Welcome to UCDS’s blog!

Written by admin on April 14, 2014
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Welcome to UCDS’s blog!  A place where we pass on to our current customers, prospective customers and friend’s some insight into what we have been and are doing and also to provide some insight into the people and company. UCDS has the best people who love what they are doing and are passionate about it. …

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Launch of CenterHFE

Written by admin on March 15, 2014

Dear Colleagues, Next week we launch the first meeting of CHFE, it has been a hard start with Tax Registration delays, wish I hadn’t used the term “Tea Party” as you all know that means tea and biscuits to me, but maybe something else to others! Only joking. The email and website issues and getting…

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Seven lives were tragically lost at the Tesoro refinery in 2010

Written by pattisnyder on February 1, 2014

…said Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso, CSB chairperson. “I believe the draft report does an outstanding job of tracing this complex accident to its roots: a deficient refinery safety culture, weak industry standards for safeguarding equipment, and a regulatory system that too often emphasizes activities rather than outcomes. The report is a clarion call for refinery safety…

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December News

Written by admin on January 3, 2014

Well, a year has come and gone really fast.  Merry Christmas everyone and best wishes for the New Year. This last month I spent 2 weeks in Hawaii at our alarm management customer’s property in Honolulu.   We spent a lot of time rationalizing alarms and made some significant progress.  We launched our new alarm management…

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Two major things to account for in Control Room Design

Written by admin on December 23, 2013

There are two major aspects of control room design that should be taken into account, these are: 1. The suitability of the structure of the control room to withstand possible major hazards events; and 2. The layout of control rooms and the arrangement of panels, VDUs etc to ensure effective ergonomic operation of the plant…

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Control Room Fatigue & Alertness

Written by admin on December 20, 2013

Operator fatigue is a critical safety issue that is putting 24/7 operations at risk in our industry. Every day, operators and managers must cope with unusual and difficult work schedules and the reality of operator fatigue. Fatigue may produce physical and mental decrements in alertness, vigilance, and decision-making that can increase the risk of human…

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Control Room People and Behaviors

Written by admin on December 19, 2013

Operators need to be allowed to do what they are trained and paid to do and that requires that they be provided an environment that is void of as many unnecessary distractions and disruptions as possible, something akin to an air-traffic control center. When you see a press release or magazine article celebrating a successful…

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CSB Report on the Chevron 2012 Pipe Rupture

Written by admin on December 18, 2013

Recommendations for regulation change and the implementation of a “Safety Case System” The August 2012 process fire in the crude unit at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, California endangered 19 workers and sent more than 15,000 residents to the hospital for medical attention. In the draft report released to the public today, the U.S. Chemical…

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Control Room Abnormal Situation Mangement

Written by admin on December 14, 2013

Abnormal situations are preventable and manageable but they continue to cost companies millions of dollars and sometimes the lives of our coworkers, friends and family. Training programs should be focused on all possible situations, the way pilots are trained using simulators during crash sequences. Are your operators prepared to manage the unthinkable situation? Are we…

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Control Room Excellence (an overview)

Written by admin on December 12, 2013

Control Room Excellence begins with a culture that enables operators to achieve best operating results by reacting to process changes before they become problems. Operations Excellence comprises several sub-solutions that focus on improving operational performance to achieve optimal results. From the control room to off-sites material movement, Operations Excellence solutions run the gamut to help…

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© 2013 User Centered Design Services

Technical

UCDS has in-depth experience in designing control rooms and modifying existing field shelters. Our process is compliant with the ISO 11064 Ergonomic Design Standard for Control Buildings. We interview management, supervision and a significant group of the operators to understand functional requirements, what works well in the existing environment, and identification and correction of problems with the existing design. To learn more Click Here

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Situation Awareness

Abnormal situations encompass a range of events outside the “normal” plant operating modes, e.g. trips, fires, explosions, toxic releases or just not reaching planned targets. In the past incidents such as Piper Alpha, Milford Haven, Flixborough, Texas City and the 2003 northeast electrical blackout have all been attributed, at least in part, to a fundamental lack of good situational awareness. Early work of the Abnormal Situation Management Consortium® included a survey of the US petrochemical industry. Based on their research the consortium estimates industry losses of around $20 billion per year from abnormal situations, approximately equal to the total annual profits of that industry. Furthermore these studies indicate that companies achieving Best Practices in operations can improve productivity by 5-12%. To learn more Click Here

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Fatigue Alertness Management

We have many customers looking to enhance their shift handover procedures and follow some of the Recommended Practices identified in the API documents; others are focusing attention on fatigue and fatigue countermeasures. We have great solutions for both these topics. For more details please contact Steve Maddox. To learn more Click Here

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Behavior

User Centered Design Services promotes Behavior – Based Safety which is a process that helps employees identify and choose safe behavior over an unsafe one. Safety in the workplace is a combination of three measurable components – the person their environment, and their behavior. To learn more Click Here

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About the Control Room Operator Performance Group

The purpose of this group is to share ideas and solutions that contribute to improving the performance of the control room operator. Abnormal situations can be managed safely and effectively if we provide our operators with the right training, workload, environment, and interfaces.