BAW Architecture Control Room Ergonomics Assessment
 

Control Room Ergonomics Assessment

ENSURE ISO COMPLIANCE, OPTIMIZED SAFETY AND OPERATOR PERFORMANCE

Save time and money by hiring BAW to proactively perform an ergonomics analysis and operations assessment in the earliest stages of a control building project, to optimize control room performance and enhance situational awareness for control room operators.

Whether you are an EPC or the end user of  a control building, you need a control room ergonomics assessment to make sure your designs are ISO 11064 compliant, employ human factors engineering (HFE) best practices, and are simply a safe place for operators to work. As the global leader in 24/7 mission-critical, control building design, BAW is uniquely qualified to review the design of your control room space, and identify factors that can positively affect the layout and configuration.

And the control room itself is not the only space that benefits from an ergonomic evaluation. It’s just as critical that adjacent spaces be considered, such as a conference room, war room, or engineering room. The operational requirements and flow between areas such as a restroom, kitchenette or printer must also be taken into account.

The Process

Ideally, a control room ergonomics assessment is conducted as an early design stage review. BAW is contacted, and expert staff members then conduct a Charette, which is workshop that includes operators, and other control room stakeholders.

The workshop (Charrette) ensures the design is based on the end user requirements to achieve full situational awareness:

  • Review of Operator roles, responsibilities and interfaces
  • Review of Operator tasks and personnel / equipment / communication interfaces
  • Review of Floor Plan

Weekly meetings ensue, along with a design review by BAW. The entire process usually lasts 4-12 weeks. At its conclusion, a report is delivered with clear, actionable items that ensure ISO compliance and HFE best practices.

The Deliverables

Recommendations for improvement generally include a detailed review and validation of, or, where appropriate, customized recommendations for improvement of the following design elements: 

Layout & Environment

Obstacles, inefficient pathways, limited access to meeting and break rooms, proximity to distractions—all compromise efficiency and safety. Additionally, control rooms must successfully accommodate the extra personnel present at shift change or during abnormal situations.

Finishes

Finishes should be durable, easily maintainable, and should consider acoustic performance and light reflectance as well as aesthetics such as hue and pattern.

Acoustics
Noise can be distracting, or even disruptive, increasing response time.

Windows & Lighting
Glare, non-dimmable fixtures or lack of proper lighting can lead to misinformation or fatigue, with critical consequences. When windows are required to be present, the inability to control natural light should be carefully addressed in their size, location, and treatment.

Workstations
Operator communication amongst consoles and line of sight and arc of reach at each individual console must be optimized such that mission-critical reaction time is minimized in the event of an abnormal situation. Stationary or minimally adjustable furniture can cause fatigue and even lead to chronic health issues over time.

Furniture, & Equipment
Supporting equipment such as printers must be accessible yet not create obstacles.

The ergonomics study report delivers highly practical, easily understood, expert design review including recommendations that ensure common HFE traps are avoided. Simple suggestions might include reversing console layout to avoid screen glare (which can cause headaches over prolonged periods), or including acoustic wall panels to dampen noise and echoes. More fundamental alterations may also be needed, such as reconfiguring square footage due to under sizing that is non-ISO compliant.

A control building is no place to leave things to chance. An ergonomics assessment is a sound investment in a functional environment that optimizes safety and performance for years to come. Contact BAW to schedule yours today.

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