Do you ever wonder how many console operators you really need? Are your console positions equally loaded? Can you reduce the number of console operators and still safely operate the plant?
Industry comparisons indicate you have too many operators, but the Union screams anytime you discuss staffing reductions. The only guideline you have is that each operator should have between 200 and 280 loops, but no one knows where this guideline originated! You realize that a loop on a fast acting unit like a cat cracker is more work than a loop on a wastewater plant, but how do you quantify the difference?
An alternate method frequently used by other human-factor consultants in assessing workload is the time-in-motion study. It employs an old-fashioned task analysis along with random sampling to measure workload by observation. Unfortunately those being observed often changed their behavior and look busy because someone is observing them, or the observers themselves do not take into account the level of training and familiarity with displays and their navigation. The method does deliver information, but it is often biased. For example, in observing three identical Crude Units, one appeared to have a higher workload because during the observation period a process upset occurred. In truth, the workload is the same on all three units.
User Centered Design Services has developed a methodology that truly measures the operator’s workload. This method is broad-based, fact-centered, highly objective, immune from the bias of daily problems, and comparable across the plant and across the industry.
Visit out staffing assessment page to learn more