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Ergonomics and Operator Comfort for Command and Control

Constant Technologies

Constant Technologies is creating innovative solutions in the command and control space: not just with new technologies and furniture, but also incorporating the human element.

24/7 operations centers can be stressful environments. Part of a designer’s job is to decrease that stress as much as possible so that even on tough days, operators are performing at their best. Ergonomics is all about making sure a room holds up even on the worst day, in addition to every other day.

At Constant, we’ve been working within the command and control space for decades. The consoles and audiovisual integrations we set up have been tried and tested not only for their practical performance, but for ergonomics as well.

Ergonomic furniture for operations centers

Mission critical operations centers often require long shifts which can be taxing on both mind and body. Selecting the right furniture for a command and control setting can make a difference in operator comfort and performance.

All of Constant Technologies’ command and control furniture is created with operator comfort in mind. Adjustable height consoles are a popular ergonomic furniture choice for operations centers. The ability to switch between sitting and standing positions results in less stress and fatigue. Mental health studies show links between extended periods of sedentary time and an increased risk of depression and anxiety. Being able to switch between sitting and standing can help to alleviate these stressors for your operators. Additionally, the chance to stand during the workday promotes increased energy..

When designing our articulating consoles, the engineers at Constant consider not only ergonomics, but mission critical function.  We take into account cable management, equipment access, and power and data requirements.

Spatial design for comfort and safety

Figuring out the optimal layout for your control room design is a key element not only of how well the space functions, but also operator comfort and safety. When done well, space design takes into account more than just simply the number of users. Ergonomic, human-centric design takes into account the working relationship between users, workstations, offices, common spaces, the video wall, and more.

One of the main ways Constant takes operator ergonomics into account is with a sight line analysis. A sight line analysis is a detailed ergonomic examination of operator placement and viewing capabilities to reduce strain on the eyes and neck.

Ergonomic sight line analysis for command and control

Typically, a video wall is placed at about average seated eye level just above the top of a display at a console. The goal of a sight line analysis is to make sure that operators will have no more than 25 degrees maximum eye rotation so that they don’t have to bend their heads back to look at the data displayed on the wall. Danny Sasseville, VP of Project Engineering at Constant, added, “We also take into account what would be in the field of vision to the right and left for someone sitting at a desk. We try to maximize what they can see with just eye rotation before they have to turn their heads.”

It’s not always exact however, and our design engineers take all elements into account to create the best possible setup. For example, the size of monitors and console desks affects video wall placement: if there are very large display monitors operators will need to see over, the display wall has to be higher. The construction of the room is also a determining factor; ceiling height is often a fixed element that can add complications to the ideal design of a video wall. For instance, if a display should ideally start at 5 feet off the floor in a particular room but the ceiling height would not accommodate it, it may need to be shifted down.

The sight line analysis can become even more complicated once multiple rows of operator consoles are considered, especially if there are adjustable height consoles in the mix. Often, a tiered floor can help counteract this, allowing operators in the back to see over the heads of operators in front of them. All of this detailed optimization is a delicate balancing act that requires the expertise of an experienced mission critical designer.

Constant Technologies has decades of experience exclusively in the field of command and control. Our turnkey solutions include design, installation, and service for both video wall systems and console furniture. If you would like to learn more about our solutions, contact us today for a free design and budget consultation.

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