Air Traffic Research Program > System Maintenance and Technical Operations > OCC workplace analysis 07

  Program Description

Research Areas

System Maintenance and Technical Operations Advanced Air Traffic Systems Individual and Team Performance Personnel Selection and Training
  Additional Information
System Maintenance and Technical Operations
1. Abbreviations/Acronym Standard
2. Guidelines for Evaluating the Usabi
3. Guidelines for New Symbol Developme
4. Heuristic Evaluation of Tech Ops Us
5. Information Requirements for RMM
6. Standard on Symbols Used in Technic
7. Standardization of Graphical User I

OCC workplace analysis '07

Primary Investigatior :Vicki Ahlstrom
  FAA ACB-220
Background :  The work environment impacts both human performance and personnel safety. Often, the impact is not evident until the workplace is in use. Workstations may not accommodate the range of worker anthropometrics that exist in that environment. Tools that are not located within easy reach force the users to adopt uncomfortable or awkward positions. This can lead to inefficient work processes, work-related musculoskeletal problems, and even increased errors. Three Operations Control Centers (OCCs) were established five years ago to consolidate maintenance operations. The roles and responsibilities of the people working in these OCCs have continued to evolve. While some aspects of the OCCs may work well, this will identify human factors concerns of the workplace and workspace design, and make recommendations for improvement.

Technical approach :  The basic goal of workstation design is to ensure that the user can perform the necessary tasks safely and efficiently. There are many factors that can impact that goal, including the ambient environment, physical aspects of the workstation design and layout, location of the tools, and the organization of tasks. Thus, a range of methods will be used to collect data. General characteristics of the ambient environment will be collected primarily through direct observation. Lighting levels will be measured with a photometer, ambient noise with a sound pressure level meter. Data will be compared against current standards and guidelines. User satisfaction and discomfort ratings will be collected through a questionnaire instrument. The survey instrument will draw heavily from questionnaires used in similar studies in other work environments. Data on user working positions and artifacts in place will be collected through observation and noted on a data collection sheet. Photographs of working positions will be taken when it does not impact operations, if permission is given by the facility. A computer program will be used to code user postures over three separate observation periods. A different computer program will be used to collect activity link analysis data. This information will show the paths of activities performed by the specialists and the frequency of use. Activity data will be based on a sampling period at three different times during the day. Workstation dimensions will be measured using standard measuring devices such as a tape measure. Multiple dimensions will be measured including leg room, display height, chair seat height, keyboard height, location of input device, and location of telephone. Data will be compared against recommendations and guidelines for workplace ergonomics. Researchers will identify potential intervention strategies to resolve OCC workspace issues. Researchers will brief these recommendations to the OCC management. Together with OCC management, researchers will select a number of intervention strategies to implement. The researchers will implement these strategies and re-administer the questionnaire instrument at pre-specified interval to assess the effectiveness of the intervention.

Research Question :  What are the ergonomic issues at the OCC? Are there inexpensive solutions that can resolve issues at the OCC? What is the extent of improvement brought about by applying ergonomic interventions to this workplace?

Expected completion date :  03/31/2008