A common error in designing a workplace is to produce detailed specifications immediately. It should be reemphasised that even in this connection the design process must begin with the production of an accurate analysis of the assumptions and conditions for the design work.
The analysis stage should include the following points:
1. Decide upon all the tasks to be carried out in the control room.
2. Group the tasks according to the operators, and plan the relationship between workplaces.
3. Plan information and control devices and the work surfaces in the different workplaces:
a. Information requirements
b. Control requirements
c. Work surface requirements (other than those for information and control devices, e. g., writing surfaces)
d. Resting surface requirements
4. Plan secondary functions and requirements for physical communication in the room and between rooms.
The determination of tasks within the jobs is done on the basis of the preliminary system analysis (see Chapter 13). Based on this general description of the tasks, it is possible to assign the tasks to different workers, and this is also commonly carried out at the system analysis stage. This grouping into different jobs can then be used in the creation of natural relationships between the different workplaces. The various job holders who need to contact each other should easily be able to do so. From this starting point it is then important to study the individual workplaces in more detail. This task takes into account the individual operator’s anatomical, physiological, and psychological characteristics.
The workplace should be designed so that the operator has:
1. Natural and comfortable visual conditions.
2. A comfortable reach for all tasks that need to be performed. This determines the conditions for positioning of controls and other working surfaces.
3. The possibility of rest. The working posture and need for the body to rest during work are noted, and the need for resting surfaces (e. g., in the form of chairs) should be specified here.