Sustainably improving process safety at our Longford Plants

The Alarm System Structural Improvement & Sustainment Team (ASSIST) recently made changes to process alarms and reduced the number of standing alarms on each panel at the Longford site.

The Alarm System Structural Improvement & Sustainment Team (ASSIST) recently made changes to process alarms and reduced the number of standing alarms on each panel at the Longford site. Comprising of representatives from Operations, Maintenance and Engineering teams at Longford, each representative was picked based on their knowledge and expertise of key standing alarms at site, and ideas on the best work process to reduce the alarms.

Standing alarms are alarms that have been active on the panel for more than 24 hours. They are usually caused by instrument faults or out-of-service equipment. Having a large number of standing alarms on any panel can reduce the effectiveness of the operator’s ability to respond to abnormal process conditions, thereby increasing process safety risk. By reducing the number of standing alarms on operator panels, teams can safely and reliably conduct day-to-day operations across the site and focus their attention on alarms that require their immediate response.

The collaborative efforts by the different teams have resulted in a significant 63 percent reduction in standing alarm counts since January this year and has recently seen the Gas Plant 1 panel achieve the target of having only one screen of standing alarms as compared to the previous six screens.

“The dedicated efforts of ASSIST to manage the standing alarm counts have been a resounding success and serve as a great example of how effective cross-site and cross-border collaboration have positively impacted process safety at Longford!” commented Kiran Krishnan, Electrical and Instrumentation Engineer.

ASSIST has also received remote support from the Bengaluru Technology Centre (BTC) who have helped compile Management of Change (MoC) documentation and coordinate approvals to make the relevant changes and improvements.

Further to this, ASSIST has also taken action to improve the visibility of the current standing alarms list, and tracking at what stage of the reduction work process each standing alarm was at.

The team has also recently collaborated with the Business Transformation team to set up an alarm tracking dashboard, streamlining the MoC process for alarm changes by creating a shorter form of the MoC procedure and updating the work aid document for inhibiting alarms to provide better clarity on the inhibit process and how it can be used effectively.

“The team at Longford has made an amazing amount of progress this year on sustainably reducing standing alarms by challenging the status quo, streamlining work processes and finding new and creative ways to provide visibility across site, all of which has a significant positive impact on process safety at site,” commented Caitlyn Broberg, Longford Facilities Lead.