Stories are the way that human beings best communicate

Many of the articles, safety moments and other publications at this site discuss the all-important topics of communication and story-telling.

You are welcome to use this Safety Moment in your workplace. But there are restrictions — please read Use of Safety Moments.

Copyright © Ian Sutton. 2018. All Rights Reserved.

Safety Moment #63: Happy Motoring

There is no shortage of written material to do with technical topics, including process safety management. But only a tiny number of papers or articles establish a place for themselves in history. Virtually all that we read or write is evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

There are a few exceptions to this generalization. Occasionally someone writes a paper or article that changes the way in which we view the world. And one of those seminal publications was, in my opinion, a paper published in the year 1956 by Dr. M. King Hubbert of Shell Oil.

The Risk Management Professional

The picture at the top of this page is of Admiral Rickover (1900-1986), often referred to as father of the nuclear navy. The ships he controlled were powered by nuclear reactors and were often armed with nuclear missiles. He knew that the first accident with a nuclear ship would also be the last accident - there would be no tolerance for mistakes or accidents of any kind. The stringent standards that he imposed regarding both nuclear safety and personnel selection have been a critical factor in the navy's continuing record of zero reactor accidents.

Not the Whole Truth

Safety professionals are rightly making increasing use of photographs and videos to train and educate the workforce, and to analyze incidents. In particular, security cameras often provide a fine record of an event as it unfolds.

However, it is important to be careful. Not only can images be deliberately changed, but the camera may not record everything of relevance. The following set of pictures was taken by a process safety professional who was visiting the Grand Canyon as a tourist. So, there is no doubt as to their legitimacy.