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Operations Management

Enhancing Safety and Efficiency with Intelligent Shift Handovers

In today's industrial landscape, maintaining safety, improving environmental performance and reducing overall costs are critical to business success. Shift handovers are a daily process that often gets overlooked, which can significantly impact processes and safety. Traditionally, shift handovers are treated as nothing more than a casual conversation between work crews. These handovers can be inconsistent, error-prone and lack comprehensive, real-world data. Effective shift handovers ensure continuity, safety and reliability in operations by transferring critical information about process health, ongoing tasks and any incidents or anomalies encountered during the previous shift. Manual handovers can be fraught with missing details, miscommunications and unstructured data. Including alarm system metrics in these reports provides a clear picture of operational health and any potential risks, which is crucial for safety. 

Gain Insight into Process Health by Including Alarm System Metrics in Handovers 

Alarm systems are vital to process safety, alerting operators to abnormal conditions that require immediate attention. Incorporating alarm system metrics in shift handovers ensures that incoming operators are fully aware of any alarm issues, trends and the overall health of the process. This enhances safety and aids in identifying recurring problems that could lead to larger issues if left unaddressed. This practice aligns with key recommendations from the U.K. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and other European standards. Guidance documents like HSG48 and HSG65 emphasize the importance of effective communication and include critical information such as alarm metrics during shift handovers. 

HSG48 emphasizes the importance of effective communication in managing major hazards in high-hazard industries. It stresses the need for clear and comprehensive information exchange during shift handovers to ensure the safe operation of processes. By including alarm system metrics in these handovers, operators gain insight into the real-time health of the process, enabling them to identify potential risks and take proactive measures to mitigate them. 

Similarly, HSG65 focuses on effectively managing health and safety risks in the workplace. It highlights the importance of thorough risk assessment and communication of critical information to ensure the safety of workers and the surrounding environment. Integrating alarm system metrics into shift handovers provides incoming operators with a clear understanding of ongoing issues or trends, enabling them to make informed decisions and prioritize tasks accordingly, contributing to a safer work environment. These guidelines have been created to enhance safety and efficiency, but better work processes and access to data through improved technologies are required to achieve what is advised. 

Enhance Operational Performance and Reduce Risk by Adopting Interoperable Hexagon Solutions 

Transitioning to a digital shift handover process solves many of the traditional issues. Digital platforms provide a structured, consistent and easily accessible format for handovers, ensuring no critical information is missed. Automated data collection, including alarm system metrics, reduces the manual burden on operators and improves accuracy.  

Hexagon's PAS PlantState Integrity, integrated with j5 Operations Management Solutions, provides a robust solution for those looking to elevate their shift handover processes. PAS PlantState Integrity automatically collects and analyzes alarm system information and seamlessly incorporates it into digital j5 Shift Handover reports. The result is a streamlined, efficient, highly reliable handover process that enhances safety and operational performance. Businesses can significantly reduce operational risk by adopting solutions like Hexagon's PAS PlantState Integrity and j5 Operations Management Solutions. Aligning with HSE and other European standards, this approach ensures that your operations are efficient and compliant with best practices in safety management. 

Learn more: 

Learn how to improve shift-to-shift communication and reduce risks of hazardous incidents with j5 Shift Handover: 

Isn’t it time to digitally transform your shift handover procedures? 

About the Author

With twenty years of experience in the industrial process sector and a decade-long tenure with the Hexagon team, Kyle brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. Kyle's career began with hands-on experience designing and delivering control system automation projects for major Canadian oil and gas facility owners. He leverages this experience every day as a Senior Industry Consultant for Hexagon’s Asset Lifecycle Intelligence division. Having worked across various process industry segments globally, Kyle is dedicated to helping customers achieve operational excellence by enhancing safety, efficiency and productivity. At Hexagon, his focus remains on supporting customers in their journey towards improved operational performance and innovative solutions.

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