Simple Asphyxiation: The Tragedy in Gainesville

“It is these properties that make materials so useful that also pose hazards to health and property.”  — Peter Lodal Liquid nitrogen has some wonderful properties. It is really, really cold, so it is great for flash freezing delicate items. When vaporized, it helps maintain non-flammable mixtures, even when flammable vapors are present. Because it [...]

By |2021-02-07T00:13:50+00:00February 4th, 2021|Chemicals, Current Events, Workplace Safety|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

“Expanded” PSM Coverage: What Has Changed?

“I don’t believe in life after death. But I do believe in some grinding destiny that watches over us on earth. If I didn’t, the safety valve would fail and the boiler would explode.”  ‑ Hedy Lamarr, inventor and actor We’ve been blowing up boilers since the dawn of the industrial revolution. By now, you’d think [...]

Dear Austin: Is It Going to Get Better?

“The future depends on what you do today.”  — Mahatma Gandhi “How intensive is the view on safety in the engineering, manufacturing, and industrial world?” As this semester closes, one of my students asked me what I thought personally about safety. He graduates in a couple of weeks, and went on to ask, “What is [...]

By |2020-12-03T16:09:57+00:00December 3rd, 2020|Current Events, Workplace Safety|0 Comments

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|1 Comment

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|1 Comment

Millennial Engineers: Challenging Stereotypes and Realizing Value

“We are here to build the house.”  — Cheryl Strayed Millennials have garnered a bad reputation. So much so that the word “millennial”, itself, is often intended as an insult.  How one generation has become the target of so much criticism and negativity is a mystery.  Millennials are no different than every other generation – [...]

By |2020-09-03T14:50:45+00:00September 3rd, 2020|Chemicals, Current Events, Process 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

Insanity: Another Ammonium Nitrate Explosion

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” — First said by an anonymous member of Al-Anon in Knoxville, Tennessee I have a dream. In my dream, following a terrible chemical disaster that mimics other terrible chemical disasters, officials don’t wring their hands and talk about how their thoughts [...]

By |2020-08-13T19:40:57+00:00August 13th, 2020|Chemicals, Current Events|0 Comments
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