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Home > Forensics > Human Factors Glossary 

Selected Glossary of Human Factors and Safety Terms


A-D   E-K   L-R   S-Z


Ergonomics. See "Human Factors".

Fall. An unintended drop to a walkway or other surface resulting from a loss of balance.

fc. See foot candle.

fL. See foot Lambert.

Foot candle (fc). A measurement of illuminance, in lumens per square foot.

Foot Lambert (fL). A measurement of luminance.

Footwear. Anything worn on a foot that is intended to contact the ground while walking, such as shoes, boots, sandals and slippers.

Fovea. A small depression in the center of the retina that has the highest density of cones and the greatest visual acuity. The fovea has a diameter of about one to two degrees of visual angle.

Friction. A force acting at the interface between two objects that resists the motion or tendency to motion of one object relative to the other. (See also Coefficient of friction.)

Glare. Brightness in the field of view that exceeds the luminance to which the observer has adapted, and may result in annoyance, discomfort, or degraded visibility.

Handrail. A bar, pipe, or rail that is typically grasped with a hand and used for support and guidance along stairways, ramps, and walkways.

Hazard. Potential for an activity, condition, or circumstance to cause injury, illness, or other damage to people, property, or the environment.

Hertz (Hz). A measurement of frequency, in cycles per second, in which one cycle per second equals one Hertz. Applied to cycling phenomena such as the vibration of sound waves or the refreshing of a video image.

Human factors. A multidisciplinary science that studies human biological, physical, psychological, and social characteristics and applies information about those capabilities and limitations to the design, operation, and evaluation of tools, tasks, procedures, and environments for safe, effective, and productive human use. Syn. Ergonomics.

HFES. Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. A non-profit, multidisciplinary organization of professionals involved in the field of human factors. The Society promotes study and dissemination of knowledge about human characteristics that are applicable to safe, efficient, effective and productive human interaction with tools, machines, processes and environments [HFES Web site].

Hz. See Hertz.

IIPP. See Injury and Illness Prevention Program.

Illuminance. The amount of light falling on a surface. Measured in units of lux (lumens per square meter) or foot candles (fc, lumens per square foot).

Incidence rate. Rate of job-related injuries and illnesses.

Incident. A distinct event, often one that disrupts the normal operation or procedure.

Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP). Cal-OSHA-required safety program that must be established, implemented, and maintained by every California employer. Program elements address responsibility, compliance, communication, hazard assessment, accident/exposure investigations, hazard correction, training and instruction, and record-keeping [Cal-OSHA regulation].

Interlock. Mechanism, such as a switch, that turns off power to a machine whenever a safety device, such as a guard, is disabled.

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