It’s Magic: Documentation and Certification in PSM

“You don’t need to say any special incantation or sacrifice a stray cat or something first.”  — Kevin Hearne A common complaint about complying with OSHA’s Process Safety Management standard, 29 CFR 1910.119, is about the tremendous effort that goes into preparing all the required documentation and keeping it up to date. It is ironic, [...]

By |2022-01-13T15:03:14+00:00January 13th, 2022|Process Safety, Process Safety Management|Comments Off on It’s Magic: Documentation and Certification in PSM

Process Safety: Addressing Risk or Dread?

“The risks that scare people and the risks that kill people are very different.”  — Peter Sandman I often wonder if work in process safety is a misallocation of resources. The leading cause of work-related fatalities is transportation, at about 40%. The next three (of seven causes identified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics), all [...]

By |2022-01-06T19:10:09+00:00January 6th, 2022|Chemicals, PHA, Process Safety, Process Safety Management, Risk Assessment|Comments Off on Process Safety: Addressing Risk or Dread?

Written in Blood: Safety Lessons from Disasters

“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”  — Lyndon B. Johnson Many of the lessons we learn in life are learned when we are children.  The one I remember most vividly is learning to ride a bike.  I was a stubborn child.  I refused to wear any safety [...]

By |2021-12-16T15:28:56+00:00December 16th, 2021|Process Safety, Process Safety Management, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Written in Blood: Safety Lessons from Disasters

Risk Reduction: Any Credit for Mechanical Integrity?

“People give us credit only for what we ourselves believe.”  — Karl Gutzkow Several years ago, in a paper and presentation to the Global Congress on Process Safety (GCPS), PSM experts from OSHA observed that while it is common to see a mechanical integrity (MI) program listed as a safeguard in a PHA, this is [...]

By |2021-12-09T16:27:42+00:00December 9th, 2021|PHA, Process Safety Management, Risk Assessment, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Risk Reduction: Any Credit for Mechanical Integrity?

Piling On: One More Safeguard?

“Some safety professionals, in the name of ‘zero-injuries’, will heap regulation after regulation on a job until the organization rebels and simply refuses to comply.”  — Phil La Duke There was a time when getting ready for winter meant making sure you had enough firewood to heat your cabin until spring. If you didn’t, your [...]

By |2021-12-02T15:08:52+00:00December 2nd, 2021|PHA, Process Safety, Process Safety Management|Comments Off on Piling On: One More Safeguard?

E-Stops: The “Get Fired Button”

“Panic is a natural response to danger, but it’s one that severely compounds the risk.”  — David Ignatius At 2:30 am, on Saturday, October 2, 2021, a split in the San Pedro Bay Pipeline began discharging oil into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California. Low pressure alarms in the control room indicated that there [...]

By |2021-11-18T14:52:54+00:00November 18th, 2021|Procedures, Process Safety, Process Safety Management, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on E-Stops: The “Get Fired Button”

Batch Processes: Consider a Procedural HazOp

“We know we need civilization and laws and procedures, but isn’t it frustrating? Wouldn’t it be great if we could just do what we needed to do?”  — Lee Child When someone thinks about a Process Hazard Analysis, a PHA, they usually think about a Hazard and Operability Review, a HazOp. And when they think [...]

By |2021-09-30T17:01:53+00:00September 30th, 2021|Chemicals, PHA, Procedures, Process Safety, Process Safety Management|Comments Off on Batch Processes: Consider a Procedural HazOp

Process Safety and Ethics

“Our very lives depend on the ethics of strangers, and most of us are always strangers to other people.”  — Bill Moyers One definition of ethics is “the moral principles that govern a person’s behavior.” Which means that engineering ethics would be “the moral principles that govern a person’s behavior while performing engineering.” Most of [...]

By |2021-09-02T14:55:12+00:00September 2nd, 2021|Process Safety, Process Safety Management|Comments Off on Process Safety and Ethics

Steam or Hot Oil: Which Is Safer?

“I have always fancied that the end of the world will be when some enormous boiler, heated to three thousand millions of atmospheric pressure, shall explode and blow up the globe… They [the Americans] are great boiler makers.”  — Jules Verne I was recently asked about using hot oil instead of steam to heat process [...]

By |2021-07-22T15:20:05+00:00July 22nd, 2021|Chemicals, Process Safety, Process Safety Management|Comments Off on Steam or Hot Oil: Which Is Safer?

Also?

“I’m not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I’m not dumb…and I also know that I’m not blonde.”  — Dolly Parton See someone in glasses? They’re smart, right? See someone, especially a woman, with blonde hair? They’re dumb, right? Blonde and wears glasses? Now there’s a conundrum. These are ridiculous assumptions, [...]

By |2021-07-15T13:40:46+00:00July 15th, 2021|Process Safety Management, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Also?
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