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Human Factors and Their Impact on Plant Safety

  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    April 11, 2016
  • Duration:
    30 minutes
  • Skill Level:
  • PDHs:

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History is full of technology breakthroughs, all striving to increase productivity and efficiency, from the steam engine and the telegraph; we’ve seen technology changing the way we get things done, sometimes in a disruptive way.

Most recently mission critical computing systems have been introduced in manufacturing processes and automated tasks, resulting in increased safety and productivity during normal operation, but can these technologies help keep the plant safe during abnormal process conditions? That’s where technology can support but not replace humans. The industry relies on human ability to respond to the unexpected, to handle the odd conditions and ask the right questions to fix the problems at hand.

Today, operators are loaded with numerous activities, is it reasonable to expect they’ll be able to respond appropriately to all conditions, what are the human elements that should be taken in to consideration in the design and implementation of modern automation systems? This presentation discusses some of the capabilities available in a modern automation system and how to apply innovative control room planning and technology to support decision making and help humans handle the abnormal situations in a safe and effective manner. Further on we will present results from research performed in-house and centered on operator health, and the impact of an intelligent and ergonomic workspace can both mitigate risk and increase productivity.

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