Ergonomics and Human. factors 2015, day 2 so far

Day 2 has been busy so far, with early sessions that I attended focussing around The Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors process. The first session was a Q and A led by Roger Haslam (now past president) and Steve Barraclough, the CIEHF Chief Executive, on ‘Chartership and what it means’. There were a number of points raised about the process of applying for chartership, notably the need to provide support for members who need mentors. The Institute office is happy to help any members who are in need of mentorship to guide them through the chartership process, so if there are any out there who need a mentor they should contact the CIEHF office, and it was useful to hear these comments as there is obviously more to be done to communicate to members the support that is available.

As the incoming president, I’m very interested in what our members want from the newly chartered Institute. I hop to be able to focus on both external and internal matters during my year as president. At the moment, a priority for our externally-facing activities is around how we can develop better mechanisms to inform policy. The result of this might be inclusion of HF considerations in legislation, increased awareness of the skills of chartered members, and therefore the value of HF work being delivered by those with Chartered status, or increased R&D funding for Ergonomics/Human Factors. One way that we will be exploring to achieve this is by working with other cognate organisations, such as the IMechE or Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) on the engineering side, or some of the health and safety focussed organisations such as British Occupational Hygeine Society (BOHS). For internal matters, I’m keen to make sure that the Institute provides the material, events and support that help members in their day to day lives as E/HF practitioners and researchers. If any people have thoughts or ideas that they would Iike us to particularly focus on then please do speak to me or contact me – we have recently ratified our strategic plan and are now very much focussed on delivery of activities that support our long term goals.

The second session of the morning was around the role of the CIEHF in disciplinary matters regarding members, led by our registrar, David Rumens. It is clear that there is a great responsibility on our members and the Institute to ensure that we uphold high standards of professional conduct. David presented some extremely thought-provoking case studies considering the way in which members might either intentionally or unintentionally misrepresent either their own expertise or their work; we will be following up on the discussions from this session to ensure that we have the appropriate procedures in place to deal with any such cases appropriately.

Dan Jenkins and Claire Williams kindly provided some information for me about the very popular workshop led by Barry Kirwan. Barry focussed on human performance, and used the analogy that “HF is like a good curry. Human performance is the curry, HF is in the kitchen. Senior managers don’t care about what happens in the kitchen, they just want good food”

Dan Jenkins gave an excellent plenary talk giving an overview of DCA’s work supporting the design of the new Hitachi express train. It was great to see such a comprehensive example of E/HF in practice and Dan used great visual material to illustrate the work that ranged from passenger accessibility considerations to glare for drivers  and force requirements in manual handling.

The morning ended with the now much-loved poster session. More of that in a separate post…

Ergonomics and Human. factors 2015, day 2 so far

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