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Optimized workload in process control centres utilizing modern ICT equipment

Project number: F 2359 Institution: Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) / Karlsruher Institut für Technologie Status: Ongoing Project Planned end: 2018-08-31


Findings of current research projects on workplaces with visual display units in non-office as well as process control room environments underline differences in design requirements compared to regular office workplaces. Different design requirements are necessary as task structures are more complex and error-prone to operator input than (timely) uncritical office tasks.

The scope of the proposed research project comprises the utilisation and implementation of modern communication and information technologies (ICT) in control rooms focussing on an operator’s mental stress and strain. The project is structured into three parts:

First part: The state of the art of modern ICT equipment will be determined along with its future usability for control room operations.

  • Part 1.1: State of the art and research of modern ICT in process control rooms to identify optimal implementations (literature review)
  • Part 1.2: Current and future implementation of modern ICT in process control rooms (telephone survey and Delphi workshop)

Second part: experimental lab research along with field observations in control rooms will examine the consequences of multitasking, digital image manipulation, as well as mental stress and strain of operators. Based on the results, design requirements will be derived.

  • Part 2.1: Multitasking in control rooms (laboratory study)
  • Part 2.2: Image presentations of video recordings in control rooms (laboratory and field study)
  • Part 2.3: Occupational task organisation und interactions between operators in control rooms and remote personnel using modern ICT

Third part: Acknowledging the results from previous parts, a method for risk assessments in control rooms is developed. Additionally, the risk assessment features 3D human models to assess the compliance of workplace design to ergonomic work positions.

  • Part 3.1: Interactive guide
  • Part 3.2: Simulation of the spatial design of control rooms for kinematics and posture calculations using anthropometric human modelling



Unit 2.3 "Human Factors, Ergonomics"

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