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Ergonomic Standards Increase Control Room Productivity
Ergonomic Standards Increase Control Room Productivity

  Ergonomics are a critical, but often misunderstood aspect of designing control rooms for security. Ergonomics have a deep impact on the integrity of an operation, and the issue goes beyond the control room furniture. Matko Papic, Chief Technology Officer of Evans Consoles, divides ergonomics into three areas: physical (reach zones, touch points, monitors); cognitive (the individual’s ability to process information without overlooking a critical element) and organizational (how the facility operates in various situations; e.g., is it adequately designed for an emergency event?). He says the Evans approach is to determine the precise placement required for each element an operator needs, and then to design and build console furniture to position it there. Basically, the idea is to tailor the control room to the operation. What tasks must an operator perform? Are they manageable or should they be divided up among several operators? Control room design should accommodate the need to collaborate, and be flexible enough to adapt to various situations. It all begins with understanding the information that needs to be processed, says Papic. Increased Productivity In The Workplace Because personnel are often stationed at a specific console, desk or workstation for long hours, physical problems and productivity issues can result, says Jim Coleman, National Sales Manager, AFC Industries. Ergonomically designed furniture and related products have been proven to increase productivity and alleviate physical stress in the workplace. Ergonomic furniture solutions are crafted for the ultimate in safety, adaptability, comfort and functionality. Coleman says AFC Industries can tailor furniture to specific needs and environment. For example, a height-adjustable workstation can be combined with adjustable monitor arm mounts to create a relaxed, comfortable environment. Furniture offers modern designs, comfortable ergonomics, and comprehensive features. Rugged materials withstand the 24/7 use of command control centers. Health Benefits Of Ergonomic Workstations A sedentary office environment is often an unhealthy one. “For people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking,” says Martha Grogan, Cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic. Ongoing research and studies have shown that a change in posture (i.e., using ergonomic sit-to-stand workstations) is an effective means to combat these negative health issues. Using sit-to-stand workstations helps to eliminate musculoskeletal disorders caused by long-term sitting. They can also improve productivity and focus from the increased blood flow. Energy levels can rise and employees burn more calories. Control room design should accommodate the need to collaborate and be flexible enough to adapt to various situations “The ergonomic environment we create for control rooms involves considering every need of the staff at each workstation and their equipment, as well as workflow within the entire room,” says Coleman. “From the proper setting of screen focal lengths to sound absorption and glare reduction, each requirement and phase of a control room design is a necessary process to ensure the protection and safety of people and property.” Emergency Operations Center “The military has figured out that you are more alert when you are standing,” says Randy Smith, President of Winsted, and the realization is guiding emergency operations center (EOC) design toward sit-stand. “As soon as there is an emergency, everybody stands up,” Smith adds. Designing EOC environments also requires systems be integrated with annunciating signal lights to facilitate communication among operators. Winsted’s sit-stand consoles can be combined with a motorized M-View monitor wall mount, enabling a 60-inch wall monitor to be raised and lowered to match the positioning of the sit-stand console. Larger, wall-mounted screens are easier to use for operators, since a larger monitor size can make it easier to read text on a screen, for example. Combining the larger monitor with sit-stand capabilities provides the best of both options. Many operators today stand for 50 percent of their day, says Smith. Ergonomic standards guide the design of Winsted’s control room consoles, including ISO 11064 standards for the design of control centers. The furniture also is designed to accommodate industrial wire management (larger wire bundles), unlike furniture that might be bought in an office supply store. Read part 3 of our Control Rooms series here {##Poll37 - How well do you incorporate ergonomics into your control rooms?##}

Improving Security System Installations With Acceptance Testing
Improving Security System Installations With Acceptance Testing

Endless possibilities for security deployment have been made possible with technological advancements Significant technological advancements have created endless possibilities in how security is not only deployed, but also leveraged by the end user – the customer. For example, customers can now view surveillance at eight different offices in eight different states from a single, central location. A security director can manage an enterprise-wide access control system, including revoking or granting access control privileges, for 10,000 global employees from the company’s headquarters in Chicago. However, with that increased level of system sophistication comes an added level of complexity. After successfully completing the installation of a security system, integrators are now expected to formally and contractually prove that the system works as outlined in the project specification document. Tom Feilen, Director of National Accounts for Koorsen Security Technology explains that this formal checks and balance process is gaining momentum in the security industry. The step-by-step process of Acceptance Testing is more commonly being written into bid specifications, especially for projects that require the expertise of an engineer and/or architect. Simply put, it is a way for the end user to make sure the system they paid for works properly and is delivered by the integrator as outlined in the project’s request for proposal. While Acceptance Testing can be a time consuming process, it is a valuable industry tool. It is estimated that at least 95 percent of integrated security systems today have been brought through the Acceptance Testing process. Security systems have become more complicated in recent years. The introduction of IP-based, enterprise-wide and integrated solutions have all opened the door to more sophisticated access control and surveillance systems than ever thought possible. This process can vary depending upon the size of the project, but for a larger scale project, it is not uncommon for Acceptance Testing to take several weeks from start to finish. This timeline can be especially lengthy when the project involves hundreds of devices, such as access control readers, surveillance cameras, video recorders, intrusion sensors, and intercom systems. Most integrated security systems today have been brought through the Acceptance Testing process What is involved in the Acceptance Testing process? While the specific process can vary from integrator to integrator, many follow a similar process with their customer to ensure the system works accurately and that the customer has the proper certification documentation. The initial part of the process typically involves generating a report of each device installed as part of the system. This list enables the systems integrator to systematically test each device ensuring that individual devices are not specific points of failure for the overall system. For example, in a building equipped with a system that automatically releases the egress doors upon the fire alarm activation, it is important to make sure each door’s electro-magnetic locking system is operating properly. The systems integrator would not only test that a door releases when the fire alarm sounds, but also to make sure the access control system is notified if the door is propped open or held open longer than in normal usage parameters. For a door that is also monitored by a surveillance camera, part of the testing would also involve making sure that an image being transmitted to a video monitor is coming from the correct surveillance camera and that the actual angle of the image is what the customer has requested and is correctly labeled as such. If a device does not function as it should, it is then added to a punch list that would require the systems integrator to repair that device within a certain period of time. Once repairs are made, the system integrator would then submit a letter to the client stating that every device has been tested and works properly. It is also important for the integrator that once the testing process is complete to obtain a customer sign off (Certificate of Acceptance) on all systems tested and documentation provided. This limits liability once the system is turned over. From a safety perspective, Acceptance Testing is also used to verify that T-bars and safety chains are installed on cameras that are mounted in drop ceilings. It can confirm that panels are mounted in a room that is properly heated and cooled to avoid major temperature swings. Also, as part of the Acceptance Testing checklist, it can insure that power supplies that drive all the security systems are properly rated with the recommended batteries for back-up. And, that emergency exist devices or card readers are not mounted more than 48-inches above ground. An Acceptance Testing process serves to protect the end user's investment After the project is complete, Acceptance Testing protects both parties involved against liability issues. One example is if the building has a fire and the functionality of the life safety system comes into question. Acceptance Testing can be used to prove that the system was able to function as specified and dispel any concerns about its performance. At that time, all close out sheets are turned in, along with as-built drawings and a manual providing a complete listing of each device and system installed. Today, these manuals not only come in paper form as part of a large binder, but also digital files saved to a disc. The benefit of providing the customer with a binder or documentation of the system is that should the end user/customer replace the person who manages security at the company, valuable information will not leave with that former employee. While this checklist to close out a project may appear trivial at first, it is an important part of the security project process. By implementing an Acceptance Testing program, it serves to protect the end user’s investment, ensuring that the systems integrators hired for the project is knowledgeable and provides quality work. For the integrator, it helps towards the end goal of a satisfied customer.

Latest Vaion Ltd. news

Vaion Develops Vcore 2.2 Software To Support Access Control Integrations And Privacy Masking
Vaion Develops Vcore 2.2 Software To Support Access Control Integrations And Privacy Masking

June brings a new vcore software release. Vaion has continued to focus on features that bring more value to the user’s organization and their security team. With the 2.2 release, they introduce the ability for anyone to develop access control integrations with the vcore video management system, as well as privacy masking to vcam devices. The new generic access control API allows Vaion, access control vendors, or third parties to develop a proxy that facilitates the integration between the systems. This proxy provides a consistent interface to vcore, but with the flexibility to integrate with the access control system as necessary. Vaion has developed an integration with OpenPath using this interface. Access control integrations What’s more, the company has partnered with OpenPath in the Safety & Wellness Solutions initiative, “to help companies create a safe workplace, adhere to government compliance regulations, and reduce liability as the world comes back to work.”  If anyone is interested in developing an interface to their access control system, Vaion can be contacted to discuss the details. Once configured on the view of a vcam device, the areas defined by privacy masks apply to Video view and Map view The company values privacy, and they aim to give customers all the tools they need to stay compliant with the rules and regulations of local or national organizations in matters concerning video surveillance. They are introducing static privacy masking in vcam security cameras so that the users can block the video, recording, and analytics of certain areas where they either don’t have the right or they don’t need to monitor it. Apply privacy masks Once configured on the view of a vcam device, the areas defined by privacy masks apply to Video view and Map view. They also apply to rules and searches, as areas that have privacy masks off cannot be searched or have rules run against them. Other vcore 2.2 features include: New counts permissions The ability to locate your cameras’ serial numbers with ease

Vaion And Jazz Networks Join Forces As Ava To Address Threat Of Hybrid Physical, Cybersecurity Threats And Attacks
Vaion And Jazz Networks Join Forces As Ava To Address Threat Of Hybrid Physical, Cybersecurity Threats And Attacks

Jazz Networks, globally-renowned cybersecurity insider threat detection and response solutions firm, and Vaion, an end-to-end video security solutions provider, has announced that they have merged to create a unified security provider under the name, Ava. In response to the rise in hybrid attacks involving both physical and cybersecurity, the two companies have united to help organizations monitor, understand, and act on threats in real-time to protect people, assets and data. Both companies are privately held by Ubon Partners and employees. Integrated approach to cyber and physical security “Our vision is for organizations to take an integrated approach to physical and cybersecurity. When it comes to security gaps, attackers don’t discriminate, and the consequences are costly,” said Tormod Ree, CEO of Ava, adding “Yet security professionals aren’t able to see and investigate patterns across both physical and information assets because the data is overwhelming, tools are too complex, and security structures are compartmentalised.” Attackers are exploiting weaknesses in physical security systems to bypass network protections and manually dismantle cybersecurity or digital controls. Despite the availability of data, operators don’t have the insights needed to act. Machine learning-powered cyber and video solutions Ava’s machine learning-powered cyber and video solutions are easy to use Ava is now the only provider, under one roof, to give organizations full visibility into potential multi-faceted attacks. Ava’s machine learning-powered cyber and video solutions are easy to use, and give security professionals access to quality, timely data that can be shared across the security organization for actionable insight. Initially, the combined company will continue to offer cyber and video solutions allowing for separate analysis of data from all users, cameras, and servers. The human-centric cyber solution (formerly by Jazz Networks) will continue to employ a powerful combination of policy and machine learning sensors to prevent IP theft and sabotage, improve cyber hygiene, and accelerate threat hunting. Enhancing cyber security The end-to-end video solution (formerly by Vaion) will continue to provide proactive, video security, and insight. The offering includes integrated video and audio analytics powered by machine learning algorithms, intuitive installation processes, and a range of smart cameras. “By identifying both cyber and physical security threats before they become incidents, organizations can take a more proactive security posture,” added Tormod Ree. Cross-domain security solutions Over time, cross-domain security solutions will allow for even deeper data visibility. Ultimately, Ava will offer fully converged solutions to support organizations as they move toward joint cyber/physical security operations. Converged offerings could include features such as a unified interface and common data storage and analytics engines. “We believe Ava is uniquely positioned to address this growing security challenge,” said Fredrik Halvorsen of Ubon Partners, adding “Plus, new hybrid security gaps are emerging as a result of suddenly shuttered buildings and 100% remote workforces due to COVID 19. This is an important time to re-think security.” Threat detection and intelligent video security Identifying the patterns provides heightened visibility into the potential for threats, breaches, or policy violations Jazz Networks protects organizations from cybersecurity risks within. Vaion has been changing the traditional video security landscape with computer vision capabilities that make it easier for businesses and organizations to monitor their physical assets proactively. In both cases, organizations can detect threats in their earliest stages and perform fast, effective investigations with fewer resources. Under Ava, real-time insights from the cyber insider threat detection tools or intelligent video security solutions will enable security professionals to discover patterns across their entire security ecosystem, regardless of whether the anomaly is physical or digital. Identifying the patterns provides heightened visibility into the potential for threats, breaches, or policy violations. Data infrastructure and enterprise security “Our customers are constantly asking how to best protect their infrastructure,” added Espen Riska, Director at Atea Norge AS, globally renowned IT infrastructure for businesses and public-sector organizations in Europe’s Nordic and Baltic regions. Espen added, “As a current partner to both Jazz Networks and Vaion, we have already been beating the drum about how a unified approach will benefit every customer.”

Vaion Introduces Loud Noise Detection And Easier User Access Management In Vcore 2.0
Vaion Introduces Loud Noise Detection And Easier User Access Management In Vcore 2.0

Since November 2019, when Vaion announced the general availability of Vaion vcore - the company’s video management system (VMS) - 8bh have sought to update their product with features that would make security operators and administrators more proactive, accurate, and faster than ever before. The company has launched vehicle tracking, a tool that highlights them on maps in real-time. Next, they have integrated vcore with communication tools like Slack, Webex Teams, Google Hangouts (and more) via webhooks, so that information about unusual events and alarms is shared among operators and other team members instantly. They have followed up with real-time and historical people and vehicle counting and directional audio detection and search of sound events. Detect unspecified loud noises As an administrator, the user can assign roles with a specific set of permissions, as well as access to footage and cameras With their last release, the company helps to improve collaboration and analysis with video bookmarks, as well as trigger notifications on counting areas using rules. Operators can now get immediate alerts on unidentified loud noises and identify the source of the sound. If necessary, security teams stop threatening actions before there’s damage made to properties, vehicles, or before someone gets hurt. Loud noise detection is based on the sound levels received by all microphones on the vcam device which allows it to determine the direction the sound came from. Viaon uses roles and user groups to give access to vcore. As an administrator, the user can assign roles with a specific set of permissions, as well as access to footage and cameras. They can change the role and the permission for any given number of users or groups at any point. User access management In 2.0, the user can lock and unlock user accounts and have new options for enforcing password changes using different methods. For example, force users to change passwords on the next sign-in or send user(s) a password reset link via email. This way, they ensure that whenever there is a change in the configuration of the user’s team, they remove vulnerabilities and keep the system secure.