EEMUA Revises Guide On Human-Computer Interfaces

The Engineering Equipment and Materials Users Association (EEMUA) has launched the second edition of its guide to human-computer interface (HCI) systems. EEMUA Publication 201 - entitled 'Process plant control desks utilising human-computer interfaces - a guide to design, operational and human-computer interface issues' - has been revised and updated since it was first published in 2002. It provides practical guidance on the factors to take into account when designing an HCI, display hierarchies, screen display format design and the control-room design attributes that affect HCI.

The objective is to help engineers and design teams develop HCI systems that are more usable and therefore result in the safer and more cost-effective operation of industrial systems. This EEMUA guide, developed in consultation with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), is also intended to help reduce the need for re-engineering the systems after installation. The goal is not only to make industrial plants more operable, efficient and able to avoid abnormal situations, but also to better manage such situations should they occur.

The publication has been written and reviewed by users in industry and is based on what certain companies are doing. The general guidance is directed towards large sophisticated computer-based process systems but also contains general information on HCI. Both batch and continuous industrial processes are covered. The guide is applicable to facilities including chemical plants, power stations and oil refineries.

EEMUA Publication 201 is aimed at engineers and managers in user, supplier and contracting organisations and others that are involved in the design, procurement, operation, maintenance, management, assessment and review of HCI systems. Both the HSE and the Abnormal Situation Management Consortium in the US have endorsed EEMUA Publication 201. Peter Baker, head of the Chemicals Industry Division, Hazardous Installations Directorate (HID), at the HSE, said in a foreword: 'This guide is a very useful resource for industry, designers, manufacturers and suppliers in the major hazard sector.

'Inspectors and specialists in HID will be looking for evidence that the standards and principles in the guide have been implemented appropriately both for new design and for the ongoing review - and continuous improvement - of existing installations. 'The renewed focus on HCI reflects well the current HID and HSE post-Texas City and -Buncefield focus on process safety leadership, workforce involvement and wider human factor issues,' added Baker.


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