This blog is a companion to the book

Human Factors and Ergonomics in Practice

Improving system performance and human well-being in the real world


Available at:

CRC Press (£30, free P&P) | Browns Books for Students

Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr


  • Provides a broad view of the state of the profession and discipline from various viewpoints
  • Focuses on the progress of the discipline and profession in achieving its aims
  • Attempts to rebalance the literature with an increased focus on the craft side, as well as the application of engineering and science in real contexts
  • Conveys the perspectives and experiences of Practitioners and other stakeholders in a variety of industrial sectors


This edited book concerns the real practice of human factors and ergonomics (HF/E), conveying the perspectives and experiences of practitioners and other stakeholders in a variety of industrial sectors, organisational settings and working contexts. The book blends literature on the nature of practice with diverse and eclectic reflections from experience in a range of contexts, from healthcare to agriculture. It explores what helps and what hinders the achievement of the core goals of HF/E: improved system performance and human wellbeing. The book should be of interest to current HF/E practitioners, future HF/E practitioners, allied practitioners, HF/E advocates and ambassadors, researchers, policy makers and regulators, and clients of HF/E services and products.


“For those who are already working in human factors and ergonomics this book is of major significance. Not only does it synthesise the diverse aspects of this complex issue, it genuinely adds new knowledge in conceptualising and mapping the human factors terrain in a way that provides insight and adds practical value. For those unfamiliar with the territory who may be both enticed and somewhat confused by the vocabulary, this book provides an accessible and balanced account of the subject, shining a bright light on a subject that is much misunderstood. Thirty one chapters, authored by a tour de force of experts, provide the reader with a set of books within a book; in particular as it explores human factors and ergonomics across different domains. For anyone who is interested in using their human factors qualifications in the healthcare domain, the book is worth buying simply for the chapter on human factors and ergonomics in healthcare by Ken Catchpole and Shelly Jeffcott.”

Dr Suzette Woodward, DProf, MSc, PGDipMS, RSCN, RGN, National Campaign Director, Sign up to Safety, National Health Service, UK

“I’ll admit I’m slightly biased, as I wrote the Foreword. However I agreed to write the Foreword because I believe this book fills a unique space. It’s an insight into the real, and often messy and challenging world of human factors/ergonomics in practice. It’s doesn’t just contain small tantalising snippets from the real world, it contains thorough reviews and insight that each industry can learn from. Every industry is on a journey to be better and safer at what it does, each one is at a different stage of that journey and this book has been a great help to me in understanding “how we’re doing” and what we could be doing next. An eye opener.”

Martin Bromiley, OBE, Airline Captain and Chair of Clinical Human Factors Group, UK

“This is the best book I have read on Human Factors/Ergonomics. Its focus on the applied, practical aspects of HF/E make it relevant to front-line workers as well as managers and researchers. If the General Medical Council is serious about wanting to involve HF/E professionals in its work then council members would do well to read this book.”

Dr Michael Moneypenny, Consultant in Anaesthesia and Director of the Scottish Centre for Simulation and Clinical Human Factors

The low-down…

The purpose of the book is to to convey some of the perspectives and experiences of practitioners on the real practice of human factors and ergonomics in a variety of industrial sectors, organisational settings and working contexts. The book blends literature on the nature of practice with reflections from experience, and offers insights into the achievement (and non-achievement) of the core goals of HF/E: improved system performance and human wellbeing.

In order to achieve this purpose the approach of this book can be characterised as follows:

  • Contextual and systemic: The book takes a holistic approach to HF/E, emphasising the context of real HF/E practice and the systemic nature of the discipline and profession.
  • Diverse and eclectic: The book offers multiple perspectives from practitioners from different industries and settings and industry-focused researchers. The diversity of HF/E in practice means that the chapters have an eclectic feel; we avoided stipulating a certain style or format, or a need for extensive referencing, since this is not the reality of practice. But as a whole, the authors give complementary insights into HF/E in practice.
  • Experiential and reflective: The book recounts real experiences and reflections of practitioners and other HF/E stakeholders via reflection and narrative, and this is prioritised over citation and referencing. Authors also consider some of the lessons learned and not learned by the profession, and some of the wider implications for the profession.
  • Genuine: The authors are honest about HF/E-as-done, without assuming ideal conditions. The authors discuss some of the factors that influence practice and outcomes in ‘messy’ and constrained environments, including the compromises and trade-offs that are necessary in practice.
  • Useful: The book aims to help improve professional practice, via practical wisdom from experienced practitioners (e.g., ‘advice I’d give myself if I were starting over’).

There should be something of interest to anyone with an interest in the discipline and profession of HF/E, including:

  • current HF/E practitioners to help reflect on, challenge and conceptualise their own practice and the practice of others, and how it may be sustained, changed or improved;
  • future HF/E practitioners to gain an understanding of HF/E-as-done, and put their training into a wider context;
  • allied practitioners, HF/E advocates and ambassadors who utilise certain HF/E concepts and methods, or champion the aims of HF/E, to put their practice into a broader and more systemic framework, perhaps progressing to fuller integration into their work;
  • researchers to gain an understanding of the nature of HF/E practice in a variety of industrial domains and organisational and working contexts, to help focus and direct their research and to help identify some of the practical implications;
  • policy makers and regulators to understand some of the practical and systemic HF/E issues affecting policy and regulation;
  • clients of HF/E services and products to become more active and instrumental in the success of HF/E in practice.

This edited book features chapters and commentary by many experienced HF/E practitioners situated in a diverse range of contexts, including consultancies, manufacturers, service providers, universities and other institutions. The chapters are diverse in content, approach, tone and style of writing, reflecting the individual authors, their roles and experiences, their working contexts and preferred approaches to writing.

In this blog, you will find  practitioner summaries for each chapter, and some reflections from early readers. You are invited to reflect on the general themes within each chapter via the comments.

See the full Contents.

We hope you enjoy the book and this blog.

Steven Shorrock and Claire Williams