Skip to main content

Visual Ergonomics in Control Room Environments: A Case Study from a Swedish Paper Mill

Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC,volume 827)

Abstract

This paper presents results from a case study at a Swedish paper mill. The study is part of a larger ongoing research project aiming to investigate visual ergonomics in control room environments. Visual conditions were measured and evaluated in five control rooms, and nine process operators answered questions about perceived workload and visual experience.

The participating operators rated their mental workload as being the highest, but also mentioned a high physical load and time pressure. Six operators indicated that they had work-related eye problems and experienced pronounced eye fatigue, as well as eye discomfort, sore eyes and blurred vision.

In one of the visited control rooms, where the operators indicated that they often experienced eye problems, the operators were clearly subjected to glare. Light was reflected within the field of view from a steel plate outside the control room windows. Compared to recommendations for office workplaces, the illuminance levels were low in all control rooms except one, causing contrast glare since computer screens generally had a higher luminance. Low contrasts were also identified in the computer screens between background and characters.

In conclusion, the measured visual conditions could be related to an increased visual load, leading to visual discomfort. This may lead to pain in the neck, shoulders, and contribute towards an unnecessary high mental load. Recommendations are suggested of how lighting conditions van be improved.

Keywords

  • Visual demands
  • Contrast glare
  • Lighting design

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-96059-3_20
  • Chapter length: 10 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   169.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-96059-3
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   219.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.

References

  1. Long J, Helland M (2012) A multidisciplinary approach to solving computer related vision problems. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 32(5):429–435

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  2. Long J et al (2014) Visual ergonomics standards for contemporary office environments. Ergon Aust 10(1):7

    Google Scholar 

  3. Richter HO, Bänziger T, Forsman M (2011) Eye-lens accommodation load and static trapezius muscle activity. Eur J Appl Physiol 111(1):29–36

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  4. Hemphälä H, Eklund J (2012) A visual ergonomics intervention in mail sorting facilities: effects on eyes, muscles and productivity. Appl Ergon 43(1):217–229

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  5. Haegerstrom-Portnoy G, Schneck ME, Brabyn JA (1999) Seeing into old age: vision function beyond acuity. Optom Vis Sci 76(3):141–158

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  6. Nylén P et al (2014) Vision, light and aging: a literature overview on older-age workers. Work 47(3):399–412

    Google Scholar 

  7. Sheedy JE, Smith R, Hayes J (2005) Visual effects of the luminance surrounding a computer display. Ergonomics 48(9):1114–1128

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  8. Glimne SA, Öqvist Seimyr G, Brautaset RL (2015) Effect of 3-dimensional central stimuli on near point of convergence. Strabismus 23(3):121–125

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  9. Blehm C et al (2005) Computer vision syndrome: a review. Surv Ophthalmol 50(3):253–262

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  10. Rosenfield M (2011) Computer vision syndrome: a review of ocular causes and potential treatments. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 31(5):502–515

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  11. Helland M et al (2008) Will musculoskeletal, visual and psychosocial stress change for visual display unit (VDU) operators when moving from a single-occupancy office to an office landscape? Int J Occup Saf Ergon 14(3):259–274

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  12. Stapleton F et al (2015) The epidemiology of dry eye disease. In: Dry Eye. Springer, pp 21–29

    Google Scholar 

  13. Jainta S et al (2011) Binocular coordination during reading of blurred and nonblurred text. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 52(13):9416–9424

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  14. Jaschinski-Kruza W (1994) Dark vergence in relation to fixation disparity at different luminance and blur levels. Vis Res 34(9):1197–1204

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  15. Pickwell L, Yekta A, Jenkins T (1987) Effect of reading in low illumination on fixation disparity. Am. J. Optom. Physiol. Opt. 64(7):513–518

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  16. Garzia RP (1996) Vision and reading, vol 5. Mosby Incorporated

    Google Scholar 

  17. Simonsen E, Osvalder A-L (2018) Categories of measures to guide choice of human factors methods for nuclear power plant control room evaluation. Saf Sci 102:101–109

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  18. Stanton NA et al (2010) Human Factors in the Design and Evaluation of Central Control Room Operations. CRC Press/Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton

    Google Scholar 

  19. Kataria A et al (2015) Exploring bridge-engine control room collaborative team communication

    Google Scholar 

  20. Kazemi R et al (2016) Effects of shift work on cognitive performance, sleep quality, and sleepiness among petrochemical control room operators. J. Circadian Rhythm. 14

    Google Scholar 

  21. Hart SG, Staveland LE (1998) Development of NASA-TLX (Task Load Index): results of empirical and theoretical research. In: Advances in psychology. Elsevier, pp 139–183

    Google Scholar 

  22. Borsting EJ et al (2003) Validity and reliability of the revised convergence insufficiency symptom survey in children aged 9 to 18 years. Optom Vis Sci 80(12):832–838

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  23. IESNA (2011) The lighting handbook: reference and application. IESNA - Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, New York

    Google Scholar 

  24. Brunnström K et al (2008) 66.3: Visual ergonomic effects of screen gloss on LCDs. In: SID Symposium digest of technical papers. Wiley Online Library

    Google Scholar 

  25. Glimne S, Brautaset R, Seimyr GÖ (2015) The effect of glare on eye movements when reading. Work 50(2):213–220

    Google Scholar 

  26. Glimne S et al (2013) Measuring glare induced visual fatigue by fixation disparity variation. Work 45(4):431–437

    Google Scholar 

  27. Richter HO, Zetterlund C, Lundqvist L-O (2011) Eye-neck interactions triggered by visually deficient computer work. Work 39(1):67–78

    Google Scholar 

  28. Fallahi M et al (2016) Effects of mental workload on physiological and subjective responses during traffic density monitoring: a field study. Appl Ergon 52:95–103

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  29. Kretschmer V, Schmidt K-H, Griefahn B (2013) Bright-light effects on cognitive performance in elderly persons working simulated night shifts: psychological well-being as a mediator? Int Arch Occup Environ Health 86(8):901–914

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgment

The research for this paper was financially supported by AFA Försäkring through the 160255 project “The importance of an optimized visual ergonomics for sustainable control room work”.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Susanne Glimne .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2019 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this paper

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this paper

Glimne, S., Brautaset, R., Österman, C. (2019). Visual Ergonomics in Control Room Environments: A Case Study from a Swedish Paper Mill. In: Bagnara, S., Tartaglia, R., Albolino, S., Alexander, T., Fujita, Y. (eds) Proceedings of the 20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2018). IEA 2018. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 827. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-96059-3_20

Download citation