HFHuman Factors is the application of knowledge of how humans physically, mentally and socially behave in the workplace in order to improve performance and protect human health and safety. Ergonomics is HF applied to the design of tools, products, and systems. In NDT, this area of HF can impact on the design of a hand-held manipulator, the ease of use of the screen and controls on a flaw detector or the introduction of head-up displays.

The main study of HF in NDT has been in investigating the performance of individual operators. HF projects have looked at the effect of the environment – heat, noise, time pressures on the performance of operators. The PANI projects were HF projects and PANI 3 examined the impact of operators' aptitudes and personality, the NDT process, the NDT organisation and the format of the written NDT procedure on the inspection.

It is now a requirement of aviation regulations that personnel involved in the maintenance of aircraft are given training in HF.

For more information on HF see:
or the PANI 3 report:

To experience HF in action see:

What the hec?! articles are not intended to be the definitive account on the topic or acronym in question. Readers’ comments and contributions are welcomed. Email: ndtnews@bindt.org