With the growing complexity of our facilities and about 90% of industrial accidents traceable to human errors, integrating human factors into facilities design and construction has become imperative. Although, human errors are not the root cause of these accidents, a deficient system made the human error possible leading to disasters. In today’s design world, human factors integration into design is all about designing the facilities to make human error almost impossible (i.e. make it difficult for operators to make mistake that will lead to a disaster by using human-oriented displays/controls, interlock systems etc.). Before these human-oriented elements are designed, human factors analyses need to be done to determine possible error scenarios and error resilience of the systems. The results of these analyses are then integrated into the design of the facilities to enhance safety and human performance. This is why human factors analysis has now become an important part of safety and risk management. In spite of this new focus on human factors integration, there is still a lot of confusion and misunderstanding universally on how this can be adopted by companies using a generic framework for consistent application. This is as a result of absence of common approach from industries. To analyze complex novel or existing socio-technical systems, human factors experts tends to apply set(s) of methodologies that will give sufficient human factors information for safer systems design.
This paper presents how optimal human performance and safety can be achieved by incorporating Applied Cognitive Work Analysis (ACWA) methodology as a design and analysis tool within the human factors integration efforts during design/analysis of complex novel or existing socio-technical systems. An exploratory analysis of road system using Applied Cognitive Work Analysis (ACWA) with a view to identifying the constraints faced by road users in interacting with the road systems shows how roadway elements can best be designed to support road users in improving performance and enhancing safety.