exida Recorded Webinars

Impact of Human Factors on Operator Response to Alarm: Lessons from Process Industry Incidents

Recording Date: March 2021

According to numerous industry studies, human failure contributes to upwards of 80% of industrial accidents. New incidents continue to occur that bear a striking resemblance to previous incidents. This means we are not effectively learning from history. The purpose of this webinar is to review selected process industry incidents where operator response to an alarm was a contributing factor. It will examine the incidents through the lens of Human Factors Engineering to seek new insights and lessons learned to improve operator performance. The presentation will identify the possible type(s) of human error (slips, lapses, mistakes, or violations) for each incident and review how cognitive biases, situation awareness demons, and mental model failures may have contributed to the operator’s response.

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About the Presenter:

Todd Stauffer

Todd Stauffer Todd Stauffer, PE, is responsible for exida’s alarm management products and services (training, consulting, SILAlarm™ rationalization software). He has been an editor and voting member of the ISA-18.2 standards committee on alarm management since 2005. He was an active participant in the development / publication of the ISA-18.2 standard itself and as an editor / reviewer for ISA’s series of technical reports on alarm management (including ISA-18.2 TR1 “Alarm Philosophy” and TR3 “Basic Alarm Design” for which he served as co-chair). He is currently the co-chair of the joint working group developing ISA-84.91.03 “Functional Safety of Safety Controls, Alarms, and Interlocks for the Process Sector”. Todd is an instructor for ISA’s official training class on alarm management and is exida’s representative on the EEMUA 191 committee. He has executed numerous alarm philosophy workshops, gap assessments, and alarm management training classes for different control system platforms. Todd developed exida’s alarm philosophy best practices template. He is also the product manager for the SILAlarm rationalization software tool. Todd is an industry thought leader in alarm management. He has published numerous articles and presented many papers at supplier user group and industry conferences. His presentations have garnered three “Best in Conference” nominations and his article “Don’t be Alarmed: Avoid Unplanned downtime from alarm overload“ was selected as Intech magazine’s best article of the year in 2007.