Why People Are Unsafe: What Can You Do About It?

“Intervention only works when the people concerned seem to be keen for peace.”  — Nelson Mandela Why are people unsafe? Why do they engage in unsafe behaviors, especially in an industry as hazardous as the chemical industry? Most of us are confident we know why. When asked, most people – over 80% – attribute the [...]

By |2020-11-12T14:45:40+00:00November 12th, 2020|Workplace Safety|1 Comment

Training: How Refreshing

“It is so refreshing to have somebody approach education rationally.”  — Adam Cooper There probably isn’t anything as refreshing as a shower. Especially after hot, dirty work. Not even refreshments are as refreshing. Yet, the English language is so twisted that we call the repetition of training that we’ve already had “refresher training,” something that [...]

By |2020-10-29T14:39:45+00:00October 29th, 2020|Procedures, Training, Workplace Safety|0 Comments

We Gotta Get Out of This Place: Control Room Egress

“We gotta get out of this place, if it’s the last thing we ever do.”  — Cynthia Weil/Barry Mann How many exits do we need from our control room? And what direction do the doors need to swing? Seem like easy questions. But as any good consultant will tell you: “It depends.” The Standards for [...]

By |2020-09-10T17:33:44+00:00September 10th, 2020|Workplace Safety|0 Comments

Black Sky: A Bad Week for Polyethylene

“It’s everything you do and nothing that you did.”  — Steve Cash Poly-America is having a bad week. Last Wednesday, August 19, at around 1 am, a massive fire started at the Poly-America plant in Grand Prairie, Texas, outside of Dallas.  Local news reports on that Wednesday stated that the black plume from the fire [...]

By |2020-08-27T18:13:19+00:00August 27th, 2020|Current Events, Workplace Safety|0 Comments

Workplace Safety: As Good As It Gets?

“What if this is as good as it gets?”  — Jack Nicholson as Melvin Udall in As Good As It Gets, directed by James L. Brooks The year 2009 was first time I ever studied a graph of work-related fatality rates in the U.S. The data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was available for [...]

By |2020-07-09T16:27:25+00:00July 9th, 2020|Current Events, Workplace Safety|2 Comments

Breaking the Law: Conservation of Recklessness

“Be afraid. Be very afraid.”  — Geena Davis as Veronica Quaife in The Fly, directed by David Cronenburg Try as we might, we safety professionals cannot make people want to be safe. The challenge then, is to make them safer than they want to be. The Law of Conservation of Recklessness There is not officially [...]

Why We Wear Masks

“The amount of misinformation on the Internet – especially on Facebook and especially during times of crisis – is staggering.”  — Benjamin Franklin We’ve returned to work here, although anyone who wishes to continue to work from home may. People stay separated, maintaining social distancing. The chairs in the break room are up on the [...]

By |2020-06-18T21:05:43+00:00June 18th, 2020|Current Events, Workplace Safety|1 Comment

PPE: It’s Not Personal

“The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.”  — John B. Finch I have mixed feelings about motorcycle helmets and mandatory helmet laws. As a safety professional, I know that they reduce the likelihood of head injuries and want to see motorcyclists wearing them. As a student of psychology and [...]

By |2020-06-11T18:58:31+00:00June 11th, 2020|Current Events, Procedures, Workplace Safety|1 Comment

Silence is Not Golden: Intervening and Reporting Unsafe Behavior

“The power of one man or one woman doing the right thing for the right reason, at the right time, is the greatest influence in our society.”  — Jack Kemp What would you do if you witnessed an unsafe or prohibited act? Would you intervene or report it to someone who could intervene? Ethical obligations [...]

By |2020-06-04T14:04:00+00:00June 4th, 2020|Workplace Safety|0 Comments

The Safety Swamp: COVID-19 and Other Alligators

“When one is up to his ass in alligators, it is easy to forget that his original objective was to drain the swamp.”  — William Moore Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, just about every person in the world now knows that PPE stands for personal protective equipment. But instead of thinking about hardhats and steel-toed [...]

By |2020-04-09T15:45:21+00:00April 9th, 2020|Current Events, Procedures, Workplace Safety|1 Comment
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