Categories of measures to guide choice of human factors methods for nuclear power plant control room evaluation
Journal article, 2018
Safe operation is a central objective for nuclear power plants that must be supported by the entity managing the operation, the control room system. Safe operation is dependent on how technology is used, so it is important to take human factors issues into consideration. During design or modification of the control room system, its ability to support safe operation must be assessed to ensure that safety-critical discrepancies are eliminated before implementation. Methods are a necessary tool in human factors evaluation, and there are many to choose from. One prerequisite for evaluation is knowing what to evaluate, and this knowledge determines which methods are most suitable. The purpose of this paper is to identify categories of measures that can guide the choice of evaluation methods for assessing nuclear power plant control room systems. Measures targeted by human factors evaluation methods were compared with aspects that contribute to safe operation and measures proposed and used by other researchers. The conclusion of this paper is that measures targeted by human factors evaluation methods can be grouped into six categories: system performance, task performance, teamwork, use of resources, user experience, and identification of design discrepancies. These six categories can guide the choice of human factors evaluation methods to assess socio-technical systems. Methods providing data from all six categories of measures are needed to fully assess a nuclear power plant control room system.
Human factors evaluation methods