C10.7.5.4 Job Factors


Job factors are issues relating to the task in hand. They may include:

  • Nature of the task
  • Workload
  • Working environment


You should ensure that the right person does the task. For example, do not ask someone with vertigo to work at heights.

Tasks should be allocated, taking into account the employees limitations and strengths, both physical and mental.

Tasks should be designed in accordance with the ergonomic principles to take into account limitations and strengths in human performance.


The job should be fitted to the person, addressing both:

  • Physical match i.e. the environment and design of the workplace.
  • Psychological match i.e. the individuals information and decision making requirements, as well as their perception of the tasks and risks.


Mismatches between job requirements and people’s capabilities provide the potential for human error. Job factors include:

  • Ergonomics: This is the study of humans and how they interact with their work equipment, work environment and work method. The controls and information displays provided with work equipment should be designed not only for physical ease of use, but also to minimise the likelihood of errors being made.


  • The Extent of Decision Making: The need to make decisions provides interest and stimulation up to a point, beyond that point it becomes stressful.


  • Procedures, Information and Instruction: Written procedures can be ignored or misinterpreted.


  • The Working Environment: Unsuitable and unpleasant physical working conditions (heat/cold, lighting, noise etc.) can affect people’s behaviour and undermine any attempt to develop a safety culture.


  • Maintenance of the Workplace and Equipment: Poorly maintained work equipment can lead to access to dangerous parts or motivate operators to defeat safety controls.


  • Working Time: The effects of fatigue, the number of hours worked and the period allowed for recovery between shifts increases the likelihood of human error.