Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Human Effort Engineering

Human effort engineering focuses on the movement of man in accomplishing various tasks. Principles of motion economy, principles related to fatigue, comfort, health, and safety are incorporated in human effort engineering in designing the movements of a worker. It is an activity of industrial engineers. Recording proposed motions and analysis of those motion with respect to various principles involved is the activity performed in human effort engineering.

Human Factors Engineering

Human factors engineering is also an activity carried out by industrial engineers and in this activity the focus is on man-made objects used by people. This point is nicely broughtout by Ralph Barnes in his book "Motion and Time Study: Design and Measurement of Work". In chapter 33, he quoted McCormick's definition of human factors engineering in his book "Human Factors in Engineering and Design".
The central focus of human factors relates to the consideration of human beings in the design of the man-made objects, facilities, and environments that people "use" in the various aspects of their lives.
The objectives of human factors in the design of these man-made objects, facilities, and environments are twofold, as follows:

(1) to enhance the functional effectiveness with which people can use them; and

(2) to maintain or enhance certain desirable human values in the process (e.g. health, safety, and satisfaction); this second objective is essentially one of human welfare.
The central approach of human factors is the systemic application of relevant information about human characteristics and behavior to the design of the man-made objects, facilities and environment that people use.
McCormick's explanation directs the human factors engineering to the design of man-made objects by incorporating the human characteristics. As industrial engineers study human characteristics to use in human effort engineering, they become the appropriate engineers to take up human factors engineering also.

Human Factors Science and Human Factors Engineering

Industrial engineers have to clearly distinguish between human factors science and human factors engineering and they have to define human effort engineering and human factors engineering appropriately and structure and develop these subjects within industrial engineering theory and practice.
In the Maynard Industrial Engineering Handbook 2001 edition, there is an article on Ergonomics and risk process. The article describes research in human factors. It says, "Human factors research is  a form of experimentation aimed at quantifying human behavior within the context of technological systems or quantifying the effect of system on users." It is fundamentally an exercise in behavioral science and must make use of experimental and statistical methods developed in psychology and engineering.
Industrial engineers have to come forward to take engineering side into their department practice and engage behavioral scientists to do special experimentation as needed. The distinction between Human factors science and human factors engineering is to be made explicit. 


Ralph M. Barnes, Motion and Time Study: Design and Measurement of Work, 7th ed., John Wiley & Sons, 1980, p.465 
Ernest J. McCormick, Human Factors in Engineering and Design, 4th ed. McGraw Hill, New York, 1976, p.4
Maynard Industrial Engineering Handbook 2001 Edition,, Human Machine System Design and Information Processing, Chapter 6.7, pp. 6.111 to 6.137 




Human Factors - Definitions - Analysis
Original knol - http://knol.google.com/k/narayana-rao/human-factors-engineering-human-effort/2utb2lsm2k7a/ 1988

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