Chapter 1 summarizes the goals of human factors and ergonomics (HFE) that are set to achieve equipment that is operable and safe, tasks that are compatible with people's expectations limitations and training, an environment that is comfortable and appropriate for the task, and a system of work organization that recognizes peoples’ social and economic needs. The chapter also provides a comprehensive history of human factors and ergonomics, a general HFE checklist, examples of hierarchical task analysis, and a discussion of costs and benefit models. The reliability and validity of HFE tools and methods are discussed. The chapter includes material on the fourth industrial revolution.