Safety Moment #81: Process Safety Fundamentals

Many of the publications that we offer are to do with the topic of Process Safety Management (PSM), or with related topics such as the offshore Safety and Environmental Management System (SEMS) and Safety Cases. An overview of the topic of Process Safety Management is provided here. Much more detail is available in the books Process Risk and Reliability Management and Offshore Safety Management.

Safety Moment #58: Fukushima-Daiichi - Two Too Many Common Causes

Fukushima-Daiichi Common Cause

This analysis do with the catastrophic incident at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant was first published as an article at this site in the year 2017. The event itself took place on March 11th 2011. At first it was headline news. Then publicity to do with what happened receded into the background and new crises came to the fore, and captured our imaginations.

Safety Moment #91: Lockout Tagout

Lockout / tagout systems are routinely used to protect workers when they are working with or close to hazardous systems. They are typically used in conjunction with the other isolation methods. Once a switch or valve is in the correct position it is locked so that it cannot be moved, and a 'Do Not Operate' tag is attached to it. (Valves are often chained in place, with the lock being used to secure the chain such that the valve handle cannot be moved.)

Safety Moment #97: Stairways and Ladders

The material in this article is extracted from Chapter 2 of the 2nd edition of book Plant Design and Operations.


When developing the layout for a facility it is very important to ensure that personnel can move around quickly and safely using stairways, ladders, platforms and ramps. They should also be able to use the stairways and ladders to move maintenance equipment and tools, as needed and also to evacuate the facility during an emergency.

Safety Moment #69: That Would Be Telling

The Kletz Legacy

One of the founders of the process safety discipline was Trevor Kletz (1922-2013). Probably his best eulogy is also the simplest, "He saved lives."

As we reflect on Trevor's contributions it is clear that one of his greatest gifts was that of telling stories. He wrote extensively on technical topics such as hazards analysis and inherent safety, but he is probably best remembered for his story-telling books such as Learning from Accidents and What Went Wrong? Human beings learn best from stories and Trevor knew it.