Inadequate ambient conditions within a control room regarding lighting, air quality, and temperature can seriously affect the performance of the operators. As a result, the augmented negative consequences from poor ambient can lead to operators being overwhelmed and thus making mistakes. For instance, bad lighting, dreadful air quality and unpleasant temperature can cause avoidable mental stresses and physical injuries to operators such as headaches, dizziness, and so on, and therefore hindering overall work productivity.
The consequences of bad lighting within control rooms can generate headaches and eye strain which impairs the operator. In order to maintain proper lighting, it is important that the lighting system have the ability for operators to manipulate the intensity of the light.
The table below illustrates the minimum clearances for lighting by ISO 11064-6:2005.
ISO 11064-6:2005 – Minimum Clearances for Control Room Lighting
Concerning Air Quality
Dreadful air quality has been associated to long term problems of “sick-building” syndrome and feeling of unease and inactivity for control room operators. In order to maintain high air quality, channeling outdoor fresh air inside the control room allows to dilute the internal bad air quality. This is why it is important for control rooms to have a ventilation system and air conditioning.
The table below illustrates the recommended clearances by ISO 11064- 6:2005 for air circulation rate and maximum CO2 concentration for control rooms.
ISO 11064-6:2005 – Clearances for Air Quality
*“Sick-building syndrome can cause workers to display symptoms such as eye, nose, and throat irritation, nausea, dizziness, and mental fatigue.”
Unpleasant temperature within control rooms can create an uncomfortable and exhausting work environment for operators. In order to maintain a stable room temperate, it is important for control rooms to have a ventilation system and air conditioning.
The table below illustrates the ISO 11064-6:2005 clearances on the objectively measured temperature and humidity values for a cozy control room for sedentary activity.
ISO 11064-6:2005 – Minimum Clearances for Ambient Temperatures
Sustema has developed a Personal Environment System (PES) that addresses the needs of operator comfort working long shifts by enabling them to adapt their console workstation environment to their preferences. PES 360 serves as a single control unit for all the workstation functionalities including fans speed, heater temperature, light intensity, and surface height preferences. Learn more about the PES.
About Sustema Inc.
With over 25 years of experience designing modular and ergonomic control room consoles, we’ve manufactured thousands of aesthetically superior designs combined with functional comfort for end-users across North America. We’ve learned to integrate ergonomic standards by considering human factors in every project including the control room layout.
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Joshi, R., & Daum, B. (2017). Human factors in design of control rooms for process industries.