CALL NOW: 512-630-3401

The Need for Good Situation Awareness

This is an excerpt the the document:
Abnormal Situation Awareness
The Need for Good Situation Awareness
Ian Nimmo, President

The goal in designing a control room is to create a work environment that promotes high levels of vigilance and situation awareness. Operators are vigilant when they are alert and prepared to act. They have a high level of situation awareness when they have an accurate perception of the current condition of the process and equipment, and an accurate understanding of the meaning of various trends and key performance indicators.

However, rather than making a conscious decision about how their control rooms will function, many plants have evolved their operating philosophy over many years. During this time they have been impacted by regulations, changing workforce requirements, worldwide business competition, and other local conditions, including union agreements, past leadership decisions, and the demographics of the workforce.

Many companies have addressed these issues with investment in technology, management systems, workforce training, and new organizational structures (sometimes including union agreements seeking workforce flexibility and changing roles and responsibilities. Included in these trends we often find construction or refurbishment of control rooms.

Some companies have experienced failures during these changes and have experienced an increase in incidents and accidents, falling morale, and difficulties in recruiting certain positions such as dedicated console operator in large centralized control buildings.

The common failures can be categorized into 4 main areas:

  1. Poor (stress creating) work environments
  2. Poor situation awareness
  3. Poor communications practices
  4. Inadequate implementation of management systems


To download the complete document please click here to view our available downloads.