Workload Analysis

Excessive workload has been identified as a contributory factor to several major accidents. For example, during the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant disaster, control operators tried to cope with several hundred alarms within a few minutes, whilst under the pressure of bringing the plant under control. It is clear to see that this exceeds human capability.

Workload analysis is used to answer key questions such as “how much is too much workload for an individual to cope with?” or, conversely, "when are workload levels too low?"

The Keil Centre can help organisations to apply the relevant tools to analyse these issues, either using workload prediction or workload measurement techniques.

Workload analysis is used when assessing an existing operation, a future operation or to assess the impact of organisational change.

We can also apply staffing assessment techniques to test the current or proposed staffing arrangements. We can use other analysis techniques to determine staffing requirements to build a profile of the staffing numbers required.

The benefits of workload and staffing analyses include:

  • Reduced likelihood of inappropriate manning staffing
  • Reduction of potential factors contributing to human failure
  • Identification of more efficient ways of working


Workload Prediction

Workload prediction starts by identifying tasks undertaken over time to create a timeline analysis which can then be overlaid with modelling calculations to provide a prediction of workload over time. This can be used to investigate excessively high or low workload and resource conflicts.

Some description

Workload Measurement

We also use a range of validated methods, such as NASA Task Load Index (TLX), to measure the workload associated with a particular task.  Such methods can measure workload on a number of dimensions and take account of factors such as mental and physical demands, time pressures and frustration levels.  This method can be useful for many applications, including Human-Machine Interface (HMI) design and control room layout.

We can also apply manning analysis techniques to determine manpower requirements, which can be used to build a profile of the staffing numbers required.

Who is it for?

Workload analysis techniques may be used by those responsible for operations, and / or the implementation of new or modified systems, equipment or ways of working.


Our consultants are solution-focused and pragmatic in the use of the workload analysis tools available and we can help organisations to ensure that effective operational and design decisions are made.

The benefits of workload and manning analyses include:

  • Reduced likelihood of inappropriate manning
  • Reduction of potential factors contributing to human failure
  • Identification of more efficient ways of working

Find out more

To find out more about Workload Analysis and how it may be applied within your organisation, please telephone our Edinburgh office on +44(0)131 229 6140 or email One of our consultants will be in touch as soon as possible.

Some of our clients include:

Latest News

Consultant Vacancies

We are currently recruiting within both UK (Edinburgh) and Australia for senior, experienced Human Factors specialists, Organisational Psychologists or Ergonomists.   Please see our Vacancies pag…

read more

The Risk of Cognitive Bias

An expert team is investigating a complex process incident that has had a considerable negative impact within the organisation. The team members share a similar background, and they spend a lot of ti…

read more

Report Writing Skills

The most important aspect of any investigation is discovering what happened and why, so that it can be prevented from reoccurring. While there are a number of areas and skills that come into doing thi…

read more