exida explains Blog

Entries tagged with: Alarm Management

Alarm Management and the Great American Solar Eclipse

Alarm Management and the Great American Solar Eclipse

Throughout history, total solar eclipses have been a significant event. In primitive societies, eclipses were viewed with fear or as important omens. In the US, the upcoming “Great American Solar Eclipse” is creating much excitement. From buying “official” eclipse-viewing glasses, to paying $1500 or more…

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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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Bad Actor Knockdown: The “Whac-A-Mole” of Alarm Management?

Bad Actor Knockdown: The “Whac-A-Mole” of Alarm Management?

Don’t Let Your Safe Operating Limits Leave You S-O-L (Out of Luck)

Don’t Let Your Safe Operating Limits Leave You S-O-L (Out of Luck)

As the name implies, the purpose of Safe Operating Limits (SOL) is to define the limits beyond which a process will not intentionally be operated and at which troubleshooting ceases, replaced by pre-determined actions to bring the process to a safe state. Pretty important information. I am sure this is…

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Evaluating Alarm System Performance in a Multi-Operator Control Room

Evaluating Alarm System Performance in a Multi-Operator Control Room

Situation: There are three operator consoles (positions) in the same control room. There is one general alarm horn that goes off whenever a new alarm comes in from any one of the three consoles. The horn draws the attention of each of the three operators.

Question: How are the…

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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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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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Human Factors in Alarm Management

Human Factors in Alarm Management

Question:

Which one of these layers of protection (operator response to alarm, relief valves, dikes, and safety instrumented systems) is not like the other? 

Answer:

Operator response to alarm (Operator Intervention), because of the “Human” factor.

It is very difficult to calculate the probability…

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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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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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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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The Crossroads of Alarm Management and Process Safety

The Crossroads of Alarm Management and Process Safety

The Problem with the Expert
  • by Dr. William Goble, CFSE
  • Wednesday, March 05, 2014
  • Certification

The Problem with the Expert

I recall the first time I was called an “expert.”  I thought that sounded nice. I spotted a magazine article on safety and thought “I do not have to read that as I am an expert.” I quickly recovered.  The real problem with being called an expert is that…

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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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When is an Alarm not an Alarm?

When is an Alarm not an Alarm?

The ISA-18.2 and IEC 62682 standards define an alarm as an “audible and/or visible means of indicating to the operator an equipment malfunction, process deviation, or abnormal condition requiring a timely response”.  One of the reasons why alarm systems are out of control (alarm overload, nuisance alarms)…

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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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