Operator response to process and safety alarms are key components of an effective operating and safeguarding strategy. The complexity of these systems and number of alarms has grown rapidly creating new issues that were not prevalent a couple of decades ago. This increased level of information and demand on an operators attention can degrade response to mission and safety critical alarms. Practices compliant with ISA 18.2 and EEMUA 191 Alarm Management standards supports the pursuit of operational excellence.
The extensive process safety expertise our functional safety specialists at Watchmen provide are uniquely well suited to guide the implementation of these highly specialized activities.
Existing or new facility? Consider benchmarking your Alarm Management processes and performance against industry standards and peers. Watchmen offers a benchmarking audit to identify compliance gaps and areas for potential improvement for use in developing an alarm management strategy.
Do not make the mistake many others do by focusing all your efforts on solving problems without first understanding the big picture, and coming up with an well laid out plan. Our specialists at Watchmen can provide and unbiased review getting to the root of problems, saving you time and money.
For greenfield facilities looking to implement a new alarm system or existing facilities looking to evaluate and optimize their current alarm systems, establishing an Alarm Management Philosophy is necessary to optimizing alarm performance. The philosophy establishes an approach that will guide the rest of the lifecycle activities (rationalization, prioritization, detailed design, implementation, commissioning/testing, operation and maintenance, decommissioning).
Lean on our expertise and take advantage of our templates when developing your Alarm Management Philosophy tailored to your needs.
Alarm systems must effectively communicate abnormal conditions to maximize the operators ability to take a timely, prioritized response, preventing an unwanted condition. Rationalization is a facilitated activity performed to assess each alarm and validate that it is meaningful and useful. Many alarms provide little value and can be degraded to a different type of notification (i.e. log or message) or even removed. This can have a profound reduction on the load placed on the operator.
Prioritization is performed to support operators to prioritize their response when multiple alarms come in at or near the same time.
There are many ways to maximize alarm effectiveness and remove "bad actors". Watchmen lead workshops on setpoint analysis and alarm tuning ensures sufficient response time is available while avoiding alarm chatter. Identifying opportunities for advanced alarming such as state based and dynamic alarming are used to ensure alarms and their timing are relevant.
Pre-determining and communicating alarm responses with Operator Decision Support is another way to maximize their effectiveness. Watchmen led workshops will identify details to be configured into the alarm system including: alarm cause, consequence of inaction, recommended response, and response time.
Our functional safety specialists are available to provide continued support with management and/or guidance for programmers making configuration updates.
Watchmen offers support in developing detailed alarm test procedures and checklists which may be combined with F&G and SIS proof test procedures.
We offer alarm management training for operations and maintenance staff. This provides documented competency in what is required to safety and effectively operate and maintain alarm systems.
Our Functional Safety Experts bring depth of knowledge to your alarm management project. Alarm Management activities require meaningful and purposeful discussion and time management of a multi-disciplinary team. Leveraging our HAZOP, LOPA facilitation and safeguarding expertise, our facilitators are uniquely well suited to lead alarm rationalization and prioritization. Our expert knowledge of related processes such as HAZOP, LOPA, SIL, Fire & Gas Systems provides insight few others can offer.
As a vendor neutral service provider, our solutions are not dependent on the control system platform you use, alarm management software suite you wish to employ. No need to maintain a specific software to receive access to our expertise or to maintain the documents that we deliver. While we often offer support with implementation, we are not focused on generating programming work from our sessions. So no need to worry that Alarm Management will be used to justify endless programming projects.
Independent, unbiased expertise!
Watchmen Instrumented Safety Experts (WISE) is a Functional Safety Engineering company with specialized expertise in preventative and mitigative instrumented safety. Our expertise includes HAZOP & LOPA Facilitation, SIL / SIS Calculations and Consulting, Alarm Management, Fire and Gas Systems Engineering, Cyber Risk Management. Consult one of our experts for your instrumented safety project today.
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