What are human and organisational factors?
People are involved in all aspects of work and keeping them safe should be a priority. Understanding human and organisational factors – all elements within a workplace that have an impact on the people who work there – is fundamental to keeping people safe.
At the core of human and organisational factors are three interrelated areas that are relevant to any task. These are the:
- job – what people are being asked to do (i.e. the task and its characteristics)
- individual – who is doing the task (i.e. the person and their competence)
- organisation – where the person is working (i.e. the organisation and its attributes).
Why are they important?
Human and organisational factors affect how effectively and safely workers are able to do their jobs.
When managed well, human and organisational factors set workers up for success. When they are poorly managed, or have not been considered, safety and productivity are compromised.
Video - Human and organisational factors - Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety
Find out what you can do to effectively manage human and organisational factors in your workplace.
Resources and tools
- Managing human reliability Understanding and managing human reliability and factors shaping human performance.
- Usable procedures Guidance on developing and writing usable procedures.
- Training and competence Achieving and maintaining competence through managing training effectively.
- Staffing and workload Tips for managing workload and maintaining appropriate staffing levels.
- Organisational change Strategies to effectively implement organisational change.
- Safety-critical communication Considerations to improve safety-critical communication in the workplace.
- Designing for people Designing work tasks, equipment, processes and environment to suit the user.
- Fitness for work Information on the assessment and management of fitness for work.
- Health and safety culture Guidance on creating and maintaining a positive health and safety culture.
- Maintenance, inspection, and testing error Mitigating the likelihood of human error during maintenance, inspection, and testing activities.