Preventing Profit Over Safety: OSHA’s New Reliance on Penalties

“OSHA has issued new enforcement guidance to make its penalties more effective in stopping employers from repeatedly exposing workers to life-threatening hazards or failing to comply with certain workplace safety and health requirements.”  — Department of Labor press release, January 26, 2023 There are two common complaints about OSHA citations and fines after a fatal [...]

By |2023-02-02T15:41:50+00:00February 2nd, 2023|Current Events, Process Safety, Workplace Safety|0 Comments

Using CSB Incident Reporting to Spot Trends: Will We Do It?

“You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.”  — Daniel Keys Moran Last summer, we talked about the Chemical Safety Board’s compilation of incident data since their reporting rule became effective in March 2020. Companies experiencing catastrophic releases that result in one or more fatalities, one or more in-patient hospitalizations, [...]

By |2023-01-12T16:12:05+00:00January 12th, 2023|Chemicals, Current Events, Process Safety, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Using CSB Incident Reporting to Spot Trends: Will We Do It?

Process Safety: Tornadoes in December

“The potential changes to particular provisions of the current PSM standard that OSHA is considering include:  8. Clarifying paragraph (e) to require consideration of natural disasters and extreme temperatures in their PSM programs, in Response to E.O. 13990.”  — OSHA, 20-Sep-2022 call for Stakeholder comments I grew up in the Midwest. I’ve lived in Joplin, [...]

By |2022-12-16T00:06:38+00:00December 16th, 2022|Current Events, Procedures, Training, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Process Safety: Tornadoes in December

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?

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

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

Spreading OSHA’s Wings: Expanding the Scope of PSM

“It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new one.”  [...]

By |2022-09-22T15:56:11+00:00September 22nd, 2022|Current Events, Process Safety, Process Safety Management|Comments Off on Spreading OSHA’s Wings: Expanding the Scope of PSM

Just Water? Process Hazards of H2O

“It is with our passions as it is with fire and water; they are good servants but bad masters.”  — Aesop A common trope of Hazard Communication training is for the instructor to share an SDS of “dihydrogen oxide” with the class and to review all the dangers of this “hazardous chemical”. Then, in a [...]

By |2022-08-11T18:09:25+00:00August 11th, 2022|Current Events, Process Safety|Comments Off on Just Water? Process Hazards of H2O
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