Alarm Management Documents

Documents – Alarm Management
The following documents are available for download. Please use this form to select with documents you would like to download.

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Alarms Graphic Projects
Human Factors in Alarm Management
Lessons learned from a disaster paper
Growing Old Together
Organizational Accidents and Abnormal Situations Management
Rescue Your Plant from Alarm Overload

Once you select the papers you’d like to review they will be emailed to you very shortly.

* Alarms Graphic Projects
A longer and more detailed version of the Alarm Overload paper – written by Ian Nimmo.  Paper discussing the benefits of Alarm Management and Graphics Projects i.e., focusing on life-cycle characteristics and transitioning to maintaining good alarm management practices, and best practices design methodology on how to approach graphics development.

* Human Factors in Alarm Management
Written by Ian Nimmo, published in CEP magazine – November 2002.  Article discusses implementing procedures to consider human factors, not simply human error, in control room architecture and reducing the chance of incidents in plants.)

* Lessons learned from a disaster paper
Written by Ian Nimmo and John Moscatelli.  Paper reflects on how learning from past experience has helped improve alarm managment systems.

* Growing Old Together
Written by Ian Nimmo, published in Hydrocarbon Engineering – January 2005. Article discusses refurbishment projects and best methodologies and standards for making the changes such as Study of Management Systems, i.e., people and performance systems; Ergonomic Design of Operating desks or Consoles; Human Computer Interface, Alarm Management, and Design of Control Rooms.

* Organizational Accidents and Abnormal Situation Management

* Rescue Your Plant from Alarm Overload
An article published in Chemical Processing by Ian Nimmo, January 2005.  Discusses why most Distributed Control Systems (DCS) have more standing alarms than necessary, and how to resolve this problem. Find out how to rescue your plant from alarm overload utilizing guidelines on personnel responsibility and benchmarking system performance.

© 2013 User Centered Design Services


UCDS has in-depth experience in designing control rooms and modifying existing field shelters. Our process is compliant with the ISO 11064 Ergonomic Design Standard for Control Buildings. We interview management, supervision and a significant group of the operators to understand functional requirements, what works well in the existing environment, and identification and correction of problems with the existing design. To learn more Click Here


Situation Awareness

Abnormal situations encompass a range of events outside the “normal” plant operating modes, e.g. trips, fires, explosions, toxic releases or just not reaching planned targets. In the past incidents such as Piper Alpha, Milford Haven, Flixborough, Texas City and the 2003 northeast electrical blackout have all been attributed, at least in part, to a fundamental lack of good situational awareness. Early work of the Abnormal Situation Management Consortium® included a survey of the US petrochemical industry. Based on their research the consortium estimates industry losses of around $20 billion per year from abnormal situations, approximately equal to the total annual profits of that industry. Furthermore these studies indicate that companies achieving Best Practices in operations can improve productivity by 5-12%. To learn more Click Here


Fatigue Alertness Management

We have many customers looking to enhance their shift handover procedures and follow some of the Recommended Practices identified in the API documents; others are focusing attention on fatigue and fatigue countermeasures. We have great solutions for both these topics. For more details please contact Steve Maddox. To learn more Click Here



User Centered Design Services promotes Behavior – Based Safety which is a process that helps employees identify and choose safe behavior over an unsafe one. Safety in the workplace is a combination of three measurable components – the person their environment, and their behavior. To learn more Click Here

About the Control Room Operator Performance Group

The purpose of this group is to share ideas and solutions that contribute to improving the performance of the control room operator. Abnormal situations can be managed safely and effectively if we provide our operators with the right training, workload, environment, and interfaces.