Section K Miscellaneous Safety and Health Factors
At certain times, some topics with relevance to occupational safety and health (OSH) do not fit neatly into a definitive category, but nonetheless, they are important to workers and workplace safety and health and must somehow fit under an odd category, such as "miscellaneous."
The contents of this section are as follows:
Chapter 52—Human Factors Chapter 53—Ergonomics Chapter 54—Product Safety
Defining Human Factors
When discussing occupational safety and health (OSH), it seems only logical to discuss how the interaction between machines and humans has an impact upon occurrences of accidents/ incidents in a workplace. It is unrealistic to discuss or incorporate OSH into the work environment without taking into account where humans fit into the puzzle.
With this said, addressing human factors is not a single-discipline endeavor. Multiple fields of science and their data and principles must be an integral part of this undertaking. These science disciplines include but are not limited to engineering, sociology, anthropology, medicine, anatomy, psychology, physiology, biology, computer sciences, etc.
Human factors must pull together research data, practical knowledge, approaches used by other industries, and safety and health as applied to human-machine interfaces. In order to be effective, human factors must be there from the beginning (predesign analysis) as to the task to be accomplished. Secondly, they must be present during detailed engineering design, including environmental factors, operator function and interfaces, and reduction of operator dangers and stressors to design a more efficient/productive system with reduced risk, strain, and stress on operators that improves operator/machine compatibility. Achieving this cannot be assumed from the design but must be tested and evaluated to assure that design goals have been achieved.