Human factors and working environment

Humans, with their strengths and otherwise, represent a central part of most systems. The goal of human factors (HF) is to ensure that human interaction with systems enhances performance, increases safety, reduces the risk of error, and increases user satisfaction. Our HF services involve the study of factors and the development of tools that facilitate the achievement of these goals.

Any changes made to a system will impact the human role. Due to this, projects must seek to integrate the HF discipline into the project team efficiently. As a product develops through the different design phases, new decisions can and will affect human performance. Although many design changes may not seem relevant for HF, they could significantly impact a later stage of the design process. Thus, including HF from A to Z should always be prioritised.

Services breakdown

Alarm systems and alarm management have had a very high focus in recent years and are still scrutinised by PSA and other regulating authorities. Poor alarm systems are known as significant contributors to operator stress and high workloads due to high alarm rates and intermittent alarm floods in the control room. Consequently, the risk of human error is significantly increased if the operator misses a critical alarm due to being overwhelmed.

An alarm management strategy and alarm system philosophy are mandatory documents for any company with IEC62682 as part of its standards. By actively using such strategies and philosophies, it is possible to improve old and new alarm systems and prevent high alarm rates and flooding. Alarm rationalisation and alarm system design can be performed separately for brownfield projects or as an integrated process in greenfield engineering projects.

Vysus Group can assist our clients with the following:

  • Development of alarm philosophy and alarm management strategy
  • Alarm system assessment and reviews
  • Alarm rationalisation

The central control room is the heart of operations and ensuring optimal conditions for the control room operators is key for efficient processes. To serve its purpose, the design must support CCR functions and comply with regulations. While a comprehensive CCR design is crucial for greenfield projects, updates and tie-ins will also require thorough assessments and development of the CCR.

We utilise a user-centered approach to ensure that the CCR design meets formal requirements and remains as efficient as possible. Besides assessing layouts and 3D models, VR technology is a great way to include the user and thus secure CCR usability.

Vysus Group can help you develop an engaging CCR that enhances the operators and supports all its functions.

We assist our clients with the following:

  • CCR layout assessment
  • User-centered CCR design
  • 3D mock-ups and VR
  • Assessments for tie-in modifications

With the ever-increasing focus on cost-efficiency, the sophistication of complex systems, and advancements in automation and remote operations, optimising the role of the human is more important than ever.

We address this by utilising the most recognised HF methods and tailoring the analyses and design to client's specific needs. HF activities should be an integrated part of all engineering projects for optimal system and human performance. HF, by default, is a multi-disciplinary approach and should therefore be included as a part of other design activities typically associated with other engineering disciplines. Whether greenfield projects, tie-ins, or simply seeking to evaluate existing operations, understanding the human role is crucial for identifying risks, increasing performance, and improving employees' well-being.

Vysus Group has extensive experience with engineering design and helping our clients perform:

  • Task and function analyses
  • Situation analyses
  • Workload and communication analyses
  • Safety critical task analyses
  • Manning studies
  • Scenario analyses

Human Machine Interface (HMI) is an evolving field of expertise, influenced by new technology, new ways of working, state-of-the-art user interfaces, and user experience. Conventional control systems HMI is moving forward and transitioning into modern user interfaces that shall support new operational models, different competency requirements, new organisations, and higher levels of automation and autonomy.

Whether it's a greenfield or brownfield project, our focus on HMI assessment and development is firmly founded on a human factors philosophy: Which functions shall be filled, and what tasks shall be performed using the system's HMI?

In our approach, we use common standards, best practices, and experience and knowledge from years of working with on- and offshore industries control systems. Our expertise also covers an in-depth understanding of alarm systems, which is an essential part of the HMI.

Vysus Group can assist our clients with the following:

  • Development of HMI philosophy and HMI style guides
  • HMI assessments before upgrades or improvements
  • Function and task analyses as the basis for HMI development or re-development
  • HMI development for greenfield projects
  • HMI re-development for brownfield projects and modifications
  • Manage HMI development teams as members of engineering projects

The changing circumstances of the energy sector, with a shift to new energy sources in a time of high demand, requires organisations to adapt and transform themselves. Organisations will be required to change how they work to handle the changes in industry conditions.

Vysus Group addresses these challenges by developing efficient change management strategies based on our experience improving employee engagement, organisational problem-solving, and company culture.

We ensure that your organisation is well-equipped to face modern industry challenges.

Our experience consists of managing and developing:

  • Organisational change
  • Safety culture
  • Employee satisfaction and engagement
  • Increase employee collaboration and cooperation
  • Implement processes that will improve ongoing organisational operations

The working environment is a key performance-shaping factor. Assessing the physical workplace conditions is not just crucial for compliance with regulatory requirements. With an increasing focus on remote operations, understanding the interaction between the physical and remote workplace environment is detrimental to performance. Optimising workers' working environments could also benefit operations by improving the operator's well-being.

We provide data to support workplace design and regulatory conformity through systematic reviews of architecture, layouts, observations, and functional requirements. Our team has long experience with several methods, including:

  • Ergonomic assessments
  • WE audits
  • Psycho-social WE survey

As technological development advances, a future characterised by remote operations and optimised manning seems closer than ever. Yet, reducing the number of human operators does not remove the chances of error and risk related to human activity. If anything, introducing reduced manning and remote operations enhances the complexity. Finding the optimal approach is therefore not a quantitative concern.

A holistic and targeted strategy is crucial to succeeding with manning, including remote approaches. Our focus is not only on the technology, which typically is the case with remote operations but on how organisations utilise and interact with new technology.

Mastering the implementation of fundamentally new ways of work is challenging. Therefore, Vysus Group utilises true and tested human factor approaches tailored to current and relevant manning challenges and can help you achieve a smooth transition. We can help you assess manning needs, change management, and develop efficient virtual teams.

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