What is it?

Human factors is a scientific discipline that applies what we know about people, their abilities, characteristics, and limitations to the design of systems they use, environments they work in, and jobs they perform. The human factors profession uses theory, principles, data, and design methods to help reduce human-based risk, optimise well-being and enhance system performance.


Human factors is a broad discipline that can be applied to help optimise specific tasks performed by individuals and address wider challenges at the system or organisation level.

Why is it important?

The application of human factors helps achieve the best fit between people, the equipment they use, the tasks they perform, and the environment they work in. Effective application of human factors will make work safer, more reliable, efficient, and effective.


Every system or organisational process has a level of human interaction, whether it is as an operator, end user or designer. People interact with systems because they are more intelligent, creative, flexible and resourceful than machines. But just as machines are susceptible to failure, humans are also fallible and make mistakes; accidental or intentional. Human factors uses the combined knowledge of psychology, physiology, engineering and organisational knowledge to understand how humans interact with complex systems or processes, whether in routine, maintenance or emergency operations.

There are several benefits to the integration and use of human factors. These include but are not limited to:


  • Reducing human error to achieve safer operations and more reliable operations
  • More efficient, effective, and productive processes and systems
  • Higher standards of performance and quality outputs
  • A reduction in commissioning and operating costs through optimisation of people processes and design discipline that helps ensure a system is fit for purpose

What do we do?

connecting humans together chart

The human is at the core of all of our work at CRA. We focus on the human contribution to systems and organisational performance specialising in:


  • The identification, quantification and reduction of error
  • Human factors design, evaluation, and commissioning of systems
  • Reviewing and enhancing organisational effectiveness based on people and their interactions


We have a specialist team of qualified Human Factors and organisational psychology practitioners with extensive experience in Defence, Nuclear, Transport, and Infrastructure sectors. We are also one of the leaders in the field of Human Reliability Assessment.

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