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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

Maintenance and Maintainability
The maintainability of complex systems can be greatly improved if ergonomics guidelines are adopted during the design process. This will reduce maintenance costs and downtime. Most importantly, it will reduce maintenance errors. The prevention of maintenance errors has taken on increasing importance because many recent serious accidents and emergency situations have been blamed on unnoticed maintenance errors.

Some of the important ergonomics considerations are:
  • Providing adequate access for maintenance tasks
  • Providing sufficient visibility and illumination
  • Designing to minimize unrevealed faults
  • Providing keyways or other design features to prevent incorrect connection or assembly
  • Providing good user interfaces for built in test equipment or maintenance alarms
  • Designing to minimize the risk of components being dropped, lost, or not being refitted

There are also many ways that the performance of both routine maintenance tests and remedial maintenance tasks can be improved by the application of ergonomics principles. Common concerns are:
  • Test equipment that is difficult to read
  • Inadequate written procedures
  • Inadequate training, especially for infrequent maintenance tasks
  • Inadequate checking, especially using independent checks that are not independent
  • Poor support for diagnostic tasks
  • Steps being skipped, or not properly completed, especially at shift handovers
  • Incorrect spares being used
  • Management failures

Synergy has:
  • Evaluated maintenance facilities, procedures and management at power stations
  • Assessed provisions for maintenance for a defence application
  • Analyzed methods for safety valve testing in the nuclear industry.
  • Carried out task analysis of safety-significant instrumentation maintenance.
  • Evaluated displays for presenting plant information to aid in fault diagnosis
  • Developed a checklist for reducing maintenance errors in nuclear power plants