About Mike Schmidt

With a career in the CPI that began in 1977 with Union Carbide, Mike was profoundly impacted by the 1984 tragedy in Bhopal and has been working on process safety ever since.

If It Weren’t For Bad Luck, We’d Have No Luck at All

Only bad golfers are lucky. They’re the ones bouncing balls off trees, curbs, turtles and cars. Good golfers have bad luck. When you hit the ball straight, a funny bounce is bound to be unlucky.”  –Lee Trevino At the recent Global Congress on Process Safety, a slogan showed up several times. In presentations, on displays, [...]

By | 2018-06-15T01:34:16+00:00 June 14th, 2018|Process Safety|0 Comments

How Rare is Rare?

“The unlikely combination of potatoes and pasta does appear in some Italian recipes.”  Yotam Ottolenghi People sometimes have a hard time appreciating the difference between risk and consequences. To help, we ask them to imagine the worst thing possible that could actually happen at their plant, but not to say what it is. Then we [...]

Top 12 Issues for Facility Siting Studies: What Does OSHA Expect?

“I just let emotion dictate what the arrangement is.”  Jeff Buckley, singer-songwriter Emotion is a great way to approach the arrangement of music. As an approach to the arrangement of hazards in a facility that processes highly hazardous chemicals, however, it leaves a lot to be desired. So, OSHA’s Process Safety Management standard demands that [...]

10 Years

“An organization, no matter how well designed, is only as good as the people who live and work in it.”  -Dee Hock May 22 marks our tenth anniversary. We began with one purpose: to make the world a safer place. Started in 2008 at the request of its first customer, Bluefield Process Safety has grown [...]

By | 2018-05-17T13:23:11+00:00 May 17th, 2018|Current Events|0 Comments

Just to be Safe: Can You be Too Conservative?

“I’m a conservative, but I’m not a nut about it.”  George H.W.Bush We’ve all heard it.  “You need to be conservative, just to be on the safe side.”  It’s an article of faith in the safety community.  Like all articles of faith and other religious beliefs, any deviation is heresy with the potential for excommunication.  [...]

In the Line of Duty: Workers’ Memorial Day

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."  —John F. Kennedy In 2016, the most recent year for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics has released data, 5190 Americans died in the line of duty.  They were loggers and librarians, [...]

By | 2018-05-29T13:59:21+00:00 April 26th, 2018|Current Events, Workplace Safety|0 Comments

What Does an OSHA Fine Mean?

“There is no worse place … to be than on Page 1, above the fold in your daily newspaper.”  Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency When high profile disasters happen, incidents with a lot of media coverage, I’ve noticed that news organizations make a point of reporting how many OSHA citations [...]

Changing Safety Culture

“How many psychologists does it take to change a lightbulb? Just one, but the lightbulb really has to want to change.”  Anonymous A former student, now working in industry, recently called me. He said he had a safety question. “How do you change safety culture? I can’t find that in my notes from your class.” [...]

By | 2018-03-29T13:36:06+00:00 March 29th, 2018|Process Safety, Workplace Safety|0 Comments

Slow Down: The FIU Bridge Collapse

“Have you ever noticed when something bad happens, people automatically look for someone to blame?”  Amy Roberts I’m not a structural engineer, which means that I’m not qualified to comment on what went wrong when the pedestrian bridge at Florida International University collapsed on Thursday, March 15, 2018. I didn’t work on the design or [...]

By | 2018-03-20T15:42:52+00:00 March 19th, 2018|Current Events, Workplace Safety|0 Comments

Spark Detection

“A mighty flame follows a little spark.”  Dante Alighieri Sparks can cause fires. Good news if you want fire. Bad news if fires, or worse, explosions, are something you want to avoid. So, it should come as no surprise that the National Fire Protection Association takes a dim view of sparks. The Dust Hazard Analysis [...]