A Second Wind

“Time is the fire in which we burn.”- Delmore Schwartz A resin and rosin manufacturer in Brunswick, Georgia reignited in the afternoon on April 15th after catching fire that morning. Sources cite changing winds as a possible reason for reignition, a natural occurrence out of human control. Tornados, hurricanes, and earthquakes are consistently on the [...]

By |2023-04-20T16:34:14+00:00April 20th, 2023|Chemicals, Current Events, PHA, Process Safety, Recommendations, Risk Assessment|Comments Off on A Second Wind

Probability of Failure: Power Transformer Reliability

“At the end of this day, one shall stand, one shall fall.”  — Optimus Prime, Transformers: The Movie I have never been to a process plant that could continue running without electrical power. So, it is not uncommon to see a plant with two separate electrical feeds, each with their own transformers. On most days, [...]

By |2022-04-07T15:42:32+00:00April 7th, 2022|PHA, Process Safety, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Probability of Failure: Power Transformer Reliability

Tribal Knowledge: Documentation Is Key

“It is beyond a doubt that all our knowledge begins with experience.”- Immanuel Kant In the hustle and bustle of our modern world, we take shortcuts to save time with minimal risks. Look at how we consume entertainment.  The NFL Red Zone is popular since it gives fans a continual highlight reel of their favorite [...]

By |2021-01-21T14:40:15+00:00January 21st, 2021|Procedures, Process Safety, Process Safety Management, Training|Comments Off on Tribal Knowledge: Documentation Is Key

Lab Safety: A Three Phase System

“A pint of sweat will save a gallon of blood.”  George S. Patton, Jr. I intended to begin with “A good plan, well executed, is better than a perfect plan, poorly executed,” but when I checked, that’s not what General Patton said.  What he said was “A good plan, violently executed now, is better than [...]

By |2019-05-09T14:05:13+00:00May 9th, 2019|Chemicals, PHA, Procedures, Process Safety, Risk Assessment, Safety Lifecycle|Comments Off on Lab Safety: A Three Phase System

Lock the Gates Behind You

“If you want zero risk in the plant, send everyone home and lock the gate.”  — Industrial safety proverb I don’t remember when I first heard it, but I know I’ve said it. Risk is inherent to the chemical enterprise. We can reduce it, but we cannot eliminate it entirely. Zero risk is not an [...]

By |2018-12-20T13:45:58+00:00December 20th, 2018|Current Events, Process Safety, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Lock the Gates Behind You

Simplifying Safety Critical

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” Stephen R Covey An important part of managing process safety is deciding what equipment is critical to the process and its safety. Of course, it is important to carefully maintain all equipment, but not all equipment is safety critical. An [...]

Hope You Won’t Have to Use It: Fire Extinguisher Inspections

“The cleverest of all, in my opinion, is the man who calls himself a fool at least once a month.”  Fyodor Dostoevsky OSHA does not require fire extinguishers. Not in most work places. The fire extinguishers that are in most work places are there because of insurance requirements. To use a fire extinguisher requires going [...]

By |2017-09-21T13:40:34+00:00September 21st, 2017|Workplace Safety|1 Comment

Mechanical Integrity – Basics

“A man who lacks reliability is utterly useless” - Confucius Mechanical Integrity is an essential element of an efficient process and a safe, cost-effective facility. Furthermore, OSHA’s PSM Standard (29 CFR 1910.119[j]) requires it.  And yet, for decades Mechanical Integrity has been a leading cause of OSHA citations.  For all of the studies and journal [...]

By |2017-09-14T13:55:14+00:00September 14th, 2017|Process Safety Management|Comments Off on Mechanical Integrity – Basics

Red Shirts: Reducing Occupancy to Reduce Risk

“Red Shirt: In Star Trek, red-uniformed security officers and engineers who accompany the main characters on landing parties who often suffer quick deaths.[”  Wikipedia I didn’t see the NBC television series, Star Trek, until it went into syndication, when it became a staple of television viewing for everyone I knew while I was in college. [...]

Voltage Breaker Maintenance: How often is often enough?

“Electricity is really just organized lightning.”  George Carlin When I think of circuit breakers, I usually think of the circuit breakers in the panel in the basement at home.  They are relatively small (120 to 240 volts, 10 to 60 amps), and they’re for fairly simple circuits.  They supply power to my lights, outlets, refrigerator, [...]

By |2017-07-24T17:26:04+00:00November 22nd, 2016|Process Safety, Recommendations|Comments Off on Voltage Breaker Maintenance: How often is often enough?
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