ISA's New Alarm Standard Set for Publication

Dec. 2, 2009
Management of Alarm Systems for the Process Industries

ISA-18.2, "Management of Alarm Systems for the Process Industries," the new standard on the development, installation and management of alarm systems in the process industries, has been approved by the ISA Standards & Practices Board and, following final approval by ANSI, is expected to be published later this month. It defines the terminology and models for a common language to describe alarm systems and describes the activities required to achieve and maintain their desired performance.

The ISA18 committee on Instrument Signals and Alarms brings together some 100 experts from across the globe to develop standards and related documents for alarm systems covering their definition, design, installation, operation, maintenance and modification, and the work processes effectively to maintain them over time. It is now starting work on a series of technical reports to provide further definition and examples of the life-cycle work processes. "Improving the performance of alarm systems is essential to achieving operational excellence in manufacturing," said DuPont's Nicholas Sands who co-chairs the ISA18 committee. "The activities covered in this standard will help solve the common problems with alarm systems, which will in turn reduce the frequency of safety incidents and plant upsets and lead to improved business performance."

Sands' fellow co-chair, Donald Dunn of Aramco Services, added that "The committee was motivated by the common experience of incidents when the alarm system failed to prevent an event."