4. GOOD PRACTICES
4.1 Status Change Authorization and Reporting
An effective program for control of equipment and system status must be based upon the
designation of responsibility for status control and authority to effect status changes.
During the operation of any facility process or project, there must be one individual who
is responsible for operational control and who has authority to make changes. Within this
guide, that person will be referred to as the operations supervisor.
The operations supervisor is typically the senior operating person present. The supervisor
is tasked with maintaining a broad perspective of all facility operations; however, when
abnormal or emergency conditions occur, the supervisor's response must be based on
current knowledge of system status. Therefore, changes in the status of safety-related
systems or other equipment critical to the operation of the facility should be pre-authorized
by the operations supervisor.
This means that the supervisor's perspective of status must be the focal point for all
operations. Status updates to the supervisor may be required, even for actions that have
already been authorized. For example: during the morning shift briefing, a supervisor gives
instructions for operational testing of a control system, to be performed later during that
shift. In the afternoon, when the operator or technician is ready to begin the test, it is
appropriate to check back with the supervisor, both to verify that the process or equipment
status still supports the test, and to inform the supervisor of the current status.
To facilitate operation of equipment or processes, the operations supervisor may delegate
the authority to operate and make status changes in systems or equipment that are not
critical to facility safety or process output. When delegating authority to operate, the
supervisor must also ensure that all pertinent operating information is provided to the
designated operator in charge. Each designated operator must ensure that the supervisor
is periodically updated on the status of the delegated systems.