13 Jul

Mistakes Within the Control Room

Mistakes Within the Control Room

As we have noted multiple times, the common weak link in any Control Room is the “Human Factor.” As technology and industry continues to advance, less error will occur from software and equipment.

We as humans will never be perfect and are prone to making mistakes. Therefore, we must continually create a working environment that helps reduce the probability of causing human error.

Acoustics and Noise

Al diseñar una sala de control, puntos  como “ruido” son comúnmente pasados por alto en la fase de concepto. No es hasta que la habitación ya está construida, y los operadores están en su lugar, cuando el tema del ruido si no ha sido planteado bien empieza a ser un problema para la concentración de los operarios.

Ya sean pasos, conversaciones, ventiladores de refrigeración y otros, el exceso de ruido hace que la comunicación entre los operadores y  empleados no sea óptima.

Bad lighting

During the design phase, lighting can be a very difficult task to combat in the efforts of supplying clear and apparent light. Whether in the form of brightness, low illumination, etc … Poorly managed lighting can present a real problem for operators who rely on reading their screens and video walls clearly. We can not even begin to design the room with consoles until we understand that lighting will be the most suitable in the room.

Line of sight

Potentially it is the most important factor for a control room, it is the line of sight between the operators and the systems that they are monitoring. Imagine the control room as the heart and blood of a facility. If there is a clot within any of the arteries, the transmission of blood flow and oxygen will be avoided, causing the failure of vital organs. The same can be said of a control room. If any component is displaced, the whole operation feels the effect. The lines of vision must be at the forefront of each design with the most critical systems at first sight.

Human traffic

Like control rooms, command centers require an uninterrupted approach. Consequently, each movement of a spectator presents an equal element of distraction within the room. The resting room, the exit and all other transit routes are important factors that invite a constant flow inside the room.
And while most will say, “do not bother them” or “we’re used to,” the reality is that people can easily distract themselves without recognizing distraction as a threat.

Dormant Activity/Ergonomics

When we minimize room noise, we eliminate distraction, improve lighting, lines of vision and ergonomics, it seems that there is nothing that works against the operator / controller. As we begin to solve certain problems, we begin to create a more comfortable environment. What happens when the environment becomes too welcoming and allows individuals to lose their alertness? We must consider ergonomics into our design allowing operators the flexibility to remain healthy in their mental and physical presence.

As we have seen, there are many factors that play a significant role in the Control Room Design. However, other factors such as technology, play a large role in the functionality of Control Room operations. We will talk about this in another post.



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