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Alarm Management for Process Control by Douglas H. Rothenberg

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CHAPTER 5

Permission to Operate

If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

—Will Rogers

An operator’s assigned role is to operate. The enterprise only makes money when it produces a saleable product. To produce, it must operate. Therefore it is only natural that there is a strong inclination toward operating. For the most part, this works. However, when it does not, the results are often extremely costly. Careful studies of abnormal situations have determined that a very large percentage of incidents are directly attributable to operators not realizing in time that their unit upset was not going to be contained short of a catastrophic event.1 By the time the operator does fully realize the shocking reality, it is almost always too late. It ...

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