HomePeopleTechniquesValuesHot TopicsContact Us
Synergy Ergonomics

People In Complex Systems
Synergy Consultants Ltd
..Industry Sectors
Defence Industry Ergonomics
Power Industry Ergonomics
Oil & Gas Industry Ergonomics
Process Control Industry Ergonomics
Transport Ergonomics

..Ergonomics Applications
Abnormal Situation Management
Alarm Reduction
Complementing / Manning
Human-Computer Interaction
Safety Cases
Training Needs Analysis
Human Error / Human Reliability Assessment

..Human Factors Issues
Compliance with Safety Requirements
Diagnostic Tasks
Operator Stress
Staffing for Safety Management
Training for Emergencies

..Nuclear Human Factors
Nuclear Safety Cases
Stress in the Control Room


Defence Ergonomics

Synergy provides high quality Human Factors support throughout the Defence sector. This work has addressed many facets of the defence industry with Clients in the MOD, Research oganizations, and manufacturers both in the UK and in Europe. All Synergy consultants have a level of security clearance suitable for carrying out their ergonomics assignments.

Design Support
Synergy provides ergonomics advice throughout the design process:
  • Functional allocation studies – Synergy has developed a framework for allocating tasks between the human and machine in multi-person defence systems.
  • Combat System ErgonomicsScheme of complement - Synergy has developed a systematic and analytic approach to proving the scheme of complement for complex military systems. This has been effectively used to assess the scheme of complement for modern warships and to identify critical human factors interfaces and issues that could affect the scheme of complement.
  • Interface design – Synergy has participated in the design of hardware and software interfaces for military equipment from single-operator consoles to complete combat systems.

Ergonomics Assessment
Synergy has provided ergonomics assessments of military systems at various stages throughout the equipment life cycle.

  • General ergonomics assessments – Synergy has made several comprehensive assessments of proposed and existing military systems. These have been undertaken against specific standards, such as MIL STD 1472 and DEF STAN 00-25, or against general ergonomics standards and guidelines.
  • Human reliability assessments – Synergy has undertaken both qualitative and quantitative human reliability assessments (HRAs) using accepted techniques such as HEART, PHEA and THERP. We have also been involved in the development and extension of these methods.
  • armoured vehicle ergonomicsMaintenance and maintainability assessments – Synergy has extensive experience of maintenance and maintainability issues within the power generation and process control industries. This experience has been utilized during assessments of maintenance and maintainability in defence systems.
  • Safety Assessments – Synergy has carried out assessments of a range of military equipment to ensure that the required tasks can be undertaken within current military and national safety standards.
  • Physical Ergonomics – Synergy has assessed currently used systems and proposed future designs to ensure that they meet the physical ergonomics requirements in terms of accessibility and usability.
  • Manual handling - Synergy has experience of more physically demanding military tasks, where it is important to ensure that any heavy manual handling that is required can be undertaken safely and within accepted guidelines, such as the NIOSH lifting equations.
  • Habitability – Synergy has developed guidelines for assessing the habitability of military systems taking account of their particular mission requirements and demands for survivability.
  • Emergency evacuation - Some of the ergonomics assessments that Synergy has undertaken of emergency escape and evacuation from offshore facilities is directly applicable to warship applications.

Recently Synergy has contributed to ergonomics assessments of a range of armoured vehicles including the AS90 mobile gun, the AMS 120 mortar, the Future Engineering Tank; studies of military communication systems and human factors reviews of submarine weapons handling.

This work has involved the development of ergonomics guidelines, on-site trials and interviews with subject matter experts.

Safety Case Development
Synergy’s long experience with the nuclear industry, both civil and defence applications, means that we have developed and exploited techniques, which are now well established, for assuring the safety of high integrity operations. These have involved both qualitative and quantitative assessments, using a variety of Human Reliability Assessment (HRA) techniques. We are completely familiar with the problems of incorporating human issues within Probabilistic Safety Assessments (PSAs) and provide solutions to improve human reliability that are both practical and effective.

Synergy understands the specific requirements for Nuclear safety, Explosives and general safety and provides human factors data on these issues in a form that is acceptable to different regulatory bodies.

  • Pre-Construction Safety Reviews - Synergy undertook Human Factors assessments of the Pre-Construction Safety Review for a proposed submarine dock.
  • Pre-Operational Safety Reviews - Synergy participated in the Pre-Operational Safety Reviews for the long-term overhaul of a nuclear submarine
  • Development of HRA Techniques - Synergy undertook research on HRA techniques for taking account of human dependency and operator stress in submarine operations.

Synergy has provided Safety Case support for the Trident submarine refit, the design of submarine dock facilities, the manufacture of submarine reactor cores and submarine weapons handling.

This work has involved undertaking HAZOPs, applying HRA techniques, on-site walkthroughs, simulator studies, task analysis, error assessment, cognitive modelling and the development of a structured and thorough approach to safety case assessment.

Human Factors Integration
Synergy has worked within the Human Factors Integration (HFI) framework since its inception as Manprint, and has been involved in developing some of the underlying methodologies for aspects of the HFI process. For most defence projects an HFI Plan is developed at the outset and then the human factors work follows the programme defined in that plan. This involves undertaking specific analyses and reporting on them to the milestones defined in the HFI Plan. Potential human factors problems are recorded in a Human Factors Risk Register that also records progress in eliminating, or reducing, each risk. This ensures that human factors issues are resolved in a timely manner and provides a fully auditable trail to justify any modifications that are made to satisfy human factors requirements.

Synergy has specified HFI plans and undertaken the studies necessary for those plans in all the HFI/Manprint domains. Synergy has also been responsible for the specific development of HFI plans in association with projects for new armoured vehicles and for military communication systems.