Human factors: Control rooms

The design of control rooms, plant and equipment can have a large impact on human performance.

Further guidance

  • Ergonomic principles in the design of work systems, BS EN ISO 6385:2004. A work system is defined as 'a combination of people and equipment, within a given space and environment, and the interactions between these components with a work organisation' (p10)
  • Ergonomic design of control centres, Parts 1-7, ISO 11064. Covers design principles, control room arrangements and layout, workstations, displays, controls, interactions, temperature, lighting, acoustics, ventilation, and evaluation. Designers should be following this standard for new control rooms, and it can usefully be referred to for upgrades and modifications to existing ones especially where there are known problems.
  • Process plant control desks utilising human-computer interface: a guide to design, operational and human interface issues. Engineering Equipment & Materials Users Association (EEMUA) Publication 201: 2002 available via EEMUA on 020 7628 7878 or [email protected]. A clear and practical guide for sites moving to DCS control and centralised control rooms.
  • Human factors aspects of remote operation in process plants Contract research report 432/2002
    Many of the sites surveyed in this work had increased, or were planning to increase, their level of remote operation. The main reasons given for these changes were to improve productivity, to satisfy regulatory requirements and to keep pace with technology. There was little hard evidence that these alterations led to improvements. The survey indicated that the introduction of remote operation has significant effects on the way work is conducted. This was particularly apparent in areas such as communication between Field Operators and Control Room Operators and information acquisition. Very few sites systematically examined and managed the impact of these changes

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