Multitasking and interruption handling in control room operator work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter or book articleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Our work life is full of interruptions and other perturbations, and we think we are experts in handling them. One solution is to get the upper hand on the interruptions and start to multitask, that is, to do several things concurrently or sequentially. However, if the amount of interruptions is increasing, we may fail to manage them and become distressed, frustrated and make errors. Efficient handling of interruptions is thus needed at the managerial and operational level in many work domains such as in health care, aviation, car driving, and office work. This chapter focuses on control room operator work in nuclear power plants, but since there is very little research on multitasking and the impact of interruptions in the nuclear domain, we also review other relevant literature, especially from other safety-critical domains. This chapter presents findings from simulator- and survey-based research and outlines recommendations both at individual and organizational levels.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman Factors in the Nuclear Industry
Subtitle of host publicationA Systemic Approach to Safety
EditorsAnna-Maria Teperi, Nadezhda Gotcheva
PublisherWoodhead Publishing
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780128159743
ISBN (Print)978-0-08-102845-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


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