Situation Awareness Workshop


One of the most important steps in any control room project is to align your staff by having a common understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your existing control rooms. User Centered Design Services recommends a project focused two day Situation Awareness workshop at the beginning of every control room project. This can be done in combination with a Control Room Gap Analysis, from which we will often develop a Fish Bone Diagram of existing control room issues at your site.


It is important, for a successful control room project, to understand identified worst practices in control room design, leverage best practices and develop a shared vision and a project motto. It is also essential that we develop an understanding of best practices in ergonomic control room design based on the international ISO 11064 standard.

Service Description

Our two-day CR Situational Awareness Workshop provides an overview of the key elements that impact successful control room design. This workshop incorporates the findings from the research of the Abnormal Situation Management Consortium® and experience from site studies across multiple industries in over 24 Countries. We will review the enemies of situation awareness and how they can be
designed out of a control room design. The workshop will be tailored toward the decisions and challenges faced by the Client while approaching a control building project, and will be an excellent starting point for discussion within the organization. This will also facilitate the discussions that will occur during the Conceptual Design process.

The workshop covers the following topics:

  • The International Ergonomic Standards for Control Rooms (ISO 11064)
  • What is in an Operating Philosophy
  • Common Control Room Issues including Distractions, Noise, Lighting, and Operator Vigilance
  • Alarm Management and Human Computer Interface (HCI) design.
  • How to design communications for a centralized control building
  • Relationship between CCR and Field Shelter and the RP752 Recommended Practices for Occupancy (if appropriate)
  • How to improve team work, communications and collaboration
  • Console adjacency
  • People – Primary & Secondary
  • Functionality and room adjacency
  • CRIOP – Crisis Intervention and Operability Analysis
  • Documents involved in a Conceptual Design

For additional information or to book a workshop please E-mail us at:

© 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.