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The science of Human Factors Engineering and Psychology has produced a body of knowledge over the last 70 years, applied across various domains, to improve system safety and performance. Human factors research and the application of human factors principles and methods have flourished in technology-rich, complex environments such as the military and aviation. More recently, as a result of the healthcare environment becoming increasingly technologically dense and generally complex, human factors has been emerging as an area that can help improve systems and technology design with the ultimate goal of improving patient safety and the work environment for healthcare professionals. Until now, there has not been a forum for coordinating the efforts of Human Factors professionals with healthcare expertise in Canada.

Ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data, and other methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.

- International Ergonomics Association

What Do These Have in Common?

Cockpit of an airplane


Nuclear power plant

  • Complex environment
  • Technologically dense
  • Need highly trained professionals working as a cohesive team
  • Require well-designed and tested systems and equipment to mitigate the possibility of human error
  • Need mechanisms to learn from near-misses and adverse events