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The essential role of human factors in advanced technology.

Fowkes RS
Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, IC 9396, 1994 Jan; :1-52
Advanced technology, including automation and computerized information systems, is being adopted in mining at an ever-increasing rate to improve safety and productivity and to decrease overall costs. This report focuses on the human factors issues related to advanced technology. Among the significant facts discovered were the following: Experts studying the design, adoption, and implementation of new technology have stated repeatedly that human factors specialists should be involved from the early planning stages, through design and fabrication, and up to and during production, since human factors has been consistently identified as the biggest obstacle to the efficient utilization of new technology. Also, middle management is generally the greatest obstacle to the adoption of advanced technology; this technology can give rise to worker alienation, boredom, stress, job insecurity, and a sense of isolation; training most of the present work force is more cost effective than hiring new workers; workers are willing to accept new technology if they are given a voice in its implementation; the social and the technical systems should be jointly optimized; and with the introduction of advanced technology, the cognitive or mental, rather than the physical, aspects of human-machine interaction must be emphasized.
Man-machine-systems; Safety; Personnel; Job-analysis; Organizational-structure; Management; Work-environments; Training; Psychology; Cognition; Mining-engineering; Technology-innovation; Human-factors-engineering; Mining-industry; Ergonomics
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Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, IC 9396
Page last reviewed: October 1, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division