Human Factors

Human factors are a core part of the subject of patient safety.  The UK Health and Safety Executive provide a widely accepted definition of Human Factors.  “Human factors refer to environmental, organisational and job factors, and human and individual characteristics which influence behaviour at work in a way that which can affect health and safety. A simple way to view human factors is to think about three aspects: the job, the individual, and the organisation and how they impact on people’s health and safety-related behaviour” (HSE, 1999, p2 cited in Flin et al, 2009).

Our education and training programmes seek to optimize the safety performance of the individual, team and organisation by focusing on the following topics.






1. Safety culture

2. Managers’ leadership

3. Communication





4. Teamwork

5. Team leadership

Individual Worker


Cognitive (thinking) skills


6. Situation awareness

7. Decision making

Personal resources

8. Stress management

9. Emotional intelligence

Work Environment




10. Work environment and hazards

(Adapted from Flin et al, 2009)

Flin et al (2009) Human Factors in Patient Safety: Review of Topics and Tools.  Report for Methods and Measures Working Group of WHO Patient Safety. Geneva: World Health Organisation.