exida explains Blog

What do Nuisance Alarms, the 80-20 Rule, Mental Models, and More Have in Common?

What do Nuisance Alarms, the 80-20 Rule, Mental Models, and More Have in Common?

Most everyone has heard of the “80-20 rule”.  It asserts that for many situations, roughly 80% of the effects (outcomes) come from 20% of the causes (inputs).  This rule was first proposed in the early 1900s by Vilfredo Pareto, who was an Italian engineer, sociologist, economist, political scientist, philosopher,…

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Nuisance Alarms and “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”

Nuisance Alarms and “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”

The purpose of an alarm is pretty straightforward - to draw the operator’s attention to an abnormal situation that requires action in order to prevent an undesired consequence. Alarms that don’t meet this principle often become nuisance alarms. A nuisance alarm is defined as:

“an alarm that annunciates excessively,…

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How to become a world-class expert (the 10,000 hour rule)

How to become a world-class expert (the 10,000 hour rule)

In the book “Outliers”, Malcolm Gladwell popularized the notion that to become an expert in a field requires putting in 10,000 hours of practice.

The emerging picture from studies of expertise is that ten thousand hours of practice is required to reach the level of mastery associated with being…

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The Crossroads of Alarm Management and Process Safety

The Crossroads of Alarm Management and Process Safety

New Version of ISA-18.2 Alarm Management Standard Is Released (2016)

New Version of ISA-18.2 Alarm Management Standard Is Released (2016)

The new and updated version of the ISA-18.2 standard (ANSI/ISA-18.2-2016, Management of Alarm Systems for the Process Industries) has now been officially released. This supersedes the original edition (2009). The new version incorporates feedback from 6+ years in the "field" and includes some updates based on the IEC 62682…

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Claiming alarms as an independent protection layer (IPL)

Claiming alarms as an independent protection layer (IPL)

An interesting question arose recently when creating an FSM plan:

Does the ISA-18.2 standard on alarm management address the claiming of the operator’s response to alarms as a layer of protection?

Not specifically, however the ISA-18.2 standard does require that alarms are rationalized, and that alarm system performance…

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Help Your Operators Defeat the Situation Awareness Demons!

Help Your Operators Defeat the Situation Awareness Demons!

Contrary to what you might have guessed, the “Defeat of the Situation Awareness Demons” is not a new video game on XBOX or Playstation. It is a set of eight (8) factors which undermine effective Situation Awareness. It can be applied to operators in process plants to characterize human…

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Alarm Management Goes Global with the Release of IEC 62682!

Alarm Management Goes Global with the Release of IEC 62682!

Should DCS Alarms be shown on P&IDs?

Should DCS Alarms be shown on P&IDs?

Alarms were originally shown on Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams / Drawings (P&IDs) to document hardware requirements for installation in a (panelboard) control room. This was important because there was limited real estate in the control room for the alarms (displayed on Panalarms and light boxes) and there was a…

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Alarm Rationalization: Alarm Objective Analysis (AOA)

Todd Stauffer, Director of Alarm Management at exida, takes you through a key part of the Alarm Rationalization process called Alarm Objective Analysis (AOA).

You will learn how to determine what alarms you need (and which one’s you don’t), how to eliminate nuisance alarms, and safely reduce the number…

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When is an Independent Protection Layer (IPL) Not a Safeguard?

We are going to continue discussing the results from exida’s recently published industry benchmark survey on the practices for the use of alarms as safeguards and IPLs. Over 200 safety practitioners from around the world provided responses. This entry will discuss the relationship between alarms identified as safeguards and…

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How do You Compare?

Industry Benchmark Survey on Alarms as Safeguards and Independent Protection Layers (IPLs)

exida recently conducted an industry benchmark survey on the practices for the use of alarms as safeguards and IPLs. With over 200 safety practitioners from around the world providing responses, you can use the survey findings to…

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New Working Group (WG7) Formed for Alarm Management

The ISA-18.2 committee on alarm management has launched a new working group (WG7) that is focused on developing a standard, recommended practice, or technical report on the application of alarm management to process plants utilizing multiple packaged equipment systems. The work will be based on and complement the existing…

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Alarm Rationalization is “Going Green (field)”

With the growing adoption of the ISA-18.2 standard on alarm management, industry leaders are increasingly implementing alarm management best practices (such as alarm rationalization) during the upfront design, before they start up control systems for new, “Greenfield” installation. There are numerous benefits. You think alarm overload and nuisance alarms…

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To Be an Alarm…Or Not to Be?