Decision making is a skill like any other – it requires practice to achieve and maintain proficiency. Console operators are faced with making complex, high consequence decisions that are becoming more infrequent due to increased reliability and improved process safety. Will your operators be up to the task when the times for those decisions occur? Have they developed the necessary decision making skills? Have they practiced them?
The Center for Operator Performance has conducted a variety of studies and projects which created tools that enable console operators to practice decision making so that they can maintain their mental fitness. These tools are adapted from training given to military field commanders and from training designed to help first responders make quick and accurate decisions. The two primary tools, Decision Making Exercises (DMX) and Shadowbox, will be described and demonstrated. Past and current projects adapting these tools for use with simulators and other training programs will be detailed. While the tools are for training, they are not just for the training department; they can be used by anyone. They are low cost and easy to develop/apply, some taking less than one hour for the operator to complete.
Chief Human Factors Engineer
Beville Engineering, Dayton, OH
David Strobhar founded Beville Engineering in 1984, which conducts human factors engineering analyses of plant modernization, operator workload, and alarm/display systems for such companies as BP, Phillips, Chevron, Shell, and others.
He has evaluated operator workload at over 1000 units at over 80 different sites for over 40 companies. In addition, he has participated in over 150 alarm rationalizations.
Mr. Strobhar was one of the founders of the Center for Operator Performance, a collaboration of operating companies, DCS suppliers, and academia which researches human factors issues in process control.
He is the author of Human Factors is Process Plant Operations (Momentum Press) and was the Rationalization clause co-editor for ISA SP18.2, Alarm Management for the Process Industries.
Mr. Strobhar has a degree in Human Factors Engineering and is a registered professional engineer in the state of Ohio. He is on the engineering advisory board for Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.