Friday, February 28, 2014

Top 10 Common Issues with Alarm Handling

Alarms by definition are events that require an action and as such alarms are a pivotal mechanism for driving industrial operator actions. In a recent survey completed by Automation World, 52% of respondents said they do not perform an analysis of their alarm systems to identify its strengths and deficiencies. Below is a list of the top 10 most common problems with alarm handling that reach across various  industries identified by our partner Solutions PT and a video  with techniques for better Situational Awareness through Actionable Alarm Management. 

Top 10 Common Issues with Alarm Handling

  • Many alarm systems have been implemented without any proper guidance
  • Many alarm systems either alarm everything or rely on default alarms 
  • There is often little visibility or reporting on how many alarms your operators are having to deal with 
  • 80% of alarms are not critical and should not be classed as alarms) 
  • Alarm Quality– Nuisance Alarms (appear regularly and require no action), chattering alarms (comes in and out of alarm states regularly), which all cause distraction
  • Companies are not aligning their alarm practices with recommended UK guidelines (EEMUA 191)
  • Alarm flooding - too many alarms make it difficult to distinguish which need immediate action
  • Too many levels of alarms make it hard to prioritise
  • There is a tendency to think alarming is only important in more dangerous industries such as Oil and Gas when actually all industries can be affected by poor alarm management
  • There is not always one person responsible for Alarm Management’

Source: Solutions PT
Better Situational Awareness through Actionable Alarm Management. 
I’d love to hear about the way you handle alarms in your facility? Feel free to use the  comments section below.

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