Fatal Chemical Release Killed Thousands in Bhopal, India.

Written by Patti Snyder on December 2, 2014

Fatal Chemical Release Killed Thousands in Bhopal, India. Video Below: CSB Safety Message Warns it Could Happen Again, more Must be Done to Improve Process Safety Regulations in the U.S. to Prevent the Next Accident from Occurring. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released a short video safety message marking the 30th anniversary of history’s…

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Operational Excellence (where do we start)

Written by Patti Snyder on November 5, 2014

Operational Excellence (where do we start) Many organizations have appointed a leader to initiate an operation excellence philosophy and the first thing they discover, improving operational excellence is one of the most crucial challenges facing CEOs across the globe. Indeed, multiple pressures – competition, more stringent regulation as well as investor and stakeholder expectations –…

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News from UCDS!

Written by UCDS on August 11, 2014

Welcome to this month’s news from UCDS. In the midst of a growing workload, the team has managed to get some well-deserved vacation time in, so everyone is ready for a busy couple of months. I know many of you are interested in what sort of projects we are working on. I think it would…

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UCDS news June 2014 – High Performance HMI, Graphics and Upcoming.

Written by admin on June 24, 2014

UCDS has been extremely busy on a full range of projects covering all of our standard offerings.  We are delighted that customers have been enthusiastic about our solution for overview displays.  We decided to get into this market space having seen so many failures at customer sites and talking to disappointed operators. We have had…

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Welcome to UCDS’s blog!

Written by admin on April 14, 2014

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 CenterHFE, 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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Lives lost Tesoro Refinery 2010

Written by UCDS on February 1, 2014

Seven lives were tragically lost at the Tesoro refinery in 2010…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…

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December News

Written by admin on January 3, 2014

December News 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…

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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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© 2013 User Centered Design Services


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


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


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



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

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.