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

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

So I Know You Understand: Training Verification

“I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”  —Alan Greenspan I once heard a young operator complain, “All we do around here is safety training. Nobody understands half of it and the other half is just common [...]

This Is Not a Drill

“Air raid, Pearl Harbor. This is not a drill.”  —Lt. Cmdr. Logan Ramsey, 7-Dec-1941 'Beauty' Ramsey sent one of the most famous telegrams of history after watching a Japanese dive bomber’s payload detonate in Pearl Harbor. Other telegrams went out that morning, from the Navy Yard and Kaneohe, but they were largely ignored until smoke [...]

Mincing Words

“If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.”  George Orwell, 1984 We’ve all done it.  We’re talking about something terrible and rather than calling it what it is, we choose words that are softer, less harsh.  Or we call it something that completely hides our meaning. Instead of talking [...]

By | 2017-11-16T14:26:29+00:00 November 16th, 2017|Process Safety, Risk Assessment, Workplace Safety|0 Comments

“It’s Always Been That Way”: Normalization of Deviation

“It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones.” [...]

A Safety Lifestyle

“We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”  Will Durant In 2006, The Association for Psychological Science published a journal article titled Habits – A Repeat Performance.  The article declared that habits make up approximately 45% of our everyday behaviors.  They are learned and developed through repetition and [...]

By | 2017-10-19T13:45:31+00:00 October 19th, 2017|Workplace Safety|1 Comment

Safety Lifecycle – Part 3: Developing Risk Tolerance Criteria

“If we accept there is no such thing as ‘zero risk’ then we should not spin the meaning of words with assertions such as ‘all accidents are preventable.’ – Dr. Rob Long In terms of process safety, one definition of risk is, “[The] combination of the frequency of occurrence of harm [the likelihood] and severity [...]