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RR1006 - Literature review: Barriers to the application of Ergonomics/Human Factors in engineering design

The purpose of this literature review was to identify barriers to the use of Ergonomics/Human Factors(E/HF) information and principles in engineering design.

Financial considerations, particularly the business strategy of a firm, can lead to managers being unwilling to spend money on using E/HF information, especially if they judge that there will be little financial benefit.

Organisational constraints such as a fixed timetable for bringing a product to market can prevent the use of E/HF in its design.

In most design projects, tasks are dispersed across a range of specialists and organisational units. Design compromises must be negotiated between individuals and teams with different goals, and E/HF considerations may be seen as less important than some other factors.

Personal factors are important to the use of E/HF, particularly commitment from individual senior managers who perceive its value.

Lack of specific E/HF knowledge among many designers and design engineers means they may fail to identify when E/HF could benefit the products they design. Also, they may not be aware of how to access specialist advice.

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Updated 2015-07-09