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Ergonomics and Human Resources in Control Room Design

March 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 187

The goal of a control room is to maximize efficiency. You can have the most sophisticated equipment in the world but the operator will ultimately be the one who will be taking the information that is provided to them and using it to make a decision. If an operator's work environment is not conducive to comfort then their ability to react and interpret information will be compromised.

There are certain factors that should be taken into account when designing an ergonomically sound work environment. The physical attributes of the operator definitely need to be taken into account. A person's size and reach need to be reflected in the design and selection of correct control room furniture. An operator should not be in a position where they are straining themselves or are forced to work in uncomfortable positions.

If a person is in a position of discomfort while they work their will become agitated faster and their ability to make an informed decision will be drastically reduced. In fact as much as possible furniture that aims to reinforce and promote correct posture should be chosen. Think about it this way - If an employee has to stand behind their desk and work instead of sitting in a comfy chair for 8 hours, how productive do you think they would be?

What it all comes down to when designing a workspace is that the operators and the workspace should be considered a combined entity and not considered separately. The employees and the workspace are two parts of a system that need to work in unison if a control centre is to reach operational excellence.

Other important ergonomic considerations include the lighting of the room, which will also affect the productivity of operators. A well-lit room, with correct ventilation is required for health reasons but will also be conducive to productivity.

If employees are operating in an environment where time dependent decision-making is a factor, then enrolling them in training to assist them with improving reaction time and working in a high pressured environment can be beneficial.

Human needs should always be taken into consideration when undertaking a workspace design project. This goes back to what was said at the beginning of this post - You can have top of the range equipment and workspace design that borders on perfection but all of it will mean nothing if you don't have the right people to make use of them.

Remember, when undertaking control room design, always take comfort and usability into consideration.

Source: EzineArticles
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