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Performance Influencing Factors, or PIFs, are factors that combine with basic human error tendencies to create error-likely situations. In general terms PIFs can be described as those factors which determine the likelihood of error or effective human performance.
It is widely recognised that human error in industrial operations is a major source of risk that needs to be considered when plants are designed, modified or operated. The increasing interest in this area has arisen partly from the occurrence of a number of major accidents where human error has played a significant role.
Task analysis is a fundamental methodology in the assessment and reduction of human error. A wide variety of different task analysis methods exist, and it would be impracticable to describe all these techniques here. Instead, the intention is to describe representative methodologies applicable to different types of task.