Human Factors in Health and Safety

Modular human factors training

There is an increasing emphasis on the importance of managing human factors – how the people, the job and the organisation interact as a whole – to achieve improved safety and business performance in the chemical process industries.

Major accidents, including those at Texas City and Buncefield, have highlighted the importance of addressing this aspect of performance.

Yet many of the safety and operational professionals charged with managing human factors have no formal qualifications or training in the human and behavioural sciences.

Human Factors in Health and Safety provides modular training to increase understanding of the core human factors issues specific to the process industries, and how to manage them effectively.

Jointly developed by IChemE and the Keil Centre, a recognised centre of excellence in human factors, the programme focuses on how a better understanding of how to manage human factors can drive safety standards and overall business performance.

Training is delivered by recognised human factors professionals with significant process industry experience.

Programme structure

The programme consists of four two-day modules, supported by pre-course reading, which together form a broad human factors educational programme over one year.

You can join the programme at any point – modules can be completed in any order.

You can sign up for the whole programme or attend single modules to develop understanding of a particular area of human factors.

Learning outcomes

  • understand what human factors is and how it affects human performance, health and safety
  • understand how human factors needs to be managed within an organisation, including the scope and involvement of different parties
  • develop knowledge about specific topic areas related to major accidents and how to reduce the related risks
  • understand and gain practical use of common tools and techniques used within human factors
  • understand how to apply certain human factors tools
  • UK participants – act as the COMAH operator's intelligent customer for human factors*.

Who should attend

Those looking for a comprehensive overview of human factors, access to practical research-based tools and approaches, and discussion in small groups with acknowledged industry experts. This may include:

  • HSE managers and advisors
  • operations managers
  • safety engineers
  • chemical/process engineers
  • in-house human factors advisors.

Specific engineering disciplines (eg control and instrumentation, piping, electrical, mechanical) may be interested in Module 4 – Human Factors in Design.

Programme content and dates

Follow the links to individual modules below to learn about the content and objectives of each module, and to book a place.

Scheduled dates – UK and Europe

Scheduled dates – Australia

Download a brochure

Download the Human Factors in Health and Safety brochure for UK and Europe >>

How to book

Follow the links above to individual modules to book a place. 

Alternatively you can book on to the UK & Europe modules >>


* The COMAH delivery guide has a specific clause relating to technical competence in human factors, suggesting that COMAH operators should demonstrate proportionate access to HF expertise.

This can be supplied as external competent support (such as from a Chartered Human Factors Specialist accredited by the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors). However, it is emphasised that the COMAH operator must maintain an effective intelligent customer capability and secure local ownership of key HF standards and their implementation, developing and maintaining a suitable level of in-house HF expertise.

Human Factors in Health and Safety aims to develop a broad understanding of human factors in support of the in-house human factors advisor who acts as the COMAH operator’s intelligent customer.