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

Too Extreme for Work? Cold Snaps and Heat Waves

“Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”  — Charles Dudley Warner A few weeks ago, we were treated to the sight of icicles hanging from NFL Coach Andy Reid’s moustache during the Chiefs-Dolphins playoff game in Kansas City. That gut punch of arctic air to the Midwest overwhelmed us. Here, our [...]

By |2024-01-25T11:36:35-06:00January 25th, 2024|Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Too Extreme for Work? Cold Snaps and Heat Waves

Resin-Based Concrete: The Hazards of Handling New Materials

“When an engineer has built a bridge, the fact that a cat can pass over the bridge is no proof that the bridge is good. A train must pass over it to prove its strength.”  — Richard Wurmbrand What do you do when working with concrete that has no water or cement? Concrete of a [...]

By |2024-01-18T10:08:09-06:00January 18th, 2024|Chemicals, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Resin-Based Concrete: The Hazards of Handling New Materials

Deadly Jobs Revisited

“Automation is driving the decline of banal and repetitive tasks.”  — Amber Rudd Five years ago, I had the opportunity to give a TED talk called “Deadly Jobs”. I talked about the hazards that consistently contribute to work-related fatalities and the deadly occupations in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released [...]

By |2024-01-11T14:18:16-06:00January 11th, 2024|Current Events, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Deadly Jobs Revisited

The New BLS Fatality Report: Safety in a Post-Pandemic World

“The only thing we have learnt from experience is that we learn nothing from experience.”  — Chinua Achebe Back in December 2021, the BLS report showed that for 2020, the Year of the Pandemic, the total number of work-related fatalities in the U.S. was 4,764. That was significantly less than for the year before. The [...]

By |2024-01-04T12:01:38-06:00January 4th, 2024|Current Events, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on The New BLS Fatality Report: Safety in a Post-Pandemic World

Choosing The Perfect Footwear for Work

“…I can feel it in my toes. Christmas is all around me. And so the feeling grows.”  — Bill Nighy in Love Actually Although I have on a couple of occasions, I don’t usually give protective footwear as a gift during the holiday season. Most people don’t consider protective footwear to be very festive. However, [...]

By |2023-12-30T13:53:53-06:00December 21st, 2023|Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Choosing The Perfect Footwear for Work

Whatever Your Reason: Incentives for Compliance

“Rather than a prosecutor saying, ‘you have nothing to fear if you have done nothing wrong,’ a more accurate portrayal would be ‘if I decide you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear.’”  — Sidney Dekker There are thousands of work-related fatalities in the United States every year. Every few weeks, an intrepid [...]

By |2023-12-14T10:07:50-06:00December 14th, 2023|Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Whatever Your Reason: Incentives for Compliance

Safe Limits for Oxygen Exposure: Why 19.5% to 23.5%?

“Love is like oxygen. You get too much, you get too high; not enough and you’re gonna die.”  — Andy Scott, of Sweet OSHA standards define safe lower and upper limits to the concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere to which workers are exposed. The limits are a minimum of 19.5% and a maximum of [...]

By |2023-12-07T09:20:33-06:00December 7th, 2023|Chemicals, Process Safety, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Safe Limits for Oxygen Exposure: Why 19.5% to 23.5%?

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?
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