Analyse - Investigate - Report

HF-AIR™ is a complete online incident investigation system. The integrated analysis tools provide a rich understanding of both technical failures and human behaviours and are pulled together using an interactive timeline. The language used throughout the tool is deliberately simple but is based on a rigorous and in-depth understanding of the research. This means an investigator can easily pick up, use and understand the content

Key Benefits:

Key Benefits:
  • Upskill in human factors awareness and interviewing
  • Pinpoint system & cognitive origins of behaviours
  • Map how Critical Moments of incidents link to the end outcome
  • Develop specific & effective recommendations
  • Work quickly using our streamlined & intuitive analysis process
  • Produce quality automated reports
  • Identify the human factors trends impacting the business
  • Share industry human factors trends

The Timeline

The interactive timeline is the hub of an HF-AIR™ investigation. The investigator enters the Critical Moments (CM) into the system which will allow the investigation team to see at a glance when events have occurred. Users can zoom in and out on the timeline, view CM descriptions and associated photographs. This is also where they select a CM to analyse. The CM’s can either be 5M Causes (Machinery; Methods; Materials; Mother-nature; Measurement) or Behaviours.

Cognitive Origins Analysis™

Behaviours are analysed using Cognitive Origins Analysis™ (COA™) which is designed to help support an understanding of the type of failure that has occurred and why (the Cognitive Origin). The investigators will use our model of situational awareness (SUPPA) to seek to understand at which of the 5 cognitive steps (Scan; Understand; Predict; Plan; Act) the behaviour first failed. They will then look to identify the high-level causes of the failure (e.g. Vigilance) and then all the related Cognitive Origins that sit under those high-level causes (e.g. Under stimulated).

The key features of COA™ are:

The cognitive steps

The cognitive steps (Scan; Understand; Predict; Plan; Act) are based on a wide range of research including models of Situational Awareness (e.g. Endsley, 1988 and Takano and Reason, 1999) and the Theory of Planned Behaviour (Ajzen, 1991)

Cognitive Origins

Where possible the cognitive origins are given as external system-based causes (e.g. contradicting cues/signals) rather than internal human causes (e.g. confirmation bias). This makes it easier for investigators to understand the system issues that need to be addressed as well as shifting blame from the individuals where it is not warranted.

Multiple Causes

COA™ recognises that rarely does a behaviour occur because of one single cause – therefore the investigators can identify up to 4 cognitive origins for each behaviour

Avoid “Blame” terminology

COA™ moves away from “blame” terminology such as violations. Instead, ‘planned deviations’ are integrated into the model to understand situations where individuals felt it necessary to deviate from given rules and procedures.

Additional Contextual Factors

As well as the Cognitive Origins selected, the investigators can identify any additional Contextual Factors that have influenced the behaviour. These are a carefully selected group of 34 Contextual Factors (Job; Individual; Organisational) that investigators can identify as having a weak, medium or strong influence on the behaviour.

Recommendation guidance

Recommendation guidance is given for each Cognitive Origin selected. The guidance is typically two or three simple but effective actions that are specific to that Cognitive Origin.

5M-Cause Analysis

A 5M-Cause is a description for anything that is not a behaviour (Machinery; Methods; Materials; Mother-nature; Measurement) which has contributed to the incident. 5M-Cause Analysis allows investigators not only to understand why the 5M-Cause has occurred but also if there are any relating behaviours that need to be added to the investigation. In order to understand the 5M-Cause the investigators ask and answer ‘why?’ until it no longer makes sense to do so (i.e. the root cause has been identified) or there is insufficient evidence to support a response. The evidence that supports ’why’ is recorded alongside along with any linked behaviours. If there are any additional behaviours associated with the 5M-Cause (not covered already in the Critical Moments) these can be added and analysed using COA™ . In this way, behaviours that have occurred further back in the timeline, that might have been initially missed, can be identified.

Incident Analysis

Analysing incident data has never been easier. After selecting search criteria HF-AIR™ produces a range of graphs that display the themes that have occurred over that chosen period. This allows users to identify areas of concern that need to be addressed. All graphs and data can be exported at the click of a button. The graphs illustrate the breakdown of Cognitive failure types, Critical Moment types, 5M Cause types, Cognitive Origins (top 10) and the Contextual Factors (standard plus those rated as having a strong impact).


Reporting is easy with HF-AIR™ . All the data that has been captured during an investigation is exported into an MS Word report template at the click of a button. The report template themes the data and includes supporting evidence such as photographs in the appendix. The report can also be tailored by the organisation to fit their reporting structure and styling. Once downloaded the user can edit the report and upload the final report to the system.

Investigation Management

HF-AIR™ has many useful features for managing investigations including:
  1. Restricting access and permissions on investigations to named investigators
  2. Collection of background information such as project summaries and evidence
  3. Amending terminology so it is company specific
  4. Moving old investigations to archiving

About Us

The HF-AIR™ system was developed by our team of experts from a range of disciplines and with a wide variety of industry experience. IHF is an award winning HF consultancy with a background in aviation and an impressive track-record in applying HF tools, methods and techniques. https://www. ihf.co.uk. HF-AIR™ can be licenced and used by internal investigators on a yearly basis. We provide training and follow up coaching for those using the tool. Alternatively, we have our own set of investigators who are specifically trained to support you in HF investigations using the HF-AIR™ tool.
HF-AIR™ can be licenced and used by internal investigators on a yearly basis. We provide training and followup coaching for those using the tool. Alternatively, we have our own set of investigators who are specifically trained to support you in HF investigations using the HF-AIR™ tool.

Competent users

One of the potential downfalls of any system is when the users of the system are not adequately competent. We assure competency with our system in 3 ways.

  1. Guidance/Definitions - Throughout the tool there are clear definitions of all concepts and terms as well as comprehensive recommendation guidance.
  2. Training - A 1-day interactive training course is compulsory for all users covering the core theory and functionality of HF-AIR™ . An additional day can be added to cover other key topics such as interviewing skills.
  3. Coaching - An additional 1/2 day coaching and review of a completed investigation is also required to become fully certified HF-AIR™ user.

    Arrange a trial

    For more information or to arrange a demo/trial please contact:

    Email: info@ihf.co.uk;

    Mobile: +44 (0)131 201 2086


    If you have any questions about human factors and what we can do for your business,
    please don't hesitate to contact us.