This lesson starts out with explaining why the active management of alarms became necessary. The it moves on to the alarm management requirements contained in §195.446 Control Room Management (e). With these two perspectives in mind the lesson covers the 7 steps to alarm management explaining each in easy to understand language. The lesson finishes with what controllers and others in the control room and field can do to help effectively manage alarms.

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss why the number of alarms number of alarms per operator grew rapidly from the 1960’s to the 2000’s.

  • Explain what an alarm philosophy is and why it is needed.

  • List the two steps in understanding the current system and achieving early wins.

  • Explain the key to safe operations.

  • List at least four alarm issues.

  • List at least 3 alarm performance measures.

  • Explain how grids are used in the Documentation and Rationalization process.

  • Describe what is contained in the Master Alarm Data Base.

  • Discuss why a robust Management of Change Process is important.

  • Explain what they should do if they experience alarm problems.

Lesson Outline

  • Learning objectives

  • Evolution of alarms

  • Regulatory requirements

  • 7 Steps to alarm management

  • Developing an alarm management philosophy

  • Understanding the current system and achieving early wins

  • Alarm documentation and rationalization

  • Management of change

  • Maintaining and improving the system

  • Learning objectives


  • Oil pipeline controllers
  • Other oil pipeline control room personnel
  • Field operations personnel
  • Others who work with controllers or want to understand more about alarm management

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