If finding an alarm on your HMI is like playing Where’s Waldo, you might want to reevaluate some of your operator display graphics. A process upset is no time to try and remember what a flashing light means.
Do you ever get the feeling that trying to find what’s an alarm on your HMI graphics is a bit like playing the “Where’s Waldo” game? There are so many things blinking and so many colors on the screen that you can’t tell which one just went into alarm. Is it an important alarm? Could be, but how can you tell since five alarms just came in at about the same time? Conventional wisdom suggests that people work by pattern recognition and can easily spot what just changed on the screen. There is some truth to that, provided they were looking at the screen when it happened, but if several things changed at the same time, they may not figure out quickly enough which one is the most important.