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Business Dhouglas Carvalho 09/20/2017

Command and Control Approach: The Benefits Of An Improved Control Room Design


A well-designed control room can affect the productivity of employees which affects the return on investment that, in this case, is measured in operator safety and efficiency. Unforeseen situation and catastrophic events have a higher chance to be avoided and managed when technology is used to set the operator up for success.

There can be up to a 15% savings in capital expenditures if a control room design follows the ISO standards and incorporating HFE procedures according to a Shell Study conducted in 2002. We are talking in a reduction in engineering hours, project timeline duration, even cut back any necessary rework. The net benefit includes increase in productivity, employee retention and motivation, improvement of client “buy-in”, improvement in communication workflow and operation, and managerial overseeing capabilities.

An ergonomically designed control room is also perceived as an employee benefit attracting all-star professionals that can offer a direct impact to the company’s ROI. Also, saving the HR department hours of new employee training since the turnover can be decreased in 4.9% to 9.0% (according to Humantech).

Few would object with the need for investment in the high-tech ergonomic hardware of control room systems, because the human factor is the ultimate quality defining factor – these professionals are engaging in highly cognitive tasks and have to make split-second decisions with several implications that affect the financial return directly. A state-of-art room increase the operator recovery time, improving the productivity response in the shortest amount of time possible.

Improving an Existing Control Room

The first step towards improving a control room condition is to promote a control room audit. This is a simple procedure that can transform an existing control room into an up-to-date facility of focus, accomplishment, and organic collaboration. The list of practical fixes addressed below can help any 24/7 mission-critical environment to perform at its highest level.

Lighting

Glare, non-dimmable fixtures or lack of proper lighting can lead to misinformation or fatigue, with dire consequences

Acoustics

Noise can be distracting, or even disruptive, increasing the response time

Work Flow

Obstacles, inefficient pathways, limited access to meeting and break rooms, proximity to distractions – all items aforementioned compromise efficiency and safety.

Screen Size

Small, outdated screens often don’t allow for all modern data to be displayed. Old screens also do not offer a proper screen backlight increasing eye fatigue.

Human-Machine Interface

Line of sight and arc of reach must be optimized such that mission-critical reaction time is minimized in the event of an abnormal situation. Basic considerations for comfort can change dramatically across different operators using the same equipment over several shifts.

Workstation Configuration

Inadequately configured seating arrangements or poorly configured operator adjacency can prevent fluid collaboration and optimum communication.

Adjustable Workstations and Seating

Furniture with limited height adjustment and mobility can cause fatigue and even lead to chronic health issues over time.

Conclusion

Following the best ISO 11064 practices can guide control room design decision making. With the assistance of an experienced control room architectural ergonomic specialized company you will not only build a safer control room environment but also improve the bottom line numbers increasingly overtime.

AFC Industries has Command and Control and Security professionals specialized in the Human Factor Ergonomic Principles, also knowledgeable in the most current, cost-effective, and efficient solutions. Let’s talk – 1-800-663-3412