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Ergonomics Furniture design and room layout are essential to the Human Machine Interface







40 MARINE LOG April 2014


vessel changes so too does the control room environment. The equipment needed from one job to the next may be different sizes so the console has to be reconfigured easily. Choosing a modular console allows some components to be added or removed as necessary without having to replace the entire console. Second, different operators working at the same workstation during opposite shifts inevitably have different ergonomic requirements. Lines of sight, fields of vision and reach all vary from person to person. Choosing a console that gives operators the ability to adjust everything from monitor height and angle to keyboard position and height of the console itself will ensure that operators are more comfortable and more alert. New sit/stand consoles offer some of the greatest f lexibility by allowing operators to work in either a standing or sitting position, or to alternate between the two. This promotes a healthier, more productive workforce by helping to relieve back and neck pain as well as minimizing fatigue and improving focus. Finally, from the operators to the CEO, ever yone is rea lizing the va lue a welldesigned control room has as a marketing tool. There’s been a real shift in the industry from the control room as a utilitarian environment to a highly technical showplace. But the reality is, when clients come aboard to check on the status of whatever service the vessel is providing, most of their time is spent in the control room. So the control room needs to be both functionally efficient and aesthetically pleasing. It’s got to have an impressive look that will reassure clients that whatever investment they’ve made in the services of the vessel are well worth it. Because the control room is also a presentation space for existing and potential clients, it is important that there is adequate workspace and viewing areas. Everyone needs to be able to see information in real time on either a shared monitor wall or through a window looking out at the rig. Although space is always at a premium in these control rooms, some vessels even incorporate an extra monitoring workstation into the layout to accommodate clients and other visitors as needed. Work i ng w it h a n ex per ienced console provider who understands the unique challenges of designing a control room for offshore vessels will result in a control room environment that is comfortable, efficient and designed and built to stand the test of time. ■

April 2014 Marine Log Magazine  
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