Human Factors in Safety Management Systems

It is critical that HF is fully integrated into Safety Management Systems (SMS) as humans remain at the heart of the ATM system, and therefore HF is a key enabler for ATM safety.The HF in SMS project aims to support ATM safety actors when integrating HF into their daily activities. The project has developed a training course, and is developing guidelines with methods and tools to better integrate human factors and “soft issues” into ATM SMS.

SAF-HFA: Human Factors for ATM Safety Actors training course

Human Factors is a discipline looking at all aspects of the human being at work. Thus understanding HF in safety activities is crucial.

The course focuses on understanding how to capitalise on the strengths of the human being to improve ATM safety and how the Safety Management System can intervene on the working environment to capitalise on human flexibility, adaptability and good judgment.


To provide participants with sufficient Human Factors understanding, knowledge and background to approach any safety activity with a perspective that puts the Human at the centre of the system.

Target Audience

The course has been designed for staff having any safety role and responsibility in an ANSP’s SMS .i.e. Safety Managers, incident investigators, Safety assessment specialists, safety committee members etc.

It encourages safety specialists to consider the interactions between individuals, tools, procedures, organisations and cultural context as a preferred unit of analysis.

Training techniques

The course offers a good balance between formal presentations and practical exercises.

Course Content

The course starts with an introduction to set the scene, highlighting the scope of the human factors systemic approach.

One day is dedicated to Human Cognition; covering how the human, thinks, learns, behaves and performs becoming efficient in a task.

A day is dedicated to human errors, explaining what the pitfalls of the human activity are, and why errors are just the other side of the coins of human efficiency, flexibility and adaptability.

Another day puts the human activities in the context of the organisation and safety culture. A special focus is then brought to the importance of Human Machine interaction.

The final morning presents the best human factors methods and tools that would be of help for several safety activities: task analysis and facilitation techniques.

Enter "SAF-HFA" as keyword when you click on the following link to register for the course.

Guidance material

Human Factors guidance material is being developed to enrich the existing EUROCONTROL Generic Safety Manual.

For each of the ESARR3 requirements, a human factors perspective will be provided, highlighting those issues that can be more efficiently resolved by human centred approaches. The purpose is to offer simple and practical solutions for the daily safety management activities.

A handbook will describe the benefits of integrating human factors approaches in Safety Management Systems with the objectives to improve the safety level of ATM.

Human Factors in SMS Support team

Contact us for more information.