Jargon: Keeping it Simple

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”  — often misattributed to Albert Einstein I don’t spend much time in court rooms. I’m not a lawyer. I tend toward law-abiding behavior, so I’ve not been a defendant. I refuse to be an expert witness. (Lawyers seem to want me to follow [...]

By |2024-02-01T12:56:46-06:00February 1st, 2024|Process Safety, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Jargon: Keeping it Simple

Crossing Streams: Safety During Simultaneous Operations

“Don’t cross the streams.” -Egon from Ghostbusters It doesn’t take much for two tasks to interfere with one another out in general industry. Work environments can be quite hectic as the end of a fiscal year approaches, where multiple goals and tasks are being wrapped up. Plant life is not much different, except some of [...]

By |2023-11-02T09:34:25-05:00November 2nd, 2023|Chemicals, Procedures, Process Safety, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Crossing Streams: Safety During Simultaneous Operations

Confined Spaces: What Are They?

“Space is something you have to define. Otherwise, it is like anxiety, which is too vague. A fear is something specific. I like claustrophobic spaces, because at least then you know your limits.”  — Louise Bourgeois A group recently met to discuss locking out a process vessel for entry. They identified the agitator, all of [...]

By |2023-09-28T14:07:25-05:00September 28th, 2023|Procedures, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Confined Spaces: What Are They?

Too Many Players on the Field: PHA Teams

“Meetings should have as few people as possible, but all the right people.”  — Charles W. Scharf Ever been in a Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) meeting where there were over a dozen people? Wasn’t it excruciating? Either you wondered why you needed to be there, or you wondered why some of the other people needed [...]

By |2023-08-24T15:09:17-05:00August 24th, 2023|PHA, Process Safety Management|Comments Off on Too Many Players on the Field: PHA Teams

Deadly Explosion…At a Chocolate Factory?

“The fact is the media never gets off the interstate unless there’s a major explosion.”  — Jim Harrison On Friday, March 24, 2023, shortly before 5 pm local time, an explosion leveled the R.M. Palmer Company chocolate factory in West Reading, Pennsylvania, killing seven workers. How does a chocolate factory explode? What are the explosive hazards, [...]

By |2023-08-14T15:45:53-05:00March 30th, 2023|Current Events, Gas, Process Safety|Comments Off on Deadly Explosion…At a Chocolate Factory?

Second Look: Keeping P&IDs Up to Date

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.“  -Martin Luther King, Jr. Many events and activities in life require planning, like saving up for a vacation or setting aside time to catch up with friends and colleagues. Industrial processes are no different. Blueprints, technical manuals, and procedures lay [...]

By |2023-03-16T15:45:47-05:00March 16th, 2023|PHA, Process Safety|Comments Off on Second Look: Keeping P&IDs Up to Date

PSM Documents: How Long Do I Have to Keep This Stuff?

“The entire health care system is now being organized around machines instead of human beings. Not prioritized to reduce human suffering, but rather to optimize a computerized recordkeeping system. This is a tragedy.”  — Carolyn Jourdan Imagine for a moment that you are a new PSM coordinator. The person who had the job before you [...]

By |2022-12-01T17:42:35-06:00December 1st, 2022|Process Safety, Process Safety Management|Comments Off on PSM Documents: How Long Do I Have to Keep This Stuff?

HazWOpER: What is an Emergency?

“I don’t worry about a zombie apocalypse. Mainly because it’s unlikely, but also because I think I’d be pretty good in that type of emergency.”  — Sarah Millican A couple of days ago at a plant here in St. Louis, a 55-gallon drum of acetone failed and released its contents. In the scheme of catastrophic [...]

By |2022-10-06T13:51:23-05:00October 6th, 2022|Chemicals, Current Events, Process Safety|Comments Off on HazWOpER: What is an Emergency?

Just Two Breaths

“I love to breath. Oxygen is sexy.”  — Kris Carr How long can you hold your breath? One minute? Two minutes? Pearl divers have been known to hold their breaths for over 10 minutes. When we’re breathing, though, it’s at a rate of between 8 and 20 breaths per minutes. So, many find it difficult [...]

By |2022-09-15T18:04:43-05:00September 15th, 2022|Gas, Process Safety, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Just Two Breaths

I Can’t Breathe: Asphyxia in the Process Industries

“Suffocation is a cruel way to go.”  — Arlaina Tibensky I usually think of process safety hazards as being related to fire, explosions, or toxic releases. There is another process hazard, however, doesn’t necessarily depend on any of these. It’s asphyxiation—death due to an inability to get enough oxygen to the body. Asphyxiation is not [...]

By |2022-08-18T20:01:29-05:00August 18th, 2022|Chemicals, Gas, Process Safety, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on I Can’t Breathe: Asphyxia in the Process Industries
Go to Top