Shift handover occurs when one shift of plant operators goes off duty and an incoming shift takes ownership of the plant for the following shift. The purpose of the shift handover log(s) and meeting is to ensure that the new shift has sufficient and complete information to ensure safe, stable and reliable plant operations. Many catastrophic incidents in the industry have been attributed in part to improper shift handover.
A Business Paper
Shift handover is a critical aspect of safe and efficient plant operation. What is already evident is that mistakes and shortcuts are made during the shift handover process that can compromise the integrity of plant operations. In order to improve this, there is a need to develop a robust framework for shift handover.
To understand the potential role of information systems in shift handover and to contribute to a wider understanding of the challenges and opportunities involved, AVEVA commissioned Dr Sam Mannan and his team at the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center (MKOPSC) based at Texas A&M University to research shift handover in the process plant industry. Many people across the industry contributed to a survey that gathered real world experience to support this important piece of industry research.
The results of this research are now available and we are pleased to make them available to help the plant industry to better understand the shortcomings in current shift handover practice and to identify the opportunities for improving this safety-critical procedure.
Download the full report
Download AVEVA's Point of View paper
Read an interview with Dr Mannan of MKOPSC in AVEVA World Magazine (online version)
There is clearly a need to improve this critical aspect of plant operation and appropriately applied information technology is likely to enable the development and use of a robust framework for shift handover.
Only a few operators (4.1%) stated that their log book system can automatically record process information; over half (53.5%) still need to input all the process information manually.
Workers and operators must know what type of information to record, how to record it, and how to communicate it.
A wide variety of information is needed for effective shift handover; if any is missing or deficient in any way, poor shift handover can occur or lead to an incident.
During one instance, I was not made aware that the offgoing operator had manually blocked the reactor inlet valves. Upon proceeding with restart, over pressure occurred.
For example, the former shift had completed one maintenance work. But his log didn’t give very detailed information about how to repair it. I needed to confirm some data from him.
Download this free AVEVA Business Paper and discover how advanced information management technology can transform your shift handover procedures.
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