Audits and Inspections: What’s the Difference?

“There are no secrets to success.  It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”  Colin Powell Before I began working in process safety, I worked in banking.  As with the process industry, we had rules and regulations, and repercussions if we failed to comply with them.  As a manager, it was [...]

By | 2018-07-26T12:45:07+00:00 July 26th, 2018|Process Safety|0 Comments

How Rare is Rare?

“The unlikely combination of potatoes and pasta does appear in some Italian recipes.”  Yotam Ottolenghi People sometimes have a hard time appreciating the difference between risk and consequences. To help, we ask them to imagine the worst thing possible that could actually happen at their plant, but not to say what it is. Then we [...]

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 [...]

10 Years

“An organization, no matter how well designed, is only as good as the people who live and work in it.”  -Dee Hock May 22 marks our tenth anniversary. We began with one purpose: to make the world a safer place. Started in 2008 at the request of its first customer, Bluefield Process Safety has grown [...]

By | 2018-05-17T13:23:11+00:00 May 17th, 2018|Current Events|0 Comments

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.  [...]

Simplifying Safety Critical

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” Stephen R Covey An important part of managing process safety is deciding what equipment is critical to the process and its safety. Of course, it is important to carefully maintain all equipment, but not all equipment is safety critical. An [...]

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

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 [...]

Enabling: When a helping hand is no help at all

“Stopping enabling isn’t easy. Nor is it for the faint of heart. Aside from likely pushback and possible retaliation, you may also fear the consequences of doing nothing.”  – Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT, expert on codependency I hate to see an operating company fined for safety violations.  First, it means that they were out of [...]

By | 2017-07-24T16:35:22+00:00 March 23rd, 2017|Process Safety Management, Recommendations|0 Comments