Work-Related Fatalities in the Year of Covid

“Maybe this virus has a silver lining.”  — Katherine Plumhoff The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its workplace safety statistics for the previous year each December. The injury, illness, and fatality statistics for 2020 – The Year of Covid – just came out. The total number of work-related fatalities in 2020 fell to 4,764, over [...]

By |2021-12-30T17:52:35+00:00December 30th, 2021|Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Work-Related Fatalities in the Year of Covid

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”

Speed Of Thought

The degree of slowness is directionally proportional to the intensity of memory. The degree of speed is directionally proportional to the intensity of forgetting.” ― Milan Kundera, Slowness Every industry uses speed as a measurement to quantify productivity.  That productivity, whether gallons or railcar loads, is a tangible result that translates into revenue for a company.  Speed [...]

By |2021-10-07T14:55:38+00:00October 7th, 2021|PHA, Process Safety, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Speed Of Thought

Safety Training: Why Do We Hate It?

“I wish we had more safety training.”  — No one. Ever. Have you ever had a coworker respond, “You are so lucky,” when you told them that you had some mandatory safety training coming up? No? When it comes to safety training, isn’t the word “mandatory” redundant? Have you ever attended or even been offered [...]

By |2021-09-17T12:55:04+00:00September 16th, 2021|Training, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Safety Training: Why Do We Hate It?

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

Process Safety and Mental Health

“Because most suicides do not happen at work, many employers do not consider depression or suicide an industry problem or occupational hazard.”  — Stu Kemppairnen When we were younger, my wife really enjoyed napping in the afternoon. I didn’t get it. There was so much to do, how could anyone take prime “getting things done” [...]

By |2021-08-12T17:12:24+00:00August 12th, 2021|Process Safety, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Process Safety and Mental Health

Out of Harm’s Way: Using Drones to Fight Chemical Plant Fires

“Running toward danger is foolhardy. But so is closing your eyes to it. Many perils become less dangerous once you understand their potential hazards.”  — Brandon Mull On Thursday, April 29, at about 2:30 pm, neighbors reported several explosions at the Manor Chemical Company in Affton, Missouri, a suburb on the southwest side of St. [...]

By |2021-05-06T14:59:54+00:00May 6th, 2021|Chemicals, Current Events, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Out of Harm’s Way: Using Drones to Fight Chemical Plant Fires

Toeing the Line on Equipment Spacing

“Perfection of planned layout is only achieved by institutions on the point of collapse.” -C. Northcote Parkinson   Must be an Easy Way Out Every time you enter a concert venue or a movie theater, there is instruction on finding the exits so you know where to go in case of emergency.  The same can [...]

By |2021-04-01T16:05:43+00:00April 1st, 2021|Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Toeing the Line on Equipment Spacing

Operator Errors: Are They Really Design Errors?

“To err is human, to forgive, divine.”  — Alexander Pope I was in a PHA once where the lone operator on the PHA team finally grew weary of the discussion of operator error.  “Why is it that when you engineers make a mistake, you call it design error, but when I make a mistake, you [...]

Politicizing Workplace Safety

“Politicized public health policy strays too far from sober assessment of scientific facts and runs the risk of constituting naked political advocacy.”  — Daniel Goldberg In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and what many would argue has been an abysmal response to that catastrophe, there has been much said about the politicization of public [...]

By |2021-01-28T22:50:45+00:00January 28th, 2021|Current Events, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Politicizing Workplace Safety
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