The environmental aspects associated with the design of man–machine systems is always addressed since poor environments can seriously affect operator performance. In control rooms, these environmental factors include lighting, humidity, temperature, vibration and noise. These factors also need to take into account shift work, real-time operations under time pressure and the specialised equipment used in control rooms.
In ISO 11064, environmental requirements are presented which optimise work conditions in such a way that safety is ensured, health is not impaired and the efficiency of control room operators is promoted.
The degree of specificity of this standard does not extend to national and local requirements, which can vary between countries and/or regions. In such cases, experts in the relevant areas (human factors and ergonomics, lighting, acoustics, thermal environment, etc.) are consulted.
The following general principles are followed when conducting the environmental designs for control rooms:
- Principle 1: Operator task demands and comfort are the primary focus when designing control centre environments
- Principle 2: Levels of illumination as well as temperature shall be adjustable in accordance with the operator’s needs