Environment and Ergonomics


Control rooms are highly demanding workspaces. They are places where processes and technologies come together with the working environment to deliver an ecosystem where complex, sometimes stressful, work tasks are done by people. To achieve the required operational results it is critical that the environment appropriately supports this human activity. As designers, we need to minimise distraction and fatigue; we need to optimise verbal and visual communication; we need to understand the impact on people of working in a 24/7 environment.

Ergonomics is about designing to meet the needs of people and the tasks they are trying to do and to respond to the natural strengths and weaknesses of humans in this system.

The Ergonomics & Environment SIG is about thinking around this definition of ergonomics and the challenges it presents for control room operation and design projects. The focus of the SIG is on the physical environment but it has a strong relationship with the other SIGs in considering how people are working and how technology is integrated into the space.

Some of the topics the SIG will cover include:

  • Building selection & design
  • Building security and access control
  • Ergonomic design of the operator work space - furniture, layout, etc
  • Lighting, acoustics, etc
  • Interior design
  • Crisis management
  • The Control Suite
  • Mobile Incident Command
  • H&S
  • Resilience.

This list is not exhaustive and we want the topics covered and the range of ways in which we tackle them to be driven by the SIG members themselves. Please come forward with your ideas for discussions, events, case studies, or other activities that help us to share thinking and practice.

The discussions within the SIG should be of interest to those looking at good practice in design methods and the latest thinking in the design of control rooms covering furniture, layout, interiors, lighting and acoustics. The SIG should be of interest to designers, ergonomists, manufacturers of consoles and other specialist control room products as well as to end users who are thinking about how best to approach a control room design project.