Human factors briefing note no. 23 – Workload and staffing levels

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  • Published: October 2016
  • REF/ISBN: 9780852936085-23
  • Edition: 1st
  • Status: Current

This document is freely available to all registered users of this site.

HF Briefing note 23 coverWorkload can refer to the physical or mental effort required to carry out a task. Staffing level is concerned with ensuring the correct number and type of personnel are in post for all tasks.

Why workload and staffing levels?

High workload and inadequate staffing, and the effects these have on fatigue and decision making, have been cited as causes of major accidents. Organisations should ensure adequate staffing levels in order to effectively manage workload – not just physical workload but also mental workload.

One of a series of 23 briefing notes, each briefing note includes:

  • an introduction to each human factors topic;
  • checklists of questions to gauge whether your company has a problem;
  • guidance on what the company or management can do to address each HF issue;
  • 'negative' and 'positive' case studies (illustrating both the consequences of an issue and potential solutions);
  • suggested performance indicators (PIs) for the HSE 'key topics', and
  • further reading lists.

The briefing notes will be of interest to anyone wanting to gain an overview of human factors or of particular human factors issues they are facing, and to managers who are looking to apply practical solutions to solve these issues.

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