Human Factors: The Power of Words

“Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately after they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish.”  —Hermann Hesse I was just treated to a full-body pat-down by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA). For frequent flyers, tales of woe regarding the TSA are like, um, opinions. Everybody has [...]

The Changing of the Guard: What Millennial Engineers Need from Their Predecessors

“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.”  Margaret Fuller I’ve always been fascinated with the Queen’s Guard.  My childhood cartoons were full of stoic soldiers in comically large hats and bright red coats.  As an adult, my appreciation is less about their wardrobe and more about their precision, professionalism and sense [...]

By | 2018-05-24T13:07:41+00:00 May 24th, 2018|Current Events, Training|0 Comments

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

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

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

The Ford Pinto

“The Ford Pinto—the barbecue that seats four.” –Johnny Carson This month, February 2018, will be the 40th anniversary of the California jury verdict in the Grimshaw v. Ford Motor Co. case. The jury awarded Richard Grimshaw $2,516,000 in compensatory damages and $125,000,000 in punitive damages, although the trial judge reduced the punitive damages to $3,500,000. [...]

By | 2018-02-08T14:38:29+00:00 February 8th, 2018|Current Events, Risk Assessment|0 Comments

New Year, New Safety Goals

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” Oprah Winfrey With 2017 coming to an end and 2018 just beginning, we’re provided with an opportunity to reflect on our accomplishments (and failures) of the past year while also looking ahead towards what we want to accomplish in the year [...]

By | 2018-01-18T14:37:18+00:00 January 18th, 2018|Current Events, Workplace Safety|0 Comments

Workplace Fatalities 2016

Each December, the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes the final statistics workplace fatalities for the previous year.  The 2016 statistics and chart package came out last month; we took a moment to look them over and there were few surprises: The overall fatality rate in 2016 was about the same as it was for the [...]

By | 2018-01-19T13:59:54+00:00 January 16th, 2018|Current Events, Workplace Safety|0 Comments

Settling for More: Will a Grain Explosion Lead to Greater Safety?

“Issuance of this Citation does not constitute a finding that a violation of the Act has occurred.”  —from OSHA Citation and Notification of Penalty On October 29, 2011, a grain elevator explosion in Atchison, Kansas killed six men—four employees and two grain inspectors. OSHA cited the Bartlett Grain Company’s facility and proposed a fine of [...]

By | 2018-01-19T13:56:54+00:00 January 11th, 2018|Combustible Dust, Current Events|0 Comments

Silent Night: Candle Safety This Christmas

“Christmas is a season for kindling the fire for hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.”  Washington Irving Christmas is also the season for crackling fires in the fire place and carols sung by candlelight.  Unfortunately, Christmas is the season for the rare but devastating church fire, when a church [...]

By | 2017-12-14T15:09:48+00:00 December 14th, 2017|Current Events|0 Comments