Improving the operator's capabilities during abnormal operations; observations from the control house



Improving the prevention and response to abnormal operations is one of the highest goals in the petrochemical industry. Especially for those events not caused by sudden mechanical failures, the effectiveness of the plant operating team is crucial in preventing events (through early detection) and responding quickly to contain the effects.

As a continuing practice, a site can improve the operating teams effectiveness by incorporating consideration of abnormal operations in the design of the operating team's work and information environment. Among others, this includes the control house layout, the process control applications, the human/control system interface, the size and skills of the operating team, the training program, etc.

For the long term, the innovative use of technology combined with a restructuring of the operating team's role to take advantage of this technology is expected to provide the opportunity for dramatic improvement.