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March 2008

Sorry for the late start to the March News. I know some people check regularly for the updates! We are working in Norway again doing a big new control room job and operator staffing assessment. It is reassuring to see that Norway has many of the same issues we experience in the USA. We are addressing many of the staffing issues and Supervisory concerns we have been talking about in our newsletters. We will be here until March 16th.

We have had a busy schedule taking us to numerous sites in Poland, two in West Virginia, Canada, and St. Louis. We are currently working in the Pharmaceutical, Refining, Pulp & Paper, and Power and Utility industries with a variety of jobs, especially control rooms.

Our Situation Awareness Workshop has been a big winner lately. We are receiving great feedback from customers on how appropriate it is before starting a control room project, preparing them for what they need to understand and what to ask questions about. Even a customer with limited English found it extremely helpful and are converting it to Norwegian as we speak.

Sorry to those customers hoping to see us at the TiPs road show. Dave fell ill and I was working on a new project. We hope we can make it up to you in the future and thanks to Chris and Steve for filling in for us.

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It was also of interest to me to see what is happening in the Pipeline industry with new standards calling for Ergonomic design and human factor requirements for control rooms:-

PUBLIC LAW 109–468—DEC. 29, 2006
PIPELINE INSPECTION, PROTECTION, ENFORCEMENT, AND SAFETY ACT OF 2006‘‘§ 60137. Pipeline control room management

‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—Not later than June 1, 2008, the Secretary shall issue regulations requiring each operator of a gas or hazardous liquid pipeline to develop, implement, and submit to the Secretary or, in the case of an operator of an intrastate pipeline located within the boundaries of a State that has in effect an annual certification under section 60105, to the head of the appropriate State authority, a human factors management plan designed to reduce risks associated with human factors, including fatigue, in each control center for the pipeline. Each plan must include, among the measures to reduce such risks, a maximum limit on the hours of service established by the operator for individuals employed as controllers in a control center for the pipeline.‘‘(b) REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF THE PLAN.—The Secretary or, in the case of an operator of an intrastate pipeline located within the boundaries of a State that has in effect an annual certification under section 60105, the head of the appropriate State authority, shall review and approve each plan submitted to the Secretary or the head of such authority under subsection (a). The Secretary and the head of such authority may not approve a plan that does not include a maximum limit on the hours of service established by the operator of the pipeline for individuals employed as controllers in a control center for the pipeline.‘‘(c) ENFORCEMENT OF THE PLAN.—If the Secretary or the head of the appropriate State authority determines that an operator’s plan submitted to the Secretary or the head of such authority under subsection (a), or implementation of such a plan, does not comply with the regulations issued under this section or is inadequate for the safe operation of a pipeline, the Secretary or the head of such authority may take action consistent with this chapter and enforce the requirements of such regulations.

This is the beginning of many regulations to come that will affect control rooms. We have been designing control rooms to Ergonomic Standards (ISO11064) since 2000. We can help the pipeline industry as we have helped so many other industries from Pulp & Paper, Refining, Chemical, Mining, Aluminum, Copper, Iron & Steel, Pharmaceutical and many others.