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SOLUTIONS FOR THE ERGONOMICS OF WORKPLACES

When we speak of the ergonomics of the operator's workplace we often imply comfortable chairs and ample room lighting. But the aspect that is of no less importance is what exactly is on the monitoring controls and the computer screens, what sequence of actions should be performed in this or that situation and how fast one should analyze and diagnose a situation on the basis of the information available. Since these questions are associated with the unique process flow features, the solutions concerning the ergonomics also have their own unique traits and aspects. It can be noted that in the process of designing assignments for trainees one can see that the number and sequence of the student's actions to fulfill this or that important assignment vary greatly. For instance, when solving the problems of preventing and localizing adverse situations for a failed component diagnostics alone the control system generates dozens of operational messages and signals. All this comes in conflict with the principle of "balanced strength life" as applied to the "personnel reliability index". For instance, if the probability of performing one simple error-free action is 0.75, then in order to achieve the same low reliability index when performing four actions sequentially, the error-free operation probability should on the average be 0.93 for each action! And since the specialist is trained to achieve only 0.75 mark, the error-free action probability will be as low as 0.32! Such discrepancies can be regarded as a warning message for the control system designers and developers to change the sequence of signals of the automatic control system, the ergonomics of workplaces and the operators' functions. The functionality charts designed by our researchers allow the right emphasis to be laid on properly dividing functions between the automatic system and the human.


 
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