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

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

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

Unavailability During Proof Tests: What Do You Do?

“…there’s a cat in a box somewhere who’s alive and dead at the same time (although if they don’t ever open the box to feed it, it’ll eventually just be two different kinds of dead)…”  — Neil Gaiman, in American Gods Erwin Schrödinger never intended his thought experiment about a cat in box to launch [...]

By |2022-06-30T15:48:00+00:00June 30th, 2022|Process Safety, Process Safety Management|Comments Off on Unavailability During Proof Tests: What Do You Do?

Consider: A Weasel Word?

“For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise.” — Benjamin Franklin The first time you ever encountered a weasel word was probably when your mom said, “Maybe,” or [...]

By |2022-06-02T13:30:01+00:00June 2nd, 2022|Chemicals, PHA, Process Safety Management, Recommendations|Comments Off on Consider: A Weasel Word?

Are Boilers PSM-Covered? Maybe, Maybe Not

“It’s very hard for all of us, when we’ve committed ourselves to a particular interpretation, to change our minds.”  — Donald Johanson We were recently asked if a steam boiler was a PSM-covered process. The answer seemed obvious. No, steam boilers, themselves, are not covered under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Process Safety Management [...]

By |2022-05-19T15:16:51+00:00May 19th, 2022|Process Safety, Process Safety Management|Comments Off on Are Boilers PSM-Covered? Maybe, Maybe Not

Going to a Safe State: De-energize to Trip

“You may hate gravity, but gravity doesn’t care.”  — Clayton Christensen In May 1946, a scientist at Los Alamos was demonstrating the criticality of plutonium. The demonstration consisted of lowering the upper hemisphere of a spherical shell around a mass of plutonium. As he lowered it, however, it slipped and completed the spherical shell, causing [...]

By |2022-05-05T16:21:24+00:00May 5th, 2022|Process Safety, Process Safety Management|Comments Off on Going to a Safe State: De-energize to Trip

Process Design and Hazard Review: They Are Not the Same

“A camel is a horse designed by a committee.”  — Alec Issigonis Good process design results in a process that is more likely to work. Great process design results in a process that is even less likely to not work. Great process design is not the result of compromise and trade-offs, but of a singular [...]

By |2022-04-14T13:39:40+00:00April 14th, 2022|PHA, Process Safety, Process Safety Management|Comments Off on Process Design and Hazard Review: They Are Not the Same

Power Failures: Back-Up Generator Reliability

“With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound, he pulls the spitting high tension wires down.”  — Buck Dharma, Blue Öyster Cult The preferred design of a safety function is one that deenergizes to trip. That is, a function that goes to the safe state when all sources of energy have been removed. The probability [...]

By |2022-03-31T16:56:04+00:00March 31st, 2022|PHA, Process Safety, Process Safety Management, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Power Failures: Back-Up Generator Reliability
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