Defeating Safety: 3 Reasons People Put Protective Devices Out of Commission and What to Do About Them

“When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.”  —Napoleon Hill Ever found a fire door propped open? It won’t do much good that way, but studies have found that the probability of finding a fire door propped [...]

By | 2018-08-16T13:53:40+00:00 August 16th, 2018|Procedures, Training, Workplace Safety|0 Comments

Breaking Glass: Facility Siting

“I love the sound of breaking glass.”  Nick Lowe When I was a kid, the song, “I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass,” was on the radio. I didn’t get it. I had memories of the sound of breaking glass, none of them good: The sound of an errant baseball going through the neighbor’s picture [...]

By | 2018-08-02T13:39:56+00:00 August 2nd, 2018|Process Safety, Risk Assessment, Workplace Safety|0 Comments

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 [...]

Safety Incidents: Blaming the Victim

“Our culture peculiarly honors the act of blaming, which it takes as the sign of virtue and intellect.” –Lionel Trilling Although the phrase, “blaming the victim,” has been around for almost 50 years, it has received renewed attention, especially regarding sexual assault and bullying. Widely condemned, victim blaming is the tendency to blame victims and [...]

By | 2018-06-21T15:03:06+00:00 June 21st, 2018|Process Safety, Workplace Safety|0 Comments

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