About Mike Schmidt

With a career in the CPI that began in 1977 with Union Carbide, Mike was profoundly impacted by the 1984 tragedy in Bhopal and has been working on process safety ever since.

A Safer World: More than a Holiday Wish?

“There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.”  — Erma Bombeck This time of year is full of holiday wishes. It’s as though, as the year comes to an end, we are desperate to squeeze in the caring and kindness that we failed to get to all [...]

By |2022-12-08T16:21:55+00:00December 8th, 2022|Workplace Safety|0 Comments

PSM Documents: How Long Do I Have to Keep This Stuff?

“The entire health care system is now being organized around machines instead of human beings. Not prioritized to reduce human suffering, but rather to optimize a computerized recordkeeping system. This is a tragedy.”  — Carolyn Jourdan Imagine for a moment that you are a new PSM coordinator. The person who had the job before you [...]

By |2022-12-01T17:42:35+00:00December 1st, 2022|Process Safety, Process Safety Management|0 Comments

Not a Dust Explosion: Fatalities at a Polish Granary

“The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labor.”  — George Orwell Yesterday afternoon, I was asked what I knew about the granary explosion that happened in Poland, killing two workers. I hadn’t heard of it, but my thoughts immediately went to NFPA 652, the [...]

By |2022-11-17T16:28:08+00:00November 17th, 2022|Combustible Dust, Current Events|1 Comment

It’s Natural, But Is It Safe?

“…made from all natural ingredients, so you know it’s safe.”  — Brian Angliss, mocking an advertisement for an ED product I once had a roommate who would go off on a rant periodically about plastic that went like this: “Not natural?! What do you mean it’s not natural?! It’s made from petrochemicals, isn’t it? And [...]

By |2022-11-11T14:14:49+00:00November 11th, 2022|Chemicals, Current Events, Process Safety|Comments Off on It’s Natural, But Is It Safe?

The Good Old Days: Never Again

“Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.”  — Doug Larson It’s hard to imagine the New York skyline without the Statue of Liberty. The Paris skyline without the Eiffel Tower. The San Francisco skyline without the Golden Gate Bridge. The Saint Louis skyline without the Gateway Arch. But [...]

By |2022-11-03T15:06:31+00:00November 3rd, 2022|Workplace Safety|1 Comment

Is There a Season of Death? Work-Related Fatalities

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to harvest.”  — Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 When October rolls around and plans for Halloween are being made, thoughts often turn to autumn as a time [...]

By |2022-10-27T15:11:51+00:00October 27th, 2022|Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Is There a Season of Death? Work-Related Fatalities

Top 10 OSHA Violations: The Process Industries

“The human animal differs from the lesser primates in his passion for lists.”  — H. Allen Smith My first experience with lists was as a child, when I was frequently warned, “If you keep it up, you’re going to end up on Santa’s naughty list.” Now, lists seem inescapable. Shopping lists, checklists, reading lists. And [...]

By |2022-10-20T16:02:02+00:00October 20th, 2022|Current Events, Process Safety, Process Safety Management, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Top 10 OSHA Violations: The Process Industries

Hearing Protection: Will Earbuds or Headphones Work?

“Hearing loss is a terrible thing because it cannot be repaired.”  — Pete Townshend “Why not?” The young operator had just asked if they could wear earbuds instead of ear plugs when they were out in the process. “I mean, as long as I’ve got something stuck in my ears, it might as well be [...]

By |2022-10-13T14:12:06+00:00October 13th, 2022|Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Hearing Protection: Will Earbuds or Headphones Work?

HazWOpER: What is an Emergency?

“I don’t worry about a zombie apocalypse. Mainly because it’s unlikely, but also because I think I’d be pretty good in that type of emergency.”  — Sarah Millican A couple of days ago at a plant here in St. Louis, a 55-gallon drum of acetone failed and released its contents. In the scheme of catastrophic [...]

By |2022-10-06T13:51:23+00:00October 6th, 2022|Chemicals, Current Events, Process Safety|Comments Off on HazWOpER: What is an Emergency?

Time for Change: Revising the Elements of PSM

“The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.”  — Charles Kettering I just got notice from OSHA that I am registered as a participant in their upcoming stakeholder meeting about the changes to the PSM Standard that they are considering. I asked to speak and will get about three [...]

By |2022-09-29T15:25:09+00:00September 29th, 2022|Current Events, Process Safety, Process Safety Management|Comments Off on Time for Change: Revising the Elements of PSM
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