Thirty years ago the world of Commercial Aviation provided a challenging environment. In my early flying days, aircraft accidents were not unusual, flying was seen as a risky business and those who took part, either as a provider or passenger, appeared grudgingly willing to accept the hazards involved. A reduction in the level of risk was sought in technological advances, greater knowledge of physics and science, and access to higher levels of skill through simulation, practice and experience. While these measures did have an impact, the expected safety dividend was not realized. The most experienced, technically competent individuals with the best equipment featured far too regularly in the accident statistics. We had to look at the human element, the impact of flaws or characteristics of the human condition. We call this area Human Factors. My paper describes the concept of Human Factors, its establishment as a key safety tool in aviation and the impact of this on my working life.