In 2019 we conducted a study of the ergonomic situation at the time for a service provider in the public sector in Brussels*, in partnership with Knürr® Consoles – A Vertiv Company. In 2021-2022, our study was put into practice.
The goal was to identify all the relevant influences on the well-being and productivity of the operators in the control room environment. To do this, we had personal conversations with both operators and managers. We also did a thorough analysis of the equipment present and the layout at the time.
The most important findings of our analysis were:
- Not enough leg room or space to move and use the equipment.
- No height-adjustable desks, which meant it was not possible to work standing up or to adjust the height in a sitting position to suit different body measurements.
- Static screen positioning, which meant operators did not have the opportunity to adjust the height or viewing distance of the screen. The consequence of this was a static, hunched position.
- Unsuitable workplace lighting and a lack of opportunities to adjust brightness to personal needs.
Our advice and solutions from an ergonomic perspective were:
- A new room layout to create extra space and natural light by removing a wall in the room.
- To provide professional 24/7 furnishings, equipped with an electrical height adjustment range of 650 to 1250 mm (which means the desk adapts to the sitting and standing height of short and tall operators).
- An integrated monitor rail with adjustable height and viewing distance to support an ergonomic standing and sitting position. Furthermore, mounting the screens on a rail saves space.
- Specially designed workplace lighting and allowing natural light into the room (see above). The physical arrangement of the desks and the anti-reflective coating on the screens prevents dazzling.
Great improvements in ergonomics
By applying the solutions above, we have been able to improve ergonomics at the desks and in the room. As well as that, personal storage spaces, leisure and relaxation zones, and acoustic panels on the desks were added to the control room environment. Taken as a whole, these changes to the public sector service provider’s control room have helped the operators work more efficiently and in a more relaxed manner.
Last but not least, they now use KVM technology to increase their operational flexibility and safety. This technology links up all the departments so that they can cover for each other in the event of incidents. And finally, we are providing repeated ergonomic training sessions to improve general and individual ergonomics.
* We have not included the name of our client for reasons linked to the privacy legislation.