Usability is about people. Safety is about people. The people that enjoy products with incorporated usability are the same people that suffer from workplace injury. The goals of Usability and Safety are aligned very closely. Usability engineering that has been developed over the last 30 years to improve performance, reduce errors, and increase sales can be applied to Industrial Safety. There is a growing need for UX industry to apply these skills and talents to Industrial Safety. The benefits go beyond improving performance and reducing errors. Usability and Safety working together saves lives.
Safety and Usability in the Oil and Gas Industry
Usability in the Oil and Gas worker is a matter of life and death. Operational behaviors involving risk must be driven by procedures – that is the law. Traditionally documents are well written and technically accurate but are not engineered for usability. The results can be fatal. Usability engineering save lives. We can demonstrate, with real world examples, how usability engineering can reduce accidents.
Behavior driving procedures cannot be crafted with the traditional tools of technical writing. Users are not readers. The pressures of regulatory compliance, process complexity, and a wide spectrum of risk require documents to compensate for human behavioral needs. By applying research about human behavior, the Petrochemical industry is adopting behavioral methodologies to make the workers safer and more efficient. Safety and Usability cannot be separated.