Department of the Air Force transition to DoD HFACS 8.0 early April

  • Published
  • By Capt Paige Mehringer
  • Air Force Safety Center

On April 1, the DoD Human Factors Analysis and Classification System will see an upgrade from version 7.0 to 8.0. The updated design accommodates all occupational communities, standardize language between services, and aims to improve the robustness and reliability of Human Factors coding for more consistent reporting.

The DoD HFACS is a tool used by safety personnel, data researchers, and commanders to identify underlying causes of human error that can lead to mishaps during DoD operations. The Human Factors Working Group, a joint effort among all the services, developed HFACS version 8.0 in response to lessons learned and best practices of using DoD HFACS version 7.0This updated version was approved by the Joint Service Safety Council for implementation earlier this year.

Overseeing this transition for the Department of the Air Force, the AFSEC Human Performance Division is available for safety office investigators and researchers to answer questions on the transition to, and appropriate use of the HFACS tool. The AFSEC Human Performance Division supports the DAF safety mission to safeguard Airmen & Guardians and protecting resources to enable mission success by addressing the number one cause of DAF mishaps: human error.

“Overall, previous users will find the basic function of HFACS remains the same in version 8.0,” said Lt Col Denise Zona, the Chief of the Human Performance Division. “However, the changes in the new version are intended to provide clarity as well as improve reliability and specificity coding for our new and experienced users.”

DoD HFACS users will see the roll-out of version 8.0 on April 1 and will be used for all mishaps on or after this date; however, any mishaps occurring on or before March 31 will continue to use HFACS 7.0, even as the investigation and report writing extends past the roll-out date.

Lt Col Zona stated, “In addition to refining the codes for HFACS 8.0, we listened to feedback from the field and have made changes in AFSAS to simplify assigning codes. Investigators do a great job of identifying the human contribution, and our goal in this update has been to simplify, clarify, and improve the coding of these factors.”

Major updates that users will see in HFACS 8.0 include, but are not limited to, a new focus on organization climate and unit safety, a new focus on training impact and effectiveness, at least one individual precondition must be coupled with each unsafe act and refocusing on teamwork and communication. Moreover, users should be aware that the changes in the nano-codes are not correlated between HFACS 7.0 and HAFCS 8.0 within Air Force Safety Automated System, which will now have two separate searches, one for each version of HFACS.

For a comprehensive list of the changes between DoD HFACS 7.0 and DoD HFACS 8.0, please visit the Air Force Safety Center website at the DoD HFACS 8.0 page on the AFSEC website.