Preface to the Second Edition

This Handbook of Control Room Design and Ergonomics was first published in 1989 by Taylor & Francis. The first edition, produced nearly 20 years ago, was based on rather classic approaches to ergonomics, as was the concept of design. However, in spite of this we noticed that this book, although long out of print, was still selling sur­prisingly well on the secondhand market. The first edition was based on solid practi­cal research on control room work from most areas of industry. This information is still relevant and has inspired us to produce this new, extensively updated edition.

This new edition has two functions. First, it covers more extensively the use of the control room and its related computer system beyond the traditional tasks of pro­cess monitoring and supervision...



A truck with its driver on board is standing on a sloping quayside. Suddenly the truck starts to roll backward toward the edge of the quay. The driver reacts spontaneously and pushes the direction lever forward. This results in the truck increasing speed and falling over the edge of the quay. The truck driver is seriously injured in the accident.

In the police enquiry following this incident, it was concluded that the accident was due to the truck driver’s error. However, the lever that controlled the direction in which the truck travelled was designed so that when the lever was pushed forward the truck travelled backward, and when it was pushed backward, the truck moved forward.

On further thought, it is self-evident that this design is both illogical and unsuit­able...