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Control Room Operator Consoles “are not” Office Furniture

If you are planning to build a control room, then reading this article may help to highlight why you need to invest in a good quality custom-built operator console.

For some, it might not be obvious that one of the most important factors for successful operation is the operators themselves. A considerable amount of investment is spent to train and qualify operators. In an intense operation environment, every moment counts, and utmost operation efficiency is the main objective for operation management. One of the most important considerations that improve operator efficiency is providing operators with a healthy environment that considers their physical and mental health. Humans have certain ergonomics needs too, which, if not met, may reduce productivity and, in the worst-case scenario, render operators unfit to perform.

The conditions of an operator environment are thus crucial in affecting the productivity and outcome of a control room, along with the wellbeing of control room operators. There are several reasons why operator consoles help achieve an optimal operating environment. These are the factors behind why you should invest in a quality operator console within your control room.

  • Worksurface: Much like the dashboard of a car, everything should be in place within a work surface. All necessary items should be within your reach, allowing you to focus on the visual information displayed in front of you with minimal movement of your body, head, neck, and eyes. If these elements are carefully considered, your operation efficiency will be on target.

  • Console Material: All elements should be of heavy-duty material, geared for a 24/7 non-stop usage of the console. An example of this is an HP laminate scratch-proof, non-reflective worksurface, which is a must. One of the most important elements of material is console structure (the inner structure). This will determine the lifetime of the console. A steel structure is by default the best choice, as it provides stability and will extend the console’s lifetime for years. It is also important to note that changing or replacing a console during operation will be challenging and disruptive to control room operations.

  • Smart Cable Management System: This is essential and should be easy to access from the top and back of the console

  • Sufficient and easy to access equipment storage space, ideally with front and back access.

  • Task Lighting: This element is as important as all of the above (but is sometimes ignored). It should be adjustable in position and intensity to meet the different light requirements for each operator. It should also be adjustable in colour temperature.

  • Monitor Arm: This is very useful for monitors to be adjusted according to different operator requirements regarding monitor height and position.

  • Worksurface Rubber Nosing: This may be a hidden feature that most console manufacturers will not mention in their leaflets (because they don’t have it). This feature will provide a smooth blood flow to the operator’s arms at all times. If you were to repeatedly rest your arms on a sharp edge worksurface for an hour or so, you would see a mark on your skin and feel the numbness in your arms/fingers. All of this is a consequence of insufficient blood flow.

  • Worksurface Adjustable Height: Due to the varied nature of each operator’s physical proportions, the adjustable-height function provides comfort regardless of an operator’s physical height. It is becoming increasingly normal in operation rooms to have a sit-stand adjustable work surface to allow operators to sit or stand depending on whether they want overall better blood circulation throughout working hours.

  • A few additional gadgets have been incorporated into consoles recently, such as wireless charging pads and operation status indication LED lights.


Should you consider the above points while designing your control room console, we could assure you of a human-friendly environment and a long-lasting installation.

March 9, 2022
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