Project Facilitation


A properly implemented alarm system can reduce operator work load, improve situational awareness and aid the operator in preventing minor deviations from becoming major incidents. A poorly implemented system adds to workload, increases frustration, stress, and confusion, and can ultimately impact safety, reliability, production, and profitability.

Does the following seem familiar?

  • During plant upsets are the alarms coming in so fast that your console operator has someone stand next to them and press the silence button

  • Your console operators pick their own alarms settings

  • Alarms are configured, but no one knows why they were set at that particular value

  • Your console operators only look at the screen when the alarm goes off

  • You have pages of disabled or standing alarms

  • Your site does not have a clearly written, well understood, and fully implemented alarm management philosophy

Our extensive experience has shown that the key to a successful alarm management project is treating it as a project, with management commitment, goals, budgets, schedules, and allocated resources. Keeping this project on track can be a daunting task for a Project Manager who has likely never managed a project quite like this.

Service Description

UCDS can provide Project Facilitation Services that will assist the site in setting up the project, provide periodic site visits to check in on the progress of the project, and provide unlimited telephone and email support for the project team. UCDS will visit the site for a two day kickoff meeting, followed by two day meetings each quarter for the next year to assess progress.

In addition UCDS can provide a project manager that remains with the project and works with site personnel to implement the alarm rationalization project.

For additional information or to book this service please E-mail us at:

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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.