Earthquakes: How Will You Respond?

“Earthquakes don’t kill people. Buildings kill people.”  — Wendy Bohon, geologist How many times have you been in a hazard review discussing the potential for a particularly severe event when someone asserts, “Well, I’ve never seen anything like that happen.” As though their proclamation of “never” settles the question. I sometimes ask them how long [...]

By |2023-09-21T15:27:53-05:00September 21st, 2023|Current Events, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Earthquakes: How Will You Respond?

…And Their Representatives

“Representation not only reflects, but actually changes reality.”  — Angela Chen OSHA has several regulations that allow or require employee participation in activities regarding workplace safety. For instance, there is employee participation during OSHA inspections and in the development of the elements of the Process Safety Management (PSM) standard. And those regulations don’t stop at [...]

By |2023-08-31T15:37:00-05:00August 31st, 2023|PHA, Process Safety Management|2 Comments

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble: Hatch Additions

“Ideas nearly always seem brilliant when they’re hatched, so we never act on a new idea for at least twenty-four hours.”  — Steven D. Levitt Batch processes often rely on additions through open hatches for ingredients that don’t lend themselves to being pumped in through a pipe. These include liquid ingredients used in small quantities [...]

By |2023-08-17T15:01:00-05:00August 17th, 2023|Chemicals, Process Safety, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Double, Double, Toil and Trouble: Hatch Additions

A Flurry of Activity: Recent CSB Final Reports

“Once you start something, finish it. Don’t accumulate a backlog of unfinished projects.”  — Ed Bliss If you are on the Chemical Safety Board’s distribution list, you may have noticed a lot of trade releases from the CSB in your in-box during the last few weeks. They’ve been busy. A recent press release proudly announced [...]

By |2023-08-11T12:40:08-05:00August 11th, 2023|Current Events, Process Safety, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on A Flurry of Activity: Recent CSB Final Reports

Lab Safety: A Tax on Scientific Productivity?

“Externalized costs are negative impacts associated with economic transactions which concern people outside of those transactions, meaning that neither the buyer nor the seller bears the brunt of the costs.”  — Mary McMahon On December 29, 2008, a fire in a UCLA organic chemistry lab killed research assistant Sheharbano Sangji. In response, the University of [...]

By |2023-08-11T18:41:53-05:00July 6th, 2023|Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Lab Safety: A Tax on Scientific Productivity?

Opioid Crisis in the Process Industries: Narcan as First Aid

“Fentanyl is everywhere. From large metropolitan areas to rural America, no community is safe from this poison.”  — Anne Milgram I believe that we cannot reduce the number and rate of work-related fatalities if we do not understand what causes them. So, every December I study the annual statistics for work-related fatalities when the Bureau [...]

By |2023-08-14T16:14:40-05:00June 22nd, 2023|Current Events, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Opioid Crisis in the Process Industries: Narcan as First Aid

A Second Wind

“Time is the fire in which we burn.”- Delmore Schwartz A resin and rosin manufacturer in Brunswick, Georgia reignited in the afternoon on April 15th after catching fire that morning. Sources cite changing winds as a possible reason for reignition, a natural occurrence out of human control. Tornados, hurricanes, and earthquakes are consistently on the [...]

By |2023-08-11T16:20:22-05:00April 20th, 2023|Current Events, Process Safety Management, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on A Second Wind

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?

Avoiding the Streetlight Effect: How Does the CPI Really Get Safer?

“The battle of getting better is never ending.”  — Antonio Brown There’s an old joke about someone looking for their keys under a streetlight. A passerby offered to help but after a while, asked, “Are you sure this is where you lost them?” “No, I lost them over there in the park.” “Then why are [...]

By |2023-01-05T15:25:30-06:00January 5th, 2023|Process Safety, Process Safety Management, Workplace Safety|Comments Off on Avoiding the Streetlight Effect: How Does the CPI Really Get Safer?

The Latest Work Fatality Data: Are We Getting Better?

“It’s often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Very, very, very often said.” – Daniel D’Addorio The end of one year and the beginning of a new year is often a time of reflection and planning. Reflection on what we did right [...]

By |2022-12-22T17:54:53-06:00December 22nd, 2022|Workplace Safety|Comments Off on The Latest Work Fatality Data: Are We Getting Better?
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