaning the Smartcard was frequently misplaced.

Physical Environment b Some wards did not have functioning Smartcard readers. b Smartcard readers differed in appearance so were not easily recognisable or user friendly. b Access was limited to just a few computers that were in constant use for other clinical purposes.

Organisation b Acquisition of the Smartcard was complicated and time-consuming. This analysis of the barriers to MR and discussion with stakeholders, including education and nursing directors, resulted in the following initial actions: b More training provided on MR, Smartcard use and eSCR navigation in the junior doctors’ generic skills programme. b Engagement in the MR process included as a learning outcome as part of junior doctors’ career progression. b Director of Nursing/Senior Nurses

to promote and support MR on their wards by encouraging use of Smartcards and ensuring Smartcard readers are available. In addition, the following changes are ongoing: b Purchase of ID badge holders that can hold two ID cards. b Standardisation of the tools and technology required for MR across all wards to enhance usability. b Provision of more time and opportunities for staff to acquire Smartcards. Using a systems approach allowed for broader analysis and identification of barriers to effective MR which were otherwise unknown. The findings revealed how work system elements interact and the importance of acknowledging this when trying to resolve a problem, rather than focusing on the behaviour of individuals. Dissemination of the findings also helped the organisation to appreciate the value of human factors in understanding human performance and enhancing safety. This project should go some way to understanding and enhancing the effectiveness of medication reconciliation in the UK. • Joanne Carling is a Senior Clinical Lecturer & Dr Dave Murray is a Consultant at James Cook University Hospital, Dr Gillian Janes is a Principal Lecturer at Teesside University. References National Patient Safety Agency. Patient safety incident reports in the NHS: National Reporting and Learning System Data Summary. Acute and General Hospitals Oct-Dec 2105. Available at (last accessed 1st November 2016) Iddles, E, Williamson, A, Bradley, A, and Khan, K (2015) ‘Are we meeting current standards in medicines reconciliation? A study in a district general hospital’, British Medical Journal Quality Improvement Report, 4(1), pp1-3. Boockvar, K S et al (2011) ‘Effect of admission medication reconciliation on adverse drug events from admission on medication changes’, Journal American Medical Association Internal Medicine 171(9), pp860-861.

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Research matters | Book reviews / 27

Driving With Music

Guy Walker looks at the issues in this book review n

A calming influence or a complete distraction? rgonomics books are, by their very nature, an eclectic mix of topics often couched in an equally eclectic mix of domains, from the most academic of research monographs, such as A Friendly Restroom: Developing Toilets of the Future by Molenbroek and colleagues, to the most conversational of career retrospectives in A Life in Error by James Reason. The journal Ergonomics presents a case in point with Driving with Music by Warren Brodsky, reviewed by Melissa Bedinger from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. The reviewer writes that the effects of music are often neglected within transport research, and with this book we are venturing beyond drivers’ physical interaction with musicplaying interfaces to also address the sound and structure of music itself. The book gives an excellent overview of modern in-car music behaviours, carefully incorporating the wide range of applications, such as streaming services like Spotify, now used to access music across multiple platforms. Discussions on how and why people listen to music while driving also give a picture of the ubiquity and permanence of in-car musiclistening. That’s the good news. The bad news is that, possibly, listening to music could be a


special case of driver distraction, with the author suggesting it prevents drivers from making best use of their attention. The author presents their own comprehensive study to investigate this slightly controversial assertion. The main thesis is that it should be possible, indeed desirable, to compose or compile driving music which is structurally neutral and specifically designed for safe driving activity. Structurally neutral driving music is provided in abundance, here in the UK at least, by the distinctly middle of the road radio station BBC Radio 2. Whether the blandness causes more frustration than it avoids is a moot point. Less of a moot point, based on Brodsky’s results, is that the ‘right type’ of aural background did foster less extreme and more predictable driving behaviours. Our reviewer does point out, however, that the promotion of music which has been stripped of any emotional potency seems to directly contradict the firm, emotionally rooted place that music has in modern culture. Some may even argue that although researchers classify music-listening as a secondary task, drivers value the ability to listen to personally curated music as an essential primary function, with the car being the perfect environment within which to enjoy it. The book’s main message to ‘tone down’ the emotional intensity of driving music is certainly intriguing and presented very well, but there is a clear paradox. Toning down the emotional intensity of driving music could also negate the purpose of listening to it in the first place. Still, reassurance comes in the form of an amusing collection of driving tracks suggested by popular media which are listed in the appendices: surely a first for an ergonomics book. The reviewer did spot a major omission from the list though: where is AC-DC’s soundtrack to Maximum Overdrive? • Guy Walker is an Associate Professor in the School of the Built Environment at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

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28 / Research matters | Energy

Raising awareness about energy use


ith climate change and global warming permanently in the news, and the much-awaited Paris accord activated at the beginning of November, there is worldwide emphasis on curbing carbon emissions. Whilst reducing household energy consumption may seem inconsequential in global terms, efforts are being made to help raise energy awareness so we can all contribute to the cause. One of the main ways to reduce domestic energy consumption lies in inducing individuals to change their behaviour with the help of technological solutions such as smart meters or displays capable of providing continuous daily feedback on household energy use.

Research findings suggest that continuous energy use feedback might be an effective driver for behaviour change. However, most current technology-based energy behaviour change systems and commercially available In-Home Displays don’t take into account factors such as people’s knowledge about energy, social practices and personal motivations. We have devised a framework which integrates research from different disciplines such as: human-computer interaction and persuasive technology; environmental, cognitive and educational psychology; sociology; and energy education. It deploys computational modelling and simulation methods to simulate multiple behaviour change determinants and their interactions. Computational modelling of energy-related behaviour 3 can improve our understanding of the underlying complex


Researcher Nataliya Mogles talks about a project that tries to understand people’s motivations in reducing energy consumption.

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Energy Rail / 29

processes of behaviour change. We can then design structured behaviour change interventions and improve reproducibility and evaluation of these interventions. The framework helps designers of energy behaviour change interventions get more insight into how the interventions might work over time by simulating the dynamics of behaviour and trying out different what-if intervention scenarios. For behaviour change to be effective, three components need to be in place: a person’s motivation to act, their ability to act, and a trigger or cue that invokes the action. We need to know what influences someone to use less energy and which factors contribute to their ability to change their behaviour. Findings in environmental psychology suggest that human values determine our motivations to save energy and to act in an environmentally friendly way. In particular, altruistic, egoistic and hedonic values were identified as highly correlated with proenvironmental behaviour. They are influenced by social contexts, and trigger internal goals and related behaviours. It is logical to assume that an energy feedback display has a potential to trigger some internal values which define motivations to act. In addition there are multiple socio-cultural and physical barriers which might prevent someone from using less energy, such as social practices, infrastructure, comfort standards, habits, energy literacy, and perhaps an inability to relate everyday actions to the use of energy. Energy meters are often hidden in cupboards or are not located in easily accessible places which obviously contributes to a lack of awareness about household energy usage. We integrated views and theories from different disciplines into one model for energy behaviour change interventions with a digital energy feedback display functioning as a cue or trigger for energy conservation behaviour. A cue can consist of multiple components such as educational messages, easily accessible live consumption information and action prompts. We validated the model using only energy behaviour determinants without any interventions to see if an integration of these multiple factors from different disciplines made sense and if the model can make realistic predictions regarding energy consumption in different scenarios. The model was tested by combining variables such as personal values, success expectancy, societal barriers and energy literacy, and comparing it with survey and electricity consumption data obtained from 20 households. The model predicted consumption quite well compared to the actual household data. It seems reasonable to think that following a period of time after digital energy feedback is removed, the

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energy-related behaviour change might disappear if someone’s motivation is below a certain threshold. But if motivation is high enough, habits may form and the energy saving behaviour might continue. So we tested the short-term effect of action prompts. The model showed that action prompts can be effective in motivating someone to change behaviour but, perhaps unsurprisingly, not after the prompts are taken away. We simulated these effects with different types of energy users: a user with high levels of values and motivations and energy literacy, a user with low levels of energy literacy and a user between the two. The model simulations demonstrate that with low motivation, values and knowledge, none of the strategies in isolation are effective in inducing the desired energy-related behaviour change, although a combination of different strategies might be beneficial. The dynamic effect of energy behaviour change interventions simulated by the model has not yet been validated, though the pattern is in line with findings reported in literature. We are planning to validate the effect of energy feedback on one cognitive component, energy literacy, and on energy consumption behaviour based on the post-intervention surveys and electricity sensors data for the same households that were used for the validation of a static component of the model. These homes received digital behaviour change interventions over three months. In future, the model can be embedded into a reasoning mechanism of a smart in-home display to create more intelligent user-tailored energy feedback. •

One of the main ways to reduce domestic energy consumption lies in inducing individuals to change their behaviour with the help of technological solutions such as smart meters

Nataliya Mogles is a research associate at the department of Computer Science at the University of Bath, she is interested in cognitive modelling and behaviour change. She was assisted in the writing of this article by Julian Padget, a senior lecturer in the department of Computer Science, and Ian Walker, a senior lecturer in the department of Psychology, whose main interests lie in proenvironmental behaviour.

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30 / Research matters | Education


he CIEHF’s Doctoral Consortium, held on the first day of the annual Ergonomics & Human Factors conference each year, brings together PhD students from different universities, researching different topics, and who are at different stages in their PhDs. The atmosphere is informal and friendly, giving the students a safe space to present their work, a chance to give feedback to others and to share their experiences and concerns. At the last event in April 2016 we invited attendees to ask questions and some of the wise advice given at the time is summarised below. We encourage any other delegates at Ergonomics & Human Factors 2017 to drop in to get a preview of research in progress, and to give their own advice to the next generation of ergonomists.

Making the most of your PhD A PhD can take much time and energy but could lead you on to a great career. We answer some frequently asked questions to help you get off to a good start.

Am I on the right track? Understand what you’re doing and what question you’re trying to answer. If you can keep the end in sight, then you can make sure that you’re working towards it. In the first year of a PhD, progress can feel very slow as you pin down your scope, but spending time reading about the topic and carefully setting your objectives can help keep you on track the rest of the time.

How do I identify a domain for my research? It can be difficult in a multidisciplinary subject like human factors to know exactly where your research fits, and it might be that your work crosses several domains. Identify what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. This can be more important than what your domain is. Look at the names of the journals that most of the literature you’re using comes from – this might give you a hint.

This depends on your study. Some methods have more formal evaluation methods than others, and some data is more easily collected than others. Make sure your study design allows you to collect data that will address your research question.


How do I evaluate my study design?

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Education / 31

It’s easier to design a simple, elegant study in the lab where you have control over the environment. Research in the real world is often much messier. Research data management is becoming increasingly important. It’s essential that you understand the potential of using existing data along with what you do with any data that you generate.

How do I make the right decision at any crossroads in my PhD? This will depend on what you’re doing and what stage of your PhD you’re at. The important thing is that you make conscious decisions. Understand your options and consult relevant people for support, like your supervisor and director of research. Talk to other PhD students, or people who have recently finished a PhD. Your problems may not be unique, and their experience might help you decide what’s best for you. Your university or professional institution might have a PhD support network which can be really useful.

Are there any tips for writing up or publishing at the end of my PhD? It can be useful but tough to get a journal paper published before the end of the PhD. Look out for relevant special editions, which may provide a quicker route. Presenting at conferences can also be useful. People will ask you some quite challenging questions, which can be useful for the viva. Understanding others’ perceptions of your work is also valuable. Writing up pieces of your work as you go along, and putting them all together can give you a starting point on the thesis. Think about how you want to lay it out. Drafting a table of contents can be a good start early on, even if you change it later. Don’t leave the discussion chapter until the end. Jot down your thoughts as you write up the rest of the thesis, so you’re not faced with a blank page at the end. Above all, don’t despair – many of us have been there before and the last furlong is always the hardest. Don’t think too much about the viva. Vivas are rarely bad. Remember, your examiners are looking for you to pass, not fail.

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Can I demonstrate practical work in my viva? If you think a short demonstration such as slides, video, visuals, simulation or an artefact might help you get over that first question (usually ‘can you give us an overview of your work?’) then go ahead. Check with your supervisors that the examiners will accept this beforehand. Practical work depends on the nature of your PhD. A design ergonomics PhD would probably benefit from some demonstration or having physical artefacts in the viva.

How do I sell the impact of my work? It depends what you mean by ‘sell’ and who you’re selling to. In terms of your thesis and viva, identify your stakeholders, beyond the user and customer, and what your research means, or could mean in the future, to them. If you’re trying to increase publicity and engagement with your work, then use Twitter and other social media outlets. Tweet about your latest paper, a conference you’ve attended, impact you’ve achieved, awards you’ve received – the main thing is to get it ‘out there’. Think of new ways of presenting your work which are more digestible by the public such as animations, cartoons,

etc. The journal Ergonomics has started looking at these. Write an article for The Ergonomist. There will be someone from your institution who can advise you on Intellectual Property if you have ideas you need to protect before you publish.

What’s the best way to become an academic? Publish! Journal papers are essential. Conference papers are also worthwhile and are easier to get published earlier in your PhD. They can be a good starting point and some conferences may be linked to a special issue journal for the best papers. Support research proposals and teaching activities too. Your institution may offer training courses in these areas. Network! Even if this only means contacting other researchers in your area by email. It all helps get your name known. Great opportunities exist for networking at CIEHF events. Look at becoming part of the online community. • Feedback compiled by Dr Ella-Mae Hubbard and Dr Patrick Waterson of Loughborough University, and Dr Nora Balfe of Trinity College Dublin. Disclaimer: These notes represent feedback based on experience and discussions. They should help provide guidance, but PhD candidates should always check with their institution and supervisor.


Share your PhD experiences The 2017 Doctoral Consortium will take place on 25th April 2017 in Daventry and will consist of short student presentations, small group workshops, networking and will be facilitated by CIEHF members. Attendees will also have the opportunity to attend two of the main conference keynote presentations. If you are studying for a PhD and would like to take part, you are invited to submit a short, 350 word abstract, providing a brief summary of your research and the topic you would like to talk about. This is an opportunity to get feedback on your work, whether it’s the theoretical framework that you are using or a specific study that you would like to present. Submit your abstract at by 22nd January 2017. For further information about the Consortium, the Ergonomics & Human Factors 2017 conference programme and how to book your place, visit

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32 / Research matters | Journal extracts

The CIEHF’s membership package incorporates instant online access to all issues of seven leading journals, including those highlighted here. l

Game, set and match Andy Murray’s achievements in tennis this year, with his win at Wimbledon and ending with a 24-match winning streak culminating in his position as World Number 1, have prompted some to suggest he is among the best sportsmen of all time. That may be true, but how much is play affected by such a punishing schedule? Elite tennis is characterised by repeated bouts of up to 5-set match play, yet little is known about the technical requirements of shots played. In one recent study, eight participants undertook four hours of competitive match play on four consecutive days of a simulated tournament. As anticipated, there was a reduction in technical performance, particularly during day three. Specifically, there was a reduction in total strokes, the percentage of second-serves won and ‘comfortable’ shots played, as well as increases in forced errors. Conversely, first-serve performance is maintained. Whether the observed technical changes result from altered tactical approaches, physiological/ physical fatigue or a reduction in motivation is unclear. Regardless, an improved understanding of the altered technical demands of match play in intensive tournament schedules could assist coaches to improve players’ preparations to withstand the physical and mental rigors of competition. •


Safely coping with threatof-death situations As has sadly been demonstrated very publicly on occasion recently, with the shooting by US law enforcement officers of unarmed civilians, there are times when highly stressful situations can lead to fatal consequences. Researchers have been interested in human performance under stress for many years but this has mainly involved laboratory-based studies as, understandably, it is difficult or impossible to reproduce stressors presented in the real world, especially when considering the potential for harm or death inherent in those situations. One collaborative study by researchers in the US and UK examined how police officers prepared for, coped with, and made decisions under threat-of-death stress during real events. Skilled officers were interviewed following attempts to resolve real situations requiring decision-making under conditions involving a threat-of-death and in which a police firearm was drawn and, in some cases, fired. Officers’ decision-making strategies differed according to the complexity of the situation and they coped with the stress of these situations via attempts to resolve the situations, such as by planning responses, and, to a lesser extent, via attempts to deal with their emotions. The researchers recommended that future officer training should involve a greater variety of training scenarios and expose trainees to more possible variants of each situation. This should help to improve their decision-making skills and operate safely and productively in challenging environments. Future attempts to provide contextual descriptions of expertise in real-world, high-stress environments will improve understanding of feasible and useful decision and coping strategies under conditions of uncertainty and time-pressure. •


Training should include more high-stress scenarios

Effects of consecutive days of match play on technical

‘Gun! Gun! Gun!’: An Exploration of Law Enforcement

performance in tennis. D T Gescheit, R Duffield, M Skein, N

Officers’ Decision-Making and Coping Under Stress During

Brydon, S J Cormack, & M Reid. Journal of Sports Sciences

Actual Events. K R Harris, D W Eccles, C Freeman & P

Ward. Ergonomics, DOI: 10.1080/00140139.2016.1260165



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Help shape the future of the Institute by becoming a Trustee


p to four seats are available on Council via election at this meeting. Council is the governing body and comprises members who become trustees on election. Trustees provide advice, expertise and insight on strategic, professional and policy issues to ensure that the Institute governs prudently against the agreed strategic plan, ‘Towards 2020’. The Institute seeks to encourage a diverse, skilled Council with a broad range of expertise and particularly seeks those with knowledge of contemporary change taking place in charity governance and governance processes. Council sits four times per year and may meet remotely via conference call at other times. New trustees, who each serve a three-year term, are offered an induction into the role on joining Council. The role is unpaid but travelling expenses are available. If you are interested in serving as a trustee then please consider standing for election. The process for nominations is advised to all qualifying members by email. More on the role of the trustee is available at running-charity/trustee-role-board.


Notice of AGM The CIEHF AGM 2017 will take place at 17:45 on 25th April 2017 at Staverton Estate, Daventry Vacancies on Council a) President Elect b) Chair of Professional Affairs Board (PAB) c) Up to two Ordinary Members of Council Positions are open to and via nomination by Registered Members, Fellows and Honorary Fellows. d) Graduate Member Trustee. The position is open to and via nomination by Graduate Members only.

Vacancies on Professional Affairs Board Two vacancies to be filled by and via nominations by Registered Members, Fellows or Honorary Fellows only.

Nomination procedure Nominations may be made only on forms available at Nomination forms must be signed to be valid, posted to the Institute address or submitted by email to to arrive at the Institute offices no later than 24th February 2017.

Proposals for changes to the General Regulations Proposals for changes by Ordinary Resolution to the General Regulations should be sent to the Chief Executive at the Institute office no later than 24th February 2017. Stephen Barraclough, Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors.



Understanding human vulnerabilities The aim of this event, on the afternoon of 10th February 2017 in Winchester, is to share ideas, concerns and mitigations associated with human performance degradations. It will provide an interactive environment which will challenge and inform discussions from a variety of perspectives. The event, jointly organised by the CIEHF's

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Southern Regional Group and the Society of Occupational Medicine will provide a valuable networking opportunity across the two disciplines. It will include presentations that span healthcare, rail, aviation and manufacturing. Speakers include CIEHF President Dr Ian Randle of

Hu-Tech, Dr Mark Young of RAIB, Dr Will Tutton of DSTL, Rebecca Ellis of NATS, Jo Davies of ESE Associates Ltd and Dr Susy Gillibrand, a Consultant Occupational Physician. The event will include lunch and refreshments and costs just £21. For more details and to book go to

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34 / CIEHF news | Regional news


Insight into the Institute of Naval Medicine The Institute of Naval Medicine is the home of the Navy’s medical training. It offers specialist medical training, guidance and support from service entry to resettlement and has extensive research, laboratory and clinical facilities. Dr Bob Bridger, Human Factors Head of the Environmental & Medical Science Division, opened the Southern Regional Group event on 6th October with an overview of how human factors support is embedded within the Division and the multi-roles that the human factors team provide. Naval Safety Culture was the topic of a talk by Anthea Ashford who presented work on the measurement of safety culture using questionnaire surveys and audits. Sarah Wattie gave a practical example of how the HSE’s Stress Management Standards Indicator Tool has been modified to measure perceptions of stressors in the operational environment. Capturing feedback through surveys can be

problematic and Sarah discussed the problems of non-response bias and innovative ways of tackling them. We were provided with insight into the very demanding environment on board the patrol vessels involved in migrant rescue in the Mediterranean. Peter Pisula provided us with examples of how seat design and floor design for high speed craft could attenuate the whole body vibration to increase operational safety. In addition to their assessment role the INM also seeks to influence equipment procurement with the provision of design evidence related to operational tasks. An example was given by Bob Bridger of the assessment of an exoskeleton device to provide lower limb support. The visit was completed with a tour of the laboratories which included a pool, physiology and anthropometry laboratories and a thermal chamber for environmental assessments.

regional news NORTH WEST & NORTH WALES

Rail human factors discussed at Ardwick train service depot On 21st October members of CIEHF's North West & North Wales Regional Group discussed recent themes in human factors in the railway industry at First Transpennine Express (TPE) / Siemens Transportation’s Ardwick traincare depot near Manchester. Topics included human factors in the train driving, signalling and train dispatch tasks, maintenance error, fatigue and the introduction of increasing automation. TPE staff then outlined how drivers are trained and their on-going competence assessed. The highlight was a practical hands-on session seeing how the company uses its full cab simulator in developing competence via a blended learning approach. We had the chance to try out some of the rarely-encountered scenarios which the simulator allows drivers to experience; one involving an unfortunate trespassing virtual cow! Overall, a brief but interesting insight into some of the human factors challenges in this vital transport ort mode.

CIEHF events at a glance

For more details of all CIEHF events, see our website at EVENT (including joint and supported)




N West & N Wales Regional Group event

Fri 27 Jan 2017


Understanding Human Vulnerabilities

Fri 10 Feb 2017

Winchester understanding-human-vulnerabilities/

HEE NE HF Network conference

Thu 16 Mar 2017

Newton Aycliffe

Human Factors in Future Manufacturing

Mon 20 Mar 2017


Ergonomics & Human Factors 2017

Tue-Thu 25-27 Apr 2017


Human Mental Workload

Wed-Fri 28-30 Jun 2017


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Informative white paper to be published on barrier management


How Star Trek influenced control room design A fascinating historical perspective of control room design was given to the South Wales and Bristol Regional Groups at the end of October in Bristol. Starting with Battersea Power Station in the 1930s, David Collier, a human factors specialist who has worked on three generations of nuclear plant control rooms, initially discussed the use of high end material and finishes such as marble and stainless steel where the focus was on aesthetic design and quality along with functionality. David then moved along to the 1950s and 60s to discuss the influence of science fiction on nuclear control design. A key aspect of the presentation was the link between naval bridge design, Star Trek’s Enterprise and nuclear control rooms. He also integrated the evolving influence of space flight and technology on design. A recurring theme throughout the presentation was an apparent lack of sufficient human factors influence in the design stages or in developing management systems, culture, etc., to prevent incidents. David finished with some great insight into his personal involvement in the build phase of power stations and the inadequate consideration for seismic scenarios and build quality. Thanks to Frazer-Nash Consultancy for hosting the event.

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Barrier management refers to the process of ensuring that the controls an organisation intends and expects to have in place to protect against losses are actually capable of doing the job, are properly implemented, and are supported and maintained such that they will function as expected when needed. Whatever the industry sector, the single most frequent, and arguably the most important, factor in any approach to barrier management is people: whether they are relied on to perform some barrier function or to ensure other barriers are in place and effective, or if they are viewed as a risk factor that can degrade or defeat barriers. The traditional high hazard industries such as oil and gas, nuclear, rail, aviation and mining, apply a variety of approaches to identifying, analysing and assuring barriers. But many organisations struggle to know how to ensure: a) that the human performance they need and expect can reasonably be relied on to be delivered when and where it is needed, and b) that the controls they intend to have in place are as robust as they reasonably can be to the loss of the expected standards of human reliability. Some CIEHF members have become concerned at how human performance is being addressed in some current approaches to barrier management. A significant gap has developed between: b What is known from research and experience as well as from innumerable incident investigations about the role of people in sociotechnical systems, the nature of human performance and factors

that contribute to loss of human reliability; and b The expectations and assumptions about human performance – especially of those working at the operational front-line - that are actually being embedded in many operational barrier models. Recognising both the rapid growth in the use of Bowtie Analysis (a diagrammatic method for identifying, visualising and analysing the risks and barriers associated with adverse events), and the lack of current standardisation or established good practice, CIEHF has prepared a white paper providing recommendations on how human factors issues should be treated in barrier management in general, and in Bowtie Analysis in particular. Written by CIEHF members, led by Dr Ron McLeod, the white paper is intended mainly for those with corporate or asset-level responsibility for the development, implementation, and assurance of safety and environmental management systems. Typical users will include health & safety professionals, regulators, and technical and operational managers. Structured into four major sections, the paper sets out 33 recommendations to improve the development, implementation and management of the human performance aspects of barrier management systems, and it should be of value in many sectors. The Human Factors in Barrier Management White Paper will be available as a free download from January 2017. Members can find it in the members’ website portal, all others can receive a copy from the main website at www. on registering their details.

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The Ergonomist Jan/Feb 2017  
The Ergonomist Jan/Feb 2017  

POWER TO THE PEOPLE : How human factors has become embedded in nuclear energy generation