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Tel: 01244 329624 Mob: 07984 284642
andy.brazier@gmail.com
www.andybrazier.co.uk
Managing the risks of control room
operat...
Contents
Importance of understanding what really happens in
a control room
How technology has changed operators’ jobs
Prot...
What is a control room?
Changes in the Control Room
New technology
More automation
Less people
More remote
A different job
More passive
More lonel...
What do Control Room Operators do?
Control – monitor – operate
Normal Situations
Communication - face to face including ha...
What do Control Room Operators do?
Emergency situations
Raise the alarm
Notify emergency services
Co-ordinate communicatio...
Task Analysis
Separator tasks
Start up unit
Start/stop individual pumps
Open/close wells
Water wash separator
Respond to u...
Hierarchical Task Analysis
Water wash
production separator
2.1 Put
override on
2.2 Start wash
water pump
2.3 Open wash
wat...
Managing risks
Identify hazards
Assess risks
Identify controls
Is the risk
Tolerable?
Hierarchy of control
1. Remove hazar...
Potential hazards
Normal office – slips, trips and falls
Lack of physical activity
Mental exertion
External events – fires...
Additional factors to consider
Shift work
Difficulty in taking quality breaks
High demand events – acute stress
Knock-on e...
Assessing the risks
Three HSE publications that can help
Human factors aspects of remote operations of process
plant (CRR ...
Remote operations
Location of the control room
Methods of communication – especially when not
face-to-face
Interface – dif...
Staffing assessment
The ‘physical’ ability to detect, diagnose and recover
from scenario’s in time to prevent accidents
Wi...
Supervision
Management function
Performed by one or more people, within and/or
external to the team
Has been overlooked in...
Common themes
Over reliance on informal training
Inadequate refresher training
Too many distractions in control rooms
Nuis...
Nature of the Control Room Job
Features that make a job
satisfying
The Modern CRO
Skill variety Lots of monitoring, not mu...
Man against the machine
Humans are better at
Detecting small visual or
acoustic signals
Perceiving patterns
Improvising
Be...
Basis for Automation
Potential benefits of automation
identified
Only technical aspects considered (no
human factors)
Poss...
Fatigue management
Working environment
Light, heating, ventilation
Provision for breaks
Rooms and facilities
Team size and...
Other considerations
Interface design
Alarms and graphics – consider together
Communications
Especially where face-to-face...
Conclusions
Control Room Operator job has changed
Operating is more passive - but operators do a lot
more than just operat...
References
Remote Operations
HSE CRR 432/2002
www.hse.gov.uk/research/crr_htm/2002/crr02432.htm
Staffing Assessment
HSE CR...
Additional Reference
Task Analysis
Human Factors Assessment of Safety Critical Tasks
Offshore Technology Report OTO 1999 0...
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2005 IBC - Managing risks of control room operations

Human factors of control room operations in the major hazard industries

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2005 IBC - Managing risks of control room operations

  1. 1. Tel: 01244 329624 Mob: 07984 284642 andy.brazier@gmail.com www.andybrazier.co.uk Managing the risks of control room operations
  2. 2. Contents Importance of understanding what really happens in a control room How technology has changed operators’ jobs Protecting the health and well being of control room operators Managing major hazard and process risks.
  3. 3. What is a control room?
  4. 4. Changes in the Control Room New technology More automation Less people More remote A different job More passive More lonely More responsibility.
  5. 5. What do Control Room Operators do? Control – monitor – operate Normal Situations Communication - face to face including handovers Other communication - radio/telephone Administrative tasks Eat meals Issue permits-to-work Training - themselves and others.
  6. 6. What do Control Room Operators do? Emergency situations Raise the alarm Notify emergency services Co-ordinate communication Keep the log Accounting for personnel Monitor process for escalation.
  7. 7. Task Analysis Separator tasks Start up unit Start/stop individual pumps Open/close wells Water wash separator Respond to unit trip High Low Medium Medium High Criticality
  8. 8. Hierarchical Task Analysis Water wash production separator 2.1 Put override on 2.2 Start wash water pump 2.3 Open wash water inlet valve 2.4 Put flow control valve on manual 2.5 Open flow CV to maximum SS CRFO CRFO 1. Line-up water to separator 2. Start washing 3. Monitor water outlet for oil 4. Return to normal Plan: Do 1 then 2 Do 3 until water is clear Then do 4
  9. 9. Managing risks Identify hazards Assess risks Identify controls Is the risk Tolerable? Hierarchy of control 1. Remove hazard 2. Reduce hazard 3. Hardware control 4. Software control + Mitigation As Low As Reasonably Practicable Implement controls Yes No
  10. 10. Potential hazards Normal office – slips, trips and falls Lack of physical activity Mental exertion External events – fires and explosions Operating errors Failure to detect, diagnose and respond to abnormal events.
  11. 11. Additional factors to consider Shift work Difficulty in taking quality breaks High demand events – acute stress Knock-on effects of operating remotely when protecting against external events Interfaces Use of automation.
  12. 12. Assessing the risks Three HSE publications that can help Human factors aspects of remote operations of process plant (CRR 432/2002) Assessing the safety of staffing arrangements for process operations in the chemical and allied industries (CRR 272/2001 + user guide from Energy Institute 2004) Different types of supervision and its impact on safety in the chemical and allied industry (RR 292/2004).
  13. 13. Remote operations Location of the control room Methods of communication – especially when not face-to-face Interface – differences between old panels and modern VDU Automation Team arrangements.
  14. 14. Staffing assessment The ‘physical’ ability to detect, diagnose and recover from scenario’s in time to prevent accidents Willingness to initiate scenario recovery actions Training, development, roles & responsibilities Teamworking and the role of support staff outside of the ‘normal’ team Management of organisational change Management of safety.
  15. 15. Supervision Management function Performed by one or more people, within and/or external to the team Has been overlooked in recent years Many control room operators perform supervisory activities. Rotating leadership Coach / mentor Team appointed leader Management appointed leader Traditional hierarchy True SMT Supervision is team led Supervision is management led
  16. 16. Common themes Over reliance on informal training Inadequate refresher training Too many distractions in control rooms Nuisance alarms Visitors, contractors, day staff No control on shift swaps, overtime, breaks etc. Very passive approach to stress and fatigue Poor management of the safety implications of organisational change (including staffing levels) Failure to consider human factors when automating.
  17. 17. Nature of the Control Room Job Features that make a job satisfying The Modern CRO Skill variety Lots of monitoring, not much action Task significance Lots of automation - CRO responds when things go wrong Task identity CRO responsible for large number of plants/systems Autonomy Minimal - working to very tight specifications Task feedback Aim is to avoid upsets and incidents
  18. 18. Man against the machine Humans are better at Detecting small visual or acoustic signals Perceiving patterns Improvising Being flexible in approach Exercising judgement Machines are better at Responding quickly to control signals Applying force smoothly and precisely Performing repetitive tasks Handling highly complex situations
  19. 19. Basis for Automation Potential benefits of automation identified Only technical aspects considered (no human factors) Possible to demonstrate adequate technical and human performance Human performance and well-being actively considered Continuous consideration of the whole socio-technical system
  20. 20. Fatigue management Working environment Light, heating, ventilation Provision for breaks Rooms and facilities Team size and structure Shift patterns Control of hours worked Overtime Shift swaps
  21. 21. Other considerations Interface design Alarms and graphics – consider together Communications Especially where face-to-face is not possible Procedures A help to the operator? Training and competence Supervision
  22. 22. Conclusions Control Room Operator job has changed Operating is more passive - but operators do a lot more than just operate Assessments using different methods identify recurring themes Root cause of problems is usually adoption of new technology without consideration of human and organisational factors The control room operator role is usually one of the most critical
  23. 23. References Remote Operations HSE CRR 432/2002 www.hse.gov.uk/research/crr_htm/2002/crr02432.htm Staffing Assessment HSE CRR 348/2001 www.hse.gov.uk/research/crr_pdf/2001/crr01348.pdf Staffing Assessment user guide Energy Institute User Guide www.energyinst.org.uk/humanfactors/staffing Supervision HSE RR 292/2004 www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm/rr293.htm
  24. 24. Additional Reference Task Analysis Human Factors Assessment of Safety Critical Tasks Offshore Technology Report OTO 1999 092 http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/otopdf/1999/oto99092.pdf

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