Safety Instrumented Systems / Environmental Health & Safety / Risk assessment

ASM Consortium Marks 20th Anniversary

By Chemical Processing Staff

Nov 23, 2014

November marks the 20th anniversary of the start of the Abnormal Situation Management (ASM) Consortium. The ASM Consortium has been working continuously together for more than 20 years to maximize safety and performance by preventing or minimizing the impact of abnormal situations.

In the early 1990s, a number of leading companies along with universities and research centers joined forces to advance the cause of industrial safety. Honeywell spearheaded the development of a proposal to the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Advanced Technology Program (ATP) to form a Joint Research & Development Consortium. The proposal addressed the problem of abnormal situation management. Initial funding from members was matched by the US NIST ATP to fund its first three years. In November 1994, the ASM research joint venture began its research with $16.6 million in funding for a three-year study program, including $8.1 million from ATP and industry cost-sharing of $8.5 million.

Over 20 years, the ASM Consortium has developed knowledge, tools and products designed to prevent and manage abnormal situations in the process industry. The Consortium continues to develop best practices based on research and in-plant development. The best practices developed by the Consortium are completely available only to members, giving them a competitive advantage in safety and performance. The Consortium also publishes guidelines that are available to the public so that the non-members can benefit from ASM Research as ASM Effective Practices Guidelines for Alarm Management, Console Operator HMI Design and Procedural Practices.

The global process industry alone averages one serious event or an abnormal situation in every three days. An abnormal situation occurs whenever an automated control system is unable to return the plant to its normal state without human intervention. The Consortium uses the science of human factors to improve the interaction between the automated control system and the human operators to resolve abnormal situations.

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