In the Midst of a Pandemic: Fourth of July Safety

“Fourth of July is not cancelled this year…it will just look a little different.”  — Megan Willgoos I love fireworks displays. Especially those with big finales. As a safety professional, a homeowner, and a dog lover, though, I hate recreational fireworks. People suffer life-altering injuries, homes and other buildings are set afire, and man’s best [...]

By |2020-07-02T13:11:51+00:00July 2nd, 2020|Current Events|0 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 [...]

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

Administrative Controls: The Invisible Safeguards

“Prepare and prevent, don’t repair and repent.” – Author Unknown Most safeguards can be easily observed. They might be the mechanical guards that prevent one’s fingers getting ripped off by moving parts, the fences that keep unauthorized people out of a hazardous area, or the alarms that blare through the plant when the reactor reaches [...]

Whose Fault? What to Do with Crazy

“Minimizing your exposure to pathology goes a long, long way.”  — Dr. Susan Biali Haas When a sensor faults, it doesn’t stop providing information. It’s just unreliable information. It may be correct, it may not, but it is not to be believed.  Like a clock that has stopped but is still correct twice a day, [...]

By |2020-05-14T13:25:05+00:00May 14th, 2020|Process Safety, Process Safety Management|0 Comments

Human Response: An Effective Safeguard?

“Shallow men believe in luck; wise and strong men in the cause and effect." – Ralph Waldo Emerson In process safety, one important aspect of assessing risk is determining what safeguards are in place to protect against a hazard. Often, we see teams credit human response as a safeguard, sometimes relying on the response as [...]

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

Behavioral Based Safety Mistakes: Why Your Program is Failing

“It is wrong to suppose that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it – a costly myth.”  — W. Edwards Deming When I began working for Bluefield Process Safety four years ago, I was prepared to abandon my passion of psychology to pursue another – safety.  What I didn’t know is that, often, [...]

By |2020-04-02T14:50:55+00:00April 2nd, 2020|Procedures, Training, Workplace Safety|0 Comments

What If There Was No PSM Standard?

“What’s the use you learning to do right when it’s troublesome to do right and ain’t no trouble to do wrong, and the wages is just the same?”  — Mark Twain, in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn We love to hate regulations. The harder it is to comply with them, the more we hate them. [...]

By |2020-03-26T14:35:52+00:00March 26th, 2020|Process Safety, Process Safety Management|0 Comments