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Introduction

Alarm management is one of those disciplines that come along every so often that is capable of enabling you to tie it all together. Taken together, doing the improvements as part of a concerted plan, alarm management can really deliver significant operational improvement. This benefit is yours for the taking.

Here are a few of the incentive situations that should automatically provide a natural jumping off point to get serious about alarm management:

  • Your company is already subject to the recent PHMSA (pipelining, DOT) regulations. You must already have a plan in place and be fully implemented by August 2012.
  • You are an industrial manufacturer subject to OSHA under the RAGAGEP (Recognized and Generally Accepted Good Engineering Practices) expectations cited in section 1910.119 (d)(3)(ii).
  • Your company is an industry leader in the public eye.
  • Your company is building a new plant or significantly revisiting an existing one.
  • Your plant has a newly-acquired subsidiary or single plant.
  • Your management is starting or considering corporate initiatives to improve operations, operational efficiency, safety, and/or environmental responsibility.

If you are a U.S.-regulated pipeline operator, you already know that in late 2009 PHMSA amended its
pipeline safety regulations to prescribe safety requirements for controllers, control rooms, and SCADA systems used to remotely monitor and control pipeline operations. Alarm management was an important part of the new requirements. Both API RP-1167 and ANSI/ISA 18.2 as well as EEMUA 191 have been cited as important guides and references.

The goal is to enhance safety and performance of personnel controlling pipeline operations. The deadline to meet PHMSA’s alarm management requirements has been accelerated to August 1, 2011 for the written plan and August 1, 2012 for full implementation. PHMSA will conduct full audits of all applicable facilities.

For a more detailed description, please download the first white paper of the PHMSA CRM Myths: Alarm Management Truth Detectors series.