June 2018

Columns

Digital: Looking to boost safety? Reliable operations are the key

Equipment failures are the thorn in every industrial plant’s side.

Carugo, M., Emerson Automation Solutions

Equipment failures are the thorn in every industrial plant’s side. However, these failures cause much more than frustration and lost productivity. The hours surrounding equipment shutdown or startup—known as transient time—present the highest risk for safety incidents, as well. During equipment failures, as staff focus on repairing the asset and doing everything possible to bring production back up, it is not uncommon to overlook basic safety precautions. The increase in safety risk during transient times is staggering. A typical refining or petrochemical facility spends less than 10% of its time in transient operation, but more than 50% of process safety incidents happen during this time.1

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