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 [...]

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

Workplace Safety – The Road to Success

“If you put good people in bad systems, you get bad results. You have to water the flowers you want to grow.”  Stephen Covey When you think of workplace safety, what comes to mind?  We tend to associate safety with hardhats and safety glasses. However, workplace safety is influenced by factors beyond the proper use [...]

Man Down: Knowing When Someone is Hurt

“If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them.”  Isaac Asimov We recently facilitated a Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) where the question came up, “What if there was a release and an operator was suddenly overcome? How would we know?” The PHA team considered several possible safeguards: rounds, radio [...]

Who Gets In? Plant Access Control

“We did not choose to be the guardians of the gate, but there is no one else.” – Lyndon B. Johnson In LOPA, the role of people can be broken down into three categories: Victims, villains, and heroes.  Access control serves not only to reduce the number of victims but also restrict access for villains. [...]

Occupational Safety versus Process Safety – What’s the Difference?

“Safety is not an intellectual exercise to keep us in work.  It is a matter of life and death.  It is the sum of our contributions to safety management that determines whether the people we work with live or die.”  Sir Brian Appleton A little over a year ago, in A Beginner’s Guide to Process [...]

By | 2018-01-25T14:33:07+00:00 January 25th, 2018|Process Safety, Workplace Safety|0 Comments