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Human Factors of Engineering and Design

Poor Human Factors and Ergonomics cause:

  • Human error
  • Unusable equipment
  • User frustrations
  • Inaccessible equipment
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Failure to optimise new technology
  • Rejection of new systems
  • System redesign

Good Human Factors and Ergonomics provide:

  • Safe and reliable operations
  • Usable and intuitive user interface
  • Lower through life costs
  • Reduced re-design costs
  • Fast user response times
  • User satisfaction, trust and system acceptance
  • Optimised workspaces
  • Valid and verified designs

Human centred design

Many examples of major accidents and incidents occur due to error caused by poorly designed equipment, unreadable displays, confusing labels, and floods of alarms. The capabilities of new technology can be lost due to unusable interfaces and information overload.

A methodical approach with precise design standards is required when developing new systems for a range of users, especially if it is a safety critical system or new technology.

Human Factors provides the human perspective. Combining recognised methods with expertise, Human Factors engineers determine user needs and design equipment that is user centred, tested and validated by users.

Human factors of centred design

Our service

As experienced practitioners, we adopt a solution-focused approach, and support design optimisation through optioneering. Our work spans the full range of Human Factors issues, from equipment usability, interface design, workspace and workplace design, anthropometry and environmental design. We work with upgrades of legacy equipment and the design of leading edge digital technology, simple tools to very complex control systems.

Human Factors Integration (HFI) is the process of identifying Human Factors key issues for systems and mapping out the forms of Human Factors analyses, inputs and outputs required at each stage of system concept, design and testing. We carry out early assessment of Human Factors needs and develop comprehensive HFI plans that meet latest best practice, including Human Factors risk registers, issues logs, and analysis and verification requirements.

As Human Factors practitioners we adopt a user centred approach to maximise usability and optimise user experience, we also work as integrated members of multi-disciplinary design and engineering teams.

Human factors engineering

Our engineering and design support services include the provision of:

  • Early Human Factors and Feasibility Analysis
  • Interface designs
  • Target Audience Descriptions
  • Control room designs
  • User Requirements Documents
  • Design recommendations
  • System Requirements Documents
  • Workspace layouts

Find out more about our training here.

We make use of a wide range of analytic, knowledge based and evaluative methods. These include:

  • Task, Timeline, data flow and Link Analysis
  • Allocation of function analysis
  • Cognitive walk throughs
  • Workload modelling
  • User needs analysis
  • Prototyping and user trials
  • Human Error Analysis
  • Rapid evaluation of mock-ups
  • Ergonomic standards

Examples of our work

Case studies

Equipment Design

Greenstreet Berman assessed a hand-held device being procured for field engineers. The procurement decision had already been taken but the assessment revealed shortfalls that could have been easily addressed earlier in the procurement process had they been recognised.

Nuclear New Builds

Greenstreet Berman has provided integrated support to two major UK nuclear design and construction projects – ensuring that Human Factors is addressed effectively and efficiently. Timely advice means that the design process can proceed with confidence – from both the customer and regulator.

Related papers


Human Factors in nuclear safety: present and future
Investigations have shown that inadequate human control has
caused or worsened numerous incidents across the high hazard industries…


Preventing the propagation of error and misplaced reliance on faulty systems: A guide to human error dependency
High-hazard operations and activities require commensurately high standards of safety and reliability…

What is special about Greenstreet Berman

Recognised by our clients as offering independent thought and leading-edge ideas, we have grown into one of the largest Human Factors and safety culture companies in the UK.

  • We are experts in major hazard operations and process safety, and work in all major hazard sectors, with a long track record of excellent work
  • Our Chartered Psychologists, registered Human Factors specialists and ergonomists, provide advice, training and research to both public and private sector clients since 1997
  • We have 20 years’ experience and some of the most highly qualified professionals in the industry
  • We offer the assurance of an ISO accredited quality management system across our broad range of services from hardware design to individual behaviour and organisational culture
  • We work across all sectors, we work with regulators and global clients from our office in London
our services