Sep 8, 2020

3 ways Barco improves ergonomics in your control room

3 min read

There’s a lot of talk about ergonomics for office workers and how it affects their health and productivity. But imagine your workplace is a control room and your performance directly influences the quality of people’s daily lives. As a specialist in control room visualization solutions, Barco has always focused on ergonomics for its visualization solutions. But there’s much more to ergonomics than selecting the right display technology.

There’s no question that better workplace ergonomics lead to health and work benefits for office workers. In control rooms, where the job can even be more attention-demanding, ergonomics does more than that. Next to increasing operator comfort and reducing stress, ergonomics enables operators to make better decisions when things get critical.

Barco contributes to better control room ergonomics in at least three ways

1. Visual ergonomics

Let’s start with the obvious aspect of ergonomics that probably everyone links with Barco: visual ergonomics. The work of a control room operator can be visually demanding, which is why it is important to set up the operator workspace and control room overview display for maximum visual comfort. Barco’s display solutions allow operators to see bright and sharp images, with uniform colors across the screen, which offers the highest viewer comfort, prevents eye fatigue, and reduces stress levels.

2. Content ergonomics

Content ergonomics has to do with how easy it is to consult information, both on the overview display and on the personal workspace. Operators often need to handle a multitude of different content sources, ranging from operational data, CCTV video, and overview graphs to internet and office applications.

Constantly switching between these different sources adds complexity and strain to the operator workflow. That is why it is important to be able to organize content on workspace displays in a way that is most convenient and productive for the operator.

Ergonomic content should be:

  • Easily consultable in group: The relevant content sources should be well organized in order to form an efficient situational overview.
  • Quickly consultable: Operators should be able to swiftly switch between sources and data types.
  • Predictably arranged: Operators need to know immediately where to find their content. For example, alarms can be positioned in the operator’s peripheral vision.
  • Easy to distribute: It should be easy to distribute the situational overview to others in a secure way.

Barco’s OpSpace allows operators to call any application into the Work Area positioned in front of them with just one click. They can then interact with this application while maintaining an overview of the other applications still present in the peripheral vision. This provides a more ergonomic and intuitive way of working, contributing to lower stress levels and better decision-making. 

3. Interaction ergonomics

When a crisis arises, operators need to be able to access information and interact with their content in the blink of an eye. An uncluttered workspace is critical to make this happen.

With a control room solution like Barco OpSpace, operators can arrange multiple workspace displays into a layout that makes sense for their workflow and control everything with a single keyboard and mouse. There’s no need to work with multiple input devices; everything can be handled with just one keyboard and one mouse.

OpSpace also makes it possible to put application PCs away from the operator desk. This helps to create noise-free and clutter-free work area that reduces operator stress levels.

Better, faster decisions

Control room ergonomics ultimately have one goal: to allow the operator to make better informed and faster decisions when things get critical. While Barco has long been known for its visual ergonomics, there’s more to workspace ergonomics than that. Barco’s OpSpace lets operators work inside a personal workspace that enables them to be more efficient. By offering an integrated view, control and interaction, operators can consult and manipulate all relevant information in one ergonomic workflow.


About the author

Suchit Rout 
Strategic Marketing Director – Control Rooms 

Suchit Rout heads the strategic marketing team at Barco and focuses on elevating critical-decision-making experiences in control rooms worldwide. He is based in Atlanta, USA.

Mr. Rout has over fifteen years of strategic marketing management experience across various regions and economies of the world. During his tenure at Barco since 2007, he has held various positions in technology, product marketing, market development, strategic business development, key account management, strategic alliances, and strategic marketing management. He speaks English and Spanish as primary business languages.

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