Putting Safety First on the 4th

“As far as fireworks, it's very dangerous. You shouldn't play with them.” – Jason Pierre-Paul An American Tradition In the United States, the 4th of July holds a special place among our many holidays. The mere mention of the date evokes images of American flags, backyard cookouts, blistering heat, and overwhelming patriotism. Above all, however, [...]

By | 2019-06-27T14:10:32+00:00 June 27th, 2019|Current Events, Training|0 Comments

As Safe as You Want to Be

“If the government wanted people to drive safely, they’d mandate a spike in the middle of each steering wheel.”  — Gordon Tullock We call economics “the dismal science.” Economist Gordon Tullock certainly reinforced that idea when he applied the economic phenomena of risk compensation to driving safety and suggested that we would all drive more [...]

By | 2019-06-06T15:27:00+00:00 June 6th, 2019|Workplace Safety|0 Comments

Taking Safety Home

“Safety is a common denominator across all aspects of life...”  Doug Bourne After working in a manufacturing environment for 2 years, I have developed a great appreciation for a good safety culture. Adhering to solid safety practices and policies, while irritating at times, kept us all going home at the end of the day in [...]

By | 2019-05-30T11:35:19+00:00 May 30th, 2019|Workplace Safety|0 Comments

Lab Safety: A Three Phase System

“A pint of sweat will save a gallon of blood.”  George S. Patton, Jr. I intended to begin with “A good plan, well executed, is better than a perfect plan, poorly executed,” but when I checked, that’s not what General Patton said.  What he said was “A good plan, violently executed now, is better than [...]

“It Won’t Happen to Me”: Why We Do Things We Know Are Unsafe

“Bad decisions made with good intentions, are still bad decisions.”  — James C. Collins When she was just 21 years old, Candace Carnahan lost her leg in a workplace incident.  One day, during her third summer working at a paper mill, Candace took a shortcut that she’d seen everyone else take hundreds of times before.  [...]

By | 2019-05-02T12:32:11+00:00 May 2nd, 2019|Training, Workplace Safety|0 Comments

Double Jeopardy: Impossible?

“Everything is impossible until it is done.”  — Robert H. Goddard In 1921, annoyed with ignorant criticism, Robert Goddard published a piece in Scientific American in defense of the potential for travel to the moon. It’s always easier to say something is impossible than to address the potential of it happening. Double Jeopardy When someone [...]

Notre-Dame Burning: Don’t Wait for the Fire

“If your house were burning down and you could take away one thing, what would it be?”…”I’d take the fire.” — Jean Cocteau, interviewed by André Fraigneau The images of the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral burning broke my heart. I am grateful that people and organizations around the world have vowed to contribute to the [...]

By | 2019-04-18T13:28:58+00:00 April 18th, 2019|Current Events, Workplace Safety|0 Comments

An Incident? Don’t Recommend Training!

“It’s not how we make mistakes, but how we correct them that defines us.”  — Rachel Wolchin One of the most common recommendations made as a result of incident safety investigations is “improved training,” especially when the investigation concludes that the incident was the result of an error. It is not because training is so [...]

Grounding the Max 8: Ignoring Near Misses

“The failure of a layer of protection to prevent an incident is not the initiating cause of the incident.”  The United States just joined much of the world in grounding the Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9. The tipping point was not the crash of Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610 into the Java Sea [...]

By | 2019-03-14T16:47:23+00:00 March 14th, 2019|Current Events, Process Safety|0 Comments

By the Book: Procedure Violations in Incident Investigations

“There is almost no human action or decision that cannot be made to look flawed and less sensible in the misleading light of hindsight.  It is essential that the critic should keep himself constantly aware of that fact.”  — Lord Anthony Hidden One of the insidious effects of hindsight bias is that it puts much [...]