PSSRs: Commissioning on Steroids?

“Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not.”  — Michael Dell I’ve always believed that a poor plant design, brilliantly operated and maintained, is far safer than a brilliant plant design, poorly operated and maintained. A pre-startup safety review (PSSR) is OSHA’s way of starting a facility down the path toward brilliant operation and maintenance. [...]

Pool Fires

“Build a man a fire, and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life.”  — Terry Pratchett The most common fire in a process plant is a pool fire. A pool of flammable liquid, something that exists normally or, more likely, something [...]

By |2021-01-08T17:48:33+00:00January 8th, 2021|Chemicals, Process 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 [...]

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

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|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

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

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

Previous Incidents: Learning from Mistakes

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”  — Henry Ford I know a young woman whose relationships are in a constant state of turmoil. She keeps picking the wrong guys and each relationship ends in heartbreak. “Why do I keep making the same mistake over and over?” Why indeed? I [...]

Choosing Safety: Is That How We Roll?

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”  — Maya Angelou Many St. Louis drivers view stop signs as suggestions; they don’t see a full stop is either required or expected. And this isn’t just young hooligans in muscle cars. It includes little old ladies in [...]

By |2020-07-23T14:39:39+00:00July 23rd, 2020|Process Safety, Process Safety Management|0 Comments