This review of literature explores the emerging human factors trends with automated mining equipment. It begins by defining the term ‘human factors’ and why it is important to consider operators and maintainers when designing and deploying mining automation. Thereafter it briefly focuses on the need to automation in mining and the past problems with automation from a human‐element perspective. To put mining automation into context, automation in other industries is then presented before specific issues in mining automation are discussed; these include ‘degrees of automation’, automation trends and the likely human factors issues that might arise from widespread mining automation. Finally, conclusions about the human‐element impacts of automation are made; these include the likely problems and some potential ways of reducing such problems by means of adopting an operator‐centred focus during automation design and deployment.