This article aims to discuss and make some recommendations about the design of operator displays in control room. The results presented have come from an ergonomics intervention taken place for a petroleum company in Brazil. The methodology used was based on the Ergonomics Working Analysis. The recommendations were built based on detailed observations of the operator's activity. They were, also, validated with a group of operators, who have participated since the beginning in the new displays (screens/view) design.

The paper aims to share the experiences obtained in an ergonomic intervention and to generalize the observations to fit other control room projects. Thus, the results can be used as basis for new interventions and researches in ergonomics display design.

The ergonomics recommendations for the design of operator display in the console workstation are presented in two ways. On the one hand, they indicate "how" to present the information on the screens (way of presentation, letter size, colours…). In this case, the main sources of information came from an analysis of specialized literature and from the operator's experiences. On the other hand, the recommendations go further in the sense that they indicate "what" to present (the screen's content), as to minimize the navigation between screens and the construction of a global view of the process. In this case, they are based on the analysis of operator's activity and in the solutions created by them. It is joining both considerations that enable the operator to increase their cognitive resources and their experience. The recommendations presented here have a close relation with practice and possibilities of transformation in the analysed situation.

The operational reliability in the process industries is related to, amongst other factors, the conception of interface between the operators and the process. The operator display design may aid the operators in the construction of quicker and more precise diagnosis on the functioning of the process, enabling more effective actions and management of abnormal situations (disturbances in a process)

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.