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UCDS December 2015 News: Automation Safety Webinar

It has been a very different year for UCDS. Our traditional work patterns dramatically changed which meant we did a lot more travelling than usual. I started the year recovering from foot surgery for a snapped Achilles issue but managed to make a trip in March to Sweden to visit with CGM and work on a vision for the future of control rooms.

I spent much time in Texas and Louisianna but the majority of travel has been to Asia. Dave and I had a wonderful three weeks with New Zealand Refining and I had time in Thailand with KBC, Singapore on an HMI project, several trips into Hong Kong and my first experience of the Philippines.

As a group, most of the team has spent time working in Canada which has it’s benefits (beauty) and it’s downside (taxation system). However, for better or worse, we have some solid relationships with our Canadian customers and enjoy what we are doing for them. Christi, Harry and I will be traveling there in January. Dave seems to have moved to Canada working on an important project. He is practicing his French, which he enjoys retrieving from his misspent youth.

The workload has been varied. Dave and Christi have done several workload studies for operators, and we have done some MOOC work for clients. I have predominantly done HP HMI work and alarm management work. Our new task analysis methodology CADET has proven to be very powerful for developing Level 1 displays and operator’s are giving us great feedback on the process and the results.

While visiting a Texas Refinery, one of the operators, a Bass Master, took me and a couple of others from the team fishing and taught us how to catch fish. I was amazed at how fast he can catch a fish, which is quite an embarrassing having spent days in the past without even getting a bite! What an excellent group of operators to work with. They are all dedicated to getting the best results from our work and have demonstrated competence and knowledge of their operating units.

The new control room in Trinidad is finally taking shape and should soon be inhabited. We are looking forward to operations feedback as this is quite a dramatic change from their current work environment.

The company has taken on many improvements to HMI, Alarms, Control System improvements and staffing studies. It should make this one of the best control rooms in this part of the world. I would like to commend them on their vision and their dedication to making it happen, well done Ravi.

We want to take this time to wish all our family, friends and customers a Very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and healthy New Year. We look forward to seeing you all in the New Year, if you have opportunity join me for the following webinar:

A webinar from IChemE’s Process Management & Control Special Interest Group

Date and time
The webinar takes place at 15:00-16:00 GMT on 11 January 2016.
It is free of charge and open to all.

Automation safety has primarily focused on technology, but major incidents such as the explosions at BP’s Texas City refinery in 2005 and Bayer CropScience’s plant in West Virginia in 2008 have been directly linked to human error in the control room.

 We rely on console operators to be vigilant during long shifts and expect them to intervene during abnormal situations. How quickly and accurately they define a problem can have a major effect on uptime and safety. Operator performance is affected by the environment, workload, work team design, HMI, alarms, communication, fatigue, procedures, training, and culture.

This webinar will consider ways to improve human factors in the control room and implement best practices that improve operator performance.

Ian Nimmo is recognised as a thought leader and expert in control room operations by ISA, HSE, and by many plant managers in our industry. He created the Abnormal Situation Management Consortium (ASM) – a research team set out to create a standard to improve alarms for control room operators.

Ian raised 20 million dollars to fund and develop management systems to reduce the risks of human error. He has spent 20 years expanding on the ASM research and improving operator performance, and has interviewed over 1000 operators; he knows what they need to be vigilant when the unexpected happens.

More information and register to attend the webinar >> 

Kind regards,
Audra Morgan
Member communities
+44 (0)1788 534429