Are you alert, or just waiting for the situation to pass. Are you alert for something which might happen, something perhaps with danger requiring your constant situational awareness, or just waiting for the expected alarm when the pressure gets to high.
To what extent we confuse normal events, like the sun coming up and the sun going down with an alert meaning something just broke and you are in trouble or security was breached and you need to shutdown or burn everything.
Alerts are the output of a process which is monitoring the ‘danger’ domain, and the production of alerts needs to be meaningful, particularly when possibly mixed with Alarms, Events, Off-Normals and basic normal data.
How might we best characterize them ?
- Normal Data : No need to look at it – no need to act – maybe to fine tune – maybe to optimize, but no real danger involved and not a high priority.
- Event Data : Events record what happens, usually on a change of status of an item of plant, or perhaps an operator action for later audit purposes.
- ALARM : Alarms record a transgression of a limit or potential hazard developing. Alarms are useful for managing situations post a disturbance event.
- ALERT : Alerts are a new category for most and I like to refer to Alerts as being from a higher form of intelligence and or situational awareness which characterize and inform of imminent danger or unexpected behaviour.