An Overview of the Application of Human Factors Guidance to Control Room Design Page: 2 of 8
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An Overview of the Application of Human Factors Guidance
to Control Room Design
P. R. Yondola, Member IEEE G. T. Karlewicz, Member IEEE
A new power plant design has the goal of making major
improvements in cost and ease of operation over previous
designs. Improvements in the way information is organized
and presented to control room operators based on established
Human Factors Engineering (HFE) criteria is key to achieving
these goals. An overview of the process and methods being
employed in an ongoing design effort will be discussed,
including the ways in which current Human Factors guidance
is being applied in a unique operating environment.
This document describes an HFE process created to
support the implementation of guidance in the Human
Factors Engineering Program Review Model
(NUREG-0711) and the Human-System Interface Design
Review Guidelines (NUREG-0700). HFE design tools
were created to bridge the gap between NUREG guidance
and specific actions taken by engineers in the system
design process to ensure that sound HFE practices are part
of a new plant design. These tools were used by several
design agencies in a collaborative design effort. The
paragraphs that follow will describe the specific tools
created and how they were used.
II. HFE Development Process
A working group was formed to focus on HFE issues and
guidance for a new plant design. The goal of the working
group was to provide tools to plant designers to ensure that
graphical user interfaces for control and indication reflect
current HFE guidance and employ common features.
Common display features are especially important in an
environment employing multiple design agencies and two
distinct plant control and indication systems. The working
group developed an HFE process using the guidance
provided in NUREG 0711. To support the process, design
tools were developed to assist engineers in incorporating
appropriate HFE practices in their design work. The
design tools, or "HFE Toolset" that was developed consists
of the following:
A. LIFE Guidelines: A compilation of human factors
engineering guidance from known standards like
NUREG 0700 and MIL STD 1472 in a format that
allows project specific comments to be added to assist
developers in implementing the guidance. Comments
are based on plant operating experience and LIFE -
related specifications from prior design agency projects
to ensure that the new design benefits from the best
practices of prior efforts.
B. Operator Task Analysis Template: A template to
provide consistency in the structure and format of task
analyses that are developed to study operator workload
in the newly designed control room. It specifies a
listing of plant procedures impacting the operator,
required actions, and necessary indications/controls to
execute such actions.
C. Display Task Description Template: A template to
assist developers in defying the purpose of each
display page and the alarms, indications, and controls tc
be displayed. A list of actual I/O required for the
display is included, along with relevant portions of
system diagrams. The intended users of the display as
well as navigation requirements between multiple
display pages are also documented.
D. Icon Library: A library of graphical icons to allow
display developers from the different design agencies tc
use standard icons when creating display pages. This
ensures consistency in the color and shape of the
graphical icons that are used to represent plant
III. The components of the HFE Toolset are described in
more detail in the sections that follow:
A. Human Factors Engineering Guidelines
NUREG 0700 Revision 2 was the primary reference
used to develop the HFE Guidelines because it
encompasses most of the human factors guidance
developed to date. Each guideline within NUREG
0700 was reviewed for its applicability to the efforts o:
the design agencies involved in the new plant design.
As applicable, amplifying material was added to each
guideline that incorporates "best practices" from prior
agency projects. A spreadsheet format was used for
the guidelines to facilitate sorting the data for specific
areas of LIFE guidance, such as alarm management or
soft controls. An example of the HFE guideline
spreadsheet containing sample data is shown in Table
of Appendix (1).
B. Task Analysis
A template was created to support commonality when
preparing a task analysis for the control room
operators. This common method utilizes plant
procedures from a similar (previous) design as a
starting point, allowing users to evaluate the
procedures with regard to their applicability to similar
systems in the current design. The task analysis
further identifies the information required to perform
specific tasks, the necessary operator actions, the
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Yondola, Paul R. & Karlewicz, George T. An Overview of the Application of Human Factors Guidance to Control Room Design, article, August 26, 2002; United States. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc779456/m1/2/: accessed April 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.