Institutionalizing an alarm management program


ost plant personnel equate alarm management with reducing alarms, but this is just one of the techniques used to achieve effective alarm management. The true goal is more strategic: to give operators the right information to prevent abnormal situations and to prevent the escalation of those abnormal situations that cannot be avoided.

Poor alarm management practices result in billions of dollars lost every year to accidents, equipment damage, unplanned plant or unit outages, off-spec production, regulatory fines, and the huge, intangible costs related to environmental and safety infractions.

As a result, it’s clear that implementing an alarm management solution is one of the top strategies for bringing hard benefits to any organization. This paper reviews the benefits of alarm management in general, the most common causes of alarm problems, and describes a proven approach that a variety of industry leaders have adopted in order to realize the benefits of proper alarm management practices.

The objectives of this document are to:

  1. Review alarm management benefits
  2. Provide a brief overview of the problems that alarm management solutions address
  3. Outline the phases of a typical alarm management implementation
  4. Examine common approaches used by real companies to achieve positive results

For more information about Matrikon’s alarm management solutions, or if you have any questions or comments about this paper, please contact the author, Jeff Gould, Matrikon’s Alarm Management Solutions manager, at 1.780.448.1010, or e-mail, or visit our website at