Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 22

PLANT SAFETY MATTERS

Virtual-reality experiences can help
improve collaboration among plant
personnel and better prepare them to
avoid future safety incidents.

In industrialized nations, this
demographic transformation is
fueled by growing numbers of aging
workers who are retiring and taking
their knowledge base with them. It's
a particular dilemma for the process
industries. On the flip side, in many
developing countries, a different
demographic profile, which is often
referred to as the "youth bulge," has
become an issue.
According to Willetts, both of
these demographics are creating
a demand for ways to effectively
assimilate newer, untrained workers
more quickly than ever before. "And
safety," he said, "is a major component of this training."

What to do?

The growth of automation doesn't mean
less on-the-job training is needed.
mentality of "if we are increasing our
automation, then there is less need
for on-the-job training," and it's easy
to understand the growing concern
around plant safety. As Willetts put
it, "Operators are increasingly being
treated like airplane pilots who
observe and manage an automated
process, hoping to be sufficiently
responsive to handle an issue quickly,
and correctly, when it arises."

What about the
human factors?
Human error has always been a
major contributor to plant accidents
and safety issues, and one that existed
long before new technology and
automation. "This type of error, "
Willetts observed, "is usually related
to a lack of operator skills or, at times,
carelessness, and will typically come
in the form of a mistake or from

22 |

MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY

instances such as ignored measurements or alarms, policy violations, or
noncompliance."
The desire to stay competitive,
he said, also includes an increased
pressure on workers to be more
productive, which can lead to slips
or lapses of attention, trying to cut
a corner, skipping a routine, or
miscommunication.
The potential for human error,
of course, can never be completely
erased. In Willett's view, that very
fact makes a more compelling case
for why ongoing training to maintain
plant safety is critical.
But human error is only one of
the factors in that value proposition.
"Another human factor affecting the
safety of today's industrial environments," he said, "is the significant
demographic transformation taking
place."

To combat factors such as automated
plant-control loops, human error, and
aging or emerging workforces that
can lead to safety incidents, Willetts
encourages sites to adopt a "safety by
simulation-based learning" mentality
and leverage advanced tools such as
operator-training-simulator (OTS)
systems (see sidebar, p. 21). He
points to ongoing benefits these tools
offer, including, among other things,
improvements in accident prevention, best-practice adoption, and
adherence to rules and procedures.
They also lead to greater understanding of how changes in a plant
(or plant design) can affect safety and
how to properly communicate safety
issues.
"Plants will only continue to get
smarter," Willetts explained. "Plantsafety practices need to be just as
smart." MT
Ian Willetts is a vice president of
Schneider Electric Software, based in
Lake Forest, CA. For more information, visit schneiderelectric.com.
SEPTEMBER 2017


http://www.schneiderelectric.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology September 2017

Editorial
Uptime
On The Floor
Bionics Will Drive Future Factories
Filling The Skills Gap
Virtual Simulation and Plant Safety
Update Grounding Knowledge
Don't Overlook STF Hazards
Alternative LOTO Measures
SAP: Tips and Tricks
Compressed Air Filters
IR Inspections
Crack The Lube-Fault Code
DCIM Drives Efficiencies
Products
Ad Index
Showcase
Final Thought
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Ad
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Cover1
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Cover2
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 1
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 2
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 3
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Editorial
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 5
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Uptime
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 7
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - On The Floor
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 9
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Bionics Will Drive Future Factories
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 11
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 12
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 13
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 14
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 15
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Filling The Skills Gap
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 17
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 18
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 19
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Virtual Simulation and Plant Safety
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 21
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 22
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Update Grounding Knowledge
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 24
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 25
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Don't Overlook STF Hazards
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 27
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 28
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Alternative LOTO Measures
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 30
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 31
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 32
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - SAP: Tips and Tricks
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Compressed Air Filters
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 35
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - IR Inspections
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 37
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Crack The Lube-Fault Code
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 39
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 40
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - DCIM Drives Efficiencies
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 42
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Products
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 44
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 45
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Ad Index
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Showcase
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Final Thought
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Cover3
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Cover4
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