Situational awareness during safety incidents—knowing what state the plant is in

A safety incident has just happened in your facility. Everyone is doing their jobs to make the plant safe, but is there any single place to get a truly comprehensive picture of what’s happening and what state every element of the process is in? Video: Phil Jarrell explains a new approach for integration.

By Peter Welander December 9, 2015

It’s a situation nobody wants to face, but it’s happened: a valve in your plant ruptured and it started a fire. All the people in the facility knew what to do and the safety systems worked as planned, but as they fight the fire, is there any single place where you can get information on how all the parts of the process, including the safety systems, are, or were, working? If you want comprehensive knowledge of the situation, how many places do you have to go to find out all the details?

Many plant systems are separated for functional reasons, but there’s no reason they can’t share data. Safety systems must have functional autonomy, but information as to their function can be integrated with a larger control system without impairing their ability to move the process to a safe state.

In a video interview from HUG 2015, Phil Jerrell, global marketing director of integrated protective solutions for Honeywell Process Solutions, explains how integrating information from safety systems helps provide a higher level of situational awareness across an entire facility, particularly during incidents. This information can help responders, both from inside the plant and outside, get a full grasp of a situation immediately, which can help provide critical information as decisions are being made.

– Peter Welander is contributing content specialist, Control Engineering, CFE Media,