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WEC - Western Engineered Containment
Hazloc Heaters
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WEC - Western Engineered Containment
Copper Tip Energy

Alarm Management – Become A Safeguard Superhero


Have you ever experienced a plant upset which led to a flood of alarms coming in? Can you envision a rapidly expanding alarm list with seemingly no meaning and cryptic messaging for you to decipher.  Your internal clock ticks silently in the back of your mind while you try to determine which alarm you should address first, and try to recall how to respond to an alarm that only rings in once every couple of years?  Our Alarm Management services can help.

Operator response to process and safety alarms are key components of most operating and safeguarding strategies.  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 operator’s attention can degrade response to safety critical alarms.  Watchmen’s processes include application of the ISA 18.2 Management of Alarm Systems for the Process Industry standard as a strategy to address these very serious concerns.  Compliance with the ISA 18.2 and IEC 62682 Alarm Management standards supports the pursuit of operational excellence and meets the requirements described in the CAN/CSA Z767 process safety management National Standard of Canada.

Alarm systems must be capable of effective communication during normal and upset conditions to maximize the ability to take a prioritized response within the available time to prevent 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 or even removed.  This can have a profound reduction on the load placed on the operator.

Alarm prioritization is intended to prioritize an operator response when multiple alarms come in at or near the same time. If not effectively prioritized, the operator response time to alarms cannot be assured.  Alarm prioritization is also a facilitated activity that will assess rationalized alarms, weighing the consequence of inaction against the needed response time.  Once effectively prioritized, high criticality alarms rates should be greatly reduced such that an operator can quickly prioritize their response during normal and upset conditions.

Alarm rationalization and prioritization activities require purposeful discussion and time management of a multi-disciplinary team.  Our expert knowledge of facilitated workshops such as HAZOP & LOPA enables us to effectively manage meetings while maintaining team focus and progressing the alarm management study. This minimizes the time demands and cost associated with the team. Our skills in SIS Design and Fire & Gas Engineering provides insight into the process few others can provide.

Consult Intrepid Group at, or connect with one of Watchmen’s experts for your instrumented safety project.


Carsten Acker, P.L.(Eng.), FS Eng (TÜV Rheinland)
Director of Operations

Alarm Management – Become A Safeguard Superhero

Alarm Management – Become A Safeguard Superhero 2

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