Ergonomics (ergos - work; nomos - laws) and Human Factors have almost identical characteristics and identities and have both developed in similar ways, within the same period, and for the same reasons. The Ergonomics philosophy is the amalgamation of information from psychology, physiology and engineering to enable the environment to be designed to `fit' the person. Ergonomics and Human Factors evolved at around the time of World War II, when fighting and defensive machines were being built far beyond the capacities and capabilities of the operators.
The selection of papers included in these volumes present a corpus of material to enable the reader to obtain an overview of the subject through the writings of significant authors and reviewers in the field. Four main aspects of the working situation and of the human operator within that situation have been taken into consideration when selecting the articles for these volumes; the physical characteristics of the operator's body when `fitting' the system, the operator's cognitive abilities when interacting with the system, the social situation in which the system operates, and the environmental features that `surround' the system.