Human Factors and their Impact on Plant Safety

Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, at 11 a.m. PT /1 p.m. CT/2 p.m. ET

History is full of technology breakthroughs, all striving to increase productivity and efficiency, from the steam engine and the telegraph; we’ve seen technology changing the way we get things done, sometimes in a disruptive way.

Most recently mission critical computing systems have been introduced in manufacturing processes and automated tasks, resulting in increased safety and productivity during normal operation, but can these technologies help keep the plant safe during abnormal process conditions? That’s where technology can support but not replace humans. The industry relies on human ability to respond to the unexpected, to handle the odd conditions and ask the right questions to fix the problems at hand.

Today, when operators are loaded with numerous activities, is it reasonable to expect they’ll be able to respond appropriately to all conditions? What are the human elements that should be taken in to consideration in the design and implementation of modern automation systems? This presentation discusses some of the capabilities available in a modern automation system and how to apply technology to support decision making and help humans handle the abnormal situations in a safe and effective manner. 

Questions this presentation answers:

  1. Why do we need humans in Industrial facilities?
  2. What are the advantages in Industrial Automation that can improve the effectiveness of operators?
  3. What are the advantages in Industrial Automation that can improve the safety of plant operations?
  4. What are the human factors we are concerned with in Industrial facilities?


  • Luis Durán, Product Marketing Manager Safety System, Control Technologies/Process Automation, ABB
  • Greg Hale, Editor/Founder, Industrial Safety and Security Source 

Peter Welander, Control Engineering and CFE Media

Join the discussion about this Webcast on Twitter at #humansimpactsafety


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