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Abstract

This paper defines situation awareness (SA) and discusses its importance to operator-machine system safety and functioning in the context of process control activities. Specifically, identified are relationships of human detection of critical process cues converying the status of automated control systems and operator interpretation of the meaning and relevance of such information to the potential for negative incidents in chemical processing. Beyond individual operator SA in interacting with control systems, intra- and inter- work team SA are discussed for supporting individual attainment of process control responsibilities. Factors critical to team SA are discussed. “Road blocks” to team SA are also analytically examined. Lastly, methods for assessing individual and team SA are reviewed and vehicles for relating outcomes of these methods to changes in process control operator and team behavior to improve human-machine system safety and performance are relayed.