ISO 11064 is a baseline minimum that creates a starting point for control room layout, but no universal standard can account for the unique needs of individual rooms. The process employed by Design Matters begins with multiple 12-hour days on site, observing operator requirements and habits, traffic patterns, interactions, communication and environmental and equipment issues. We also observe shift changes, permitting and/or LOTO process, and control room meetings. All of this information is verified through Time and Motion Studies, decibel level analysis, light level readings, and measurement of fatigue causing elements in the environment.
Our observations are further quantified through operator interviews as well as studies regarding that past, present, and future intentions for the control room in question. This information is combined with our own custom-developed listing of 100 critical elements that must function properly in control room environments. Completion of this analysis creates a very comprehensive picture of the needs of a specific control room.
Findings are submitted in a report containing an organized breakdown of all observations, as well as a comparison to Industry Standards and Best Practices. Design recommendations are included in the report, as well as data and projections to support the assumptions of the design. Final designs take into account current needs as well as possible growth or changes in the foreseeable future.
Properly designed and functioning control rooms provide increased efficiency and operator accuracy, resulting in lower operating costs and a safe working environment both inside and outside of the control room. These results show themselves both in terms of cost savings and in improved morale and reduced turnover and training.
Safety is everyone’s number one objective in the control room, but safety concerns aren’t always clear. Spotting early issues before they become dangerous situations protects personnel, equipment, and productivity. By communicating clearly and staying focused, any control room can ensure the safety of operators, visitors, contractors and the general public.
A well-designed control room is not by definition expensive to build. In fact, a room designed for a specific use rather than to a general standard will avoid unnecessary expense. Additionally, a flexible design which allows for future changes and expansion will typically result in reduced build costs over the long term.
Large SCADA and DCS investments can be placed in jeopardy if the human element is not performing adequately. While most installations function without incident over 99% of the time, unplanned events do arise, and this is when people, equipment, and facilities are in the most jeopardy. By preventing damage, injury, and downtime, investments in a proper control room see a return in just a few moments.
Better HR Outcomes
The best environments will help to attract and retain top performing operators, reducing costs associated with administration, hiring, and training. Employee longevity also enhances company culture and morale, creating an environment where top talent in all areas of operation will desire to work.
Most problems in a control room are either caused by or at least impacted by fatigue. Identifying the root causes is the first step in mitigating fatigue in your control room. Design Matters has a proven track record of helping control rooms reduce fatigue problems.
Range of Services
Our process can be leveraged at many stages of design or renovation, and our individual services can also be utilized as needed for specific applications. We can offer many services including:
- Conceptual Design
- Detailed Design
- Audit / Gap Analysis
- Fatigue Mitigation
- Site Evaluation Study
- Project Coordination
- Client Representation
How does your control room measure up?
What are the industry standards and best practices within a control room for traffic patterns, control room entry, noise, lighting, sight-lines, ergonomics, fatigue mitigation, operator interaction, temperature, humidity etc.? How do these standards and practices help minimize potential accidents and disasters?
Best Practices definition: professional procedures that are accepted or prescribed as being correct or most effective.
Industry Standards definition: is the generally accepted requirements followed by the members of an industry.
Ready to do something about the issues in your control room?
Discuss any control room concern or question you may have.