Just Two Breaths

“I love to breath. Oxygen is sexy.”  — Kris Carr How long can you hold your breath? One minute? Two minutes? Pearl divers have been known to hold their breaths for over 10 minutes. When we’re breathing, though, it’s at a rate of between 8 and 20 breaths per minutes. So, many find it difficult [...]

By |2022-09-15T18:04:43+00:00September 15th, 2022|Gas, Process Safety, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Just Two Breaths

I Can’t Breathe: Asphyxia in the Process Industries

“Suffocation is a cruel way to go.”  — Arlaina Tibensky I usually think of process safety hazards as being related to fire, explosions, or toxic releases. There is another process hazard, however, doesn’t necessarily depend on any of these. It’s asphyxiation—death due to an inability to get enough oxygen to the body. Asphyxiation is not [...]

By |2022-08-18T20:01:29+00:00August 18th, 2022|Chemicals, Gas, Process Safety, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on I Can’t Breathe: Asphyxia in the Process Industries

Tis the Season for Static

“Take off your sweater in the darkness and static flares as a tiny lightning storm.”  — John Geddes The dry air of winter makes it much more likely that we will be shocked by static sparks. So instead of visions of sugar-plums dancing in their heads, the thoughts of many of our clients turns to [...]

By |2021-12-29T19:59:44+00:00December 23rd, 2021|Combustible Dust, Gas, Process Safety, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Tis the Season for Static

Slightly Flammable? Low GWP Refrigerants and PSM

“You can’t get a little bit pregnant, son.”  — Hal Holbrook as Lou Mannheim in Wall Street, (1987) A whole new group of processes are about to become PSM-covered. Maybe. Some HVAC contractors have begun warning their customers that the new low-GWP refrigerants that they must switch to are “slightly flammable”, so may come under [...]

By |2021-05-13T14:04:07+00:00May 13th, 2021|Current Events, Gas, Process Safety, Process Safety Management|Comments Off on Slightly Flammable? Low GWP Refrigerants and PSM

Squeezing the Balloon

“Squeezing a balloon in one place makes it expand in another.”  — Bernd Debusmann Finally. 2020, the worst year in living memory for most of us, is over. 2021 promises to be much, much better. Let’s make it a year when workplace safety gets better as well. To do that, though, we can’t just keep [...]

By |2020-12-31T19:01:28+00:00December 31st, 2020|Gas, Training, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Squeezing the Balloon

H21: Is Hydrogen a Safe Fuel?

“The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.” - Harlan Ellison I first learned about H21, the project to convert the fuel gas distribution system in the North of England from natural gas to hydrogen, at a safety conference where I gave a talk on containing hydrogen deflagrations within pressure vessels. [...]

By |2019-08-08T14:23:25+00:00August 8th, 2019|Chemicals, Gas|Comments Off on H21: Is Hydrogen a Safe Fuel?

External Plant Fires: What’s the Likelihood?

“A spark neglected makes a mighty fire.”  Robert Herrick During a process hazard analysis (PHA) and a layer of protection analysis (LOPA), the scenario of an external plant fire frequently arises. From our experience facilitating PHAs and LOPAs, we’ve found that a common cause for this is a pooling of flammable liquid or oil getting [...]

By |2018-01-30T20:13:52+00:00September 7th, 2017|Chemicals, Gas, PHA, Process Safety, Risk Assessment|1 Comment
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