American Journal of Applied Sciences

The Impacts of Total System Design Factors on Human Performance in Power Plants

A. Azadeh, J. Nouri and I. Mohammad Fam

DOI : 10.3844/ajassp.2005.1301.1304

American Journal of Applied Sciences

Volume 2, Issue 9

Pages 1301-1304


The objective of this study is to evaluate the impact of total system design factors (TSD) on human performance in a power plant. The TSD factors are defined as design factors, which have an impact on the overall performance of the power plants in the context of total human engineering or macroergonomy. The systems being studied are the control rooms and maintenance departments of a 2000 MW thermal power plant? To achieve the above objective the TSD factors were addressed and assessed through a detailed questionnaire. The relationships between TSD factors and human performance were then examined through non-parametric correlation analysis (Kramer’s Phi) and Kruskal-Wallis test of means. The selected TSD factors are related to procedures, work assessment, teamwork, self-organization, information exchange and communication. The results of this study show that the TSD factors such as organizational and safety procedures, teamwork, self-organization, job design and information exchange influence human performance in the power plant. The findings also suggest that the selected TSD factors correlate to human performance and must be considered, designed and tested concurrently with the engineering factors at the design phase of the system development cycle. Consequently, total system’s faults and organizational errors are reduced to an acceptable level and human performance is significantly increased. This is a challenging task for designers of power plants but is required if we are facing unforeseen and complex issues of such systems in twenty-first century. The methodology discussed here may be easily extended to all types of power plants.


© 2005 A. Azadeh, J. Nouri and I. Mohammad Fam. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.