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.

Covid Fatigue? Give it a Rest

“As the pandemic drags on, following COVID-19 prevention guidelines can feel like more and more of a challenge.”  — Jay Maddock, Professor of Public Health Tired of the pandemic? Tired of social distancing, of wearing a mask, of avoiding crowds? Who’s not? Get over it. The Covid-19 pandemic has come roaring back in the United [...]

By |2020-11-20T15:59:14+00:00November 20th, 2020|Current Events, Process Safety|0 Comments

Why People Are Unsafe: What Can You Do About It?

“Intervention only works when the people concerned seem to be keen for peace.”  — Nelson Mandela Why are people unsafe? Why do they engage in unsafe behaviors, especially in an industry as hazardous as the chemical industry? Most of us are confident we know why. When asked, most people – over 80% – attribute the [...]

By |2020-11-12T14:45:40+00:00November 12th, 2020|Workplace Safety|1 Comment

How Likely? Your Guess is As Good As…

“For what it's worth, a good streak doesn't jinx you, and a bad one, unfortunately, does not mean better luck is in store.”  — Leonard Mlodinow When someone tells you that they took a calculated risk, they almost certainly are not speaking the truth, to you or to themselves. That’s because there were almost certainly [...]

By |2020-11-05T14:30:31+00:00November 5th, 2020|Process Safety, Risk Assessment|0 Comments

Training: How Refreshing

“It is so refreshing to have somebody approach education rationally.”  — Adam Cooper There probably isn’t anything as refreshing as a shower. Especially after hot, dirty work. Not even refreshments are as refreshing. Yet, the English language is so twisted that we call the repetition of training that we’ve already had “refresher training,” something that [...]

By |2020-10-29T14:39:45+00:00October 29th, 2020|Procedures, Training, Workplace Safety|0 Comments

Frozen Pipes? Cold is Not the Cause

“It’s not the fall that kills you; it’s the sudden stop at the end.”  — Douglas Adams It is October and cold weather is bearing down on us.  Some places have already experienced freezing temperatures, and for most of the rest of the northern hemisphere, it is coming soon. Which means that it is time [...]

By |2020-10-01T18:20:23+00:00October 1st, 2020|Current Events, PHA, Procedures, Process Safety|0 Comments

Your Plant on Nextdoor

“Where our memories fade, the Internet never forgets. At the drop of a hat, friends, family members, acquaintances, and even strangers can call up these records, and worse, they can use them against us.”  — May Crockett Nextdoor, the “hyperlocal social networking service for neighborhoods” has been abuzz in my neighborhood for the past few [...]

By |2020-09-24T14:45:12+00:00September 24th, 2020|Process Safety|0 Comments

PHAs and LOPAs: What Would You Recommend?

“I don’t have a particular recommendation other than that we base decisions on as much hard data as possible.”  — Dorothy E. Denning The best waiters are the ones who are willing to make recommendations when you ask.  Anything but, “Well, everything is good.” Because, admit it, everything is not. And then, when you try [...]

By |2020-09-17T13:49:36+00:00September 17th, 2020|PHA, Process Safety Management, Recommendations|0 Comments

We Gotta Get Out of This Place: Control Room Egress

“We gotta get out of this place, if it’s the last thing we ever do.”  — Cynthia Weil/Barry Mann How many exits do we need from our control room? And what direction do the doors need to swing? Seem like easy questions. But as any good consultant will tell you: “It depends.” The Standards for [...]

By |2020-09-10T17:33:44+00:00September 10th, 2020|Workplace Safety|0 Comments

Black Sky: A Bad Week for Polyethylene

“It’s everything you do and nothing that you did.”  — Steve Cash Poly-America is having a bad week. Last Wednesday, August 19, at around 1 am, a massive fire started at the Poly-America plant in Grand Prairie, Texas, outside of Dallas.  Local news reports on that Wednesday stated that the black plume from the fire [...]

By |2020-08-27T18:13:19+00:00August 27th, 2020|Current Events, Workplace Safety|0 Comments

Fahrenheit 451: Autoignition Temperatures

“‘Stuff your eyes with wonder,’ he said, ‘live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic that any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal.”  — Ray Bradbury Ray Bradbury was born a century ago, on [...]

By |2020-08-20T17:15:46+00:00August 20th, 2020|Chemicals, Current Events|0 Comments