Safety first …

CSB tells API ‘create drilling alarm management guidance’ and ‘promote equipment data sharing’. Det-Tronics - gas safety standards/software verification. E2S sounds horns, flashes lights. Hexagon applies AI to driver safety. Schneider Electric announces Safety Advisor.

The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has released its report on the 2018 blowout and fire at the Pryor Trust gas well in Pittsburgh County, OK, that killed five workers. The CSB calls for safety changes from regulators, trade associations and companies. The report also recommends API to create guidance on alarm management for the drilling industry to ensure that systems are effective in alerting drilling crews to unsafe conditions. Following its investigation of an explosion and fire at the Enterprise Products Pascagoula Gas Plant in Pascagoula, MS, the CSB has pitched-into the data sharing debate with a recommendation to the API that it should promote information sharing relating to failure hazards of heat exchangers from thermal fatigue.

A white paper from Det-Tronics reports on new gas safety standards to be introduced in 2020 asking ‘Will your plant be in compliance?’ The new International Electrotechnical Commission standards, notably IEC 60079-29-1:2016, ‘Explosive atmospheres — Part 29-1: Gas detectors — Performance requirements of detectors for flammable gases’ may mean that existing equipment and practices for gas detection no longer suffice. The new standard includes a test clause for software function verification to improve the reliability of software functions. Manufacturers will need to provide evidence of full compliance. The white paper concludes that ‘In their efforts to comply with these new standards, facility owners and operators may discover that the most effective approach is to abandon traditional detection technology in favor of state-of-the art fire and gas safety systems’, with an invitation to check out Det-Tronics’ own fault tolerant safety controller, Eagle Quantum Premier.

UK-based E2S Warning Signals has announced the STEx family of explosion/flameproof audible, visual and combined warning devices and manual call points. The devices are designed for harsh onshore and offshore environments and are IECEx and ATEX approved hazardous environments. The STExS alarm horn sounders provide 64 alarm tone frequency patterns and outputs up to 123dB(A). The STExB beacon light source is available as an ultra-bright 21 Joule Xenon strobe, halogen rotating or an array of high output LEDs.

Hexagon has announced the HxGN MineProtect operator alertness system for light vehicles (OAS-LV), a fatigue and distraction detection unit that continuously monitors operator alertness inside the cab of light vehicles, buses and semi-trucks. OAS-LV expands protects light-vehicle operators from falling asleep at the wheel, crashing or other fatigue or distraction-related incidents. The in-cab device scans a driver’s face to detect any sign of fatigue or distraction, such as a microsleep. A machine-learning algorithm leverages this facial-feature analysis data to-determine whether an alert should be triggered. Data can be transmitted to the cloud for real-time notifications for supervisors and controllers to apply an intervention protocol and allow for further forensic analytics.

Schneider Electric has announced EcoStruxure Process Safety Advisor, an IIoT-based digital process safety platform and service that enables customers to visualize and analyze real-time hazardous events and risks to their enterprise-wide assets, operations and business performance. The solution leverages Schneider EcoStruxure SIF Manager for tracking and validating safety instrumented function performance. Safety Advisor is said to be ‘platform and vendor agnostic’. A secure, cloud-based infrastructure aggregates real-time data, analytics and insights from multiple sites and geographies into a single user interface so customers can create an accurate, enterprise-wide risk profile in real time.

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