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Prevent Plant Upsets

By Kevin Harris, Honeywell & Michael Nevels, Celanese |

    For many years, the job of a control room operator at a petroleum refinery or chemical plant was seen as relatively simple: Keep the process running and fix it when it breaks. That perception is changing as more operators take on additional responsibilities for improving energy usage and process efficiency while maximizing production. Meanwhile, many companies have reduced the number of control-room operators as new process-control technologies have emerged, making today’s operator responsible for running more areas of the plant in a safe and efficient manner. Companies now recognize that they must prepare operators for their expanded roles by offering a diverse set of interconnected solutions in the areas of procedures, human-machine interfaces (HMI displays), automation and working environment. The Abnormal Situation Management (ASM) Consortium is a group of chemical and refining companies, specialist service providers and universities that focuses on the complex human-system interaction and factors that influence safe and successful performance. ASM Consortium research has found that in plant upsets, human action or inaction – be it during the execution of procedures, maintenance practices, or engineering…
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