Frequently Asked Questions

“Human Factors”?

The focus of THRILL is on human factors and amusement safety. The brief responses to these frequently asked questions reflect a human-factors perspective, and many link to other sources of information.

Human Factors Engineering/Ergonomics is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system in order to make systems compatuble with the cognitive, physiological, and anatomical needs, abilities and limitations of people.

Mismatches lead to outcomes such as discomfort and ill-health, errors, and inefficient performance. Human performance is critical to success of any mission. Mismatch between people and technology can directly injure people, as in acute or cumulative musculoskeletal injuries. Mismatches can also lead to performance failure, affecting safety of the individual (e.g., driver error, amusement rider error), or indeed the public at large (e.g., death and illness due to contaminated municipal water in Walkerton). Human performance is shaped by the design of workplaces, public facilities, and consumer products in particular the match between people and the physical and information interface with technologies.

The business case for HF is based jointly on improved accuracy and efficiency of performance and user satisfaction while decreasing costs of adverse outcomes. Successful design of the interface between people and technology requires multidisciplinary participants and application of human factors principles at the individual interface, the group or team level, and the organizational level.