Safety Moments Overview

Safety Moments for the energy and process industries

If you are using this safety moment to kick off a meeting ask the attendees to share a time in their career when they intentionally violated a safety standard.We publish a variety of free Safety Moments that you can use to start one of your meetings or presentations. Generally, a Safety Moment will describe an event that occurred — it could be either domestic or industrial. Many of the events are quite minor or are near misses but they all highlight one or more of the principles of safety management.

Many of the Safety Moments include a video that is generally posted to YouTube.The Table below shows the Safety Moments that are currently available. Please check every so often to see if we have added new material.

  Title Synopsis
Mumbai-High-North explosion and fire

1. Mumbai High North: A Discouraging Sameness

This Safety Moment provides a brief overview of the Mumbai High North event. Mumbai High North was an oil and gas platform located offshore India. It was destroyed in a fire in the year 2005; the incident took the lives of approximately 22 men and injured many others.

We show how similar this event is to the Piper Alpha catastrophe that took place 17 years earlier, which is why the words ‘A Discouraging Sameness’ are shown; it sometimes seems as if we never learn.

Safet moment to do with dangers of static electricity and sparks 2. Vehicle Static

A common ignition source when loading and unloading tank cars, tank trucks and barges is static electricity. This Safety Moment shows an incident in which a lady is filling her car with gasoline. Static electricity led to the hose nozzle catching fire (she was not hurt).

The Safety Moment also shows some positive features of a process safety management system:

  • The flapper on the car fill pipe closed, hence the fire did not spread to the vehicle.
  • The handle on the nozzle closed so the amount of gasoline available to be burned was very low.
  • After messing around for a few moments the lady dropped the nozzle and ran away. If the fire had spread she would have been out of danger.
Collision between freight train and car stuck on train tracks 3. No Contest

This incident, which occurred in January 2017, shows a video of a car turning on to train tracks less than a mile from my home. The driver and passenger walked away from the car (absolutely the right thing to do). The police and emergency services were on the scene but it was unsafe for them to take action since a freight train was approaching.

The train did destroy the car  but no one was hurt.

Pigging incident illustrates dangers to do with high pressure gas

4. High Pressure Gas

Discusses some of the hazards associated with the use of high pressure gas in a process facility.

Illustrated with a pigging incident that went badly awry (fortunately, no one was hurt).

Grand Canyon Leap safety moment illustrates that the perception of risk is subjective


5. Grand Canyon Leap

This series of pictures shows a photographer taking extraordinary risks in order to take “just the right” photograph. The lesson to be learned is that risk is subjective — this man will take a great risk in his personal life but would likely object to the objectively much lower risk of having a process or energy facility being built in his neighborhood.

The Safety Moment also challenges the idea that “the camera doesn’t lie”. It also points out that — no matter how hard we work on safety — that there’s no cure for stupid.

Fall through hatch safety moment highlights need for lockout/tagout

6. Fall through Hatch

In this video a lady working in a store falls through an open hatch (it was reported later that she was not seriously injured). The incident highlights the need for lockout/tagout procedures whenever a hazardous situation is present.

Missing relief valve Piper Alpha


7. The Missing Relief Valve

This is the first in a series of Safety Moments which shows that actions taken to improve safety were a contributing factor in the development of a catastrophic event.

The Safety Moment shows that a program to enhance safety — the desire to ensure that the performance of a pressure safety relief valve was optimal — was the initiating event that led to the death of 167 men.

Different types of industry – safety

8. “But we’re different, you know”

Risk and safety professionals often fail to appreciate how much they can learn from other industries. This is the theme of this week’s Safety Moment, “But we’re different, you know”.
Amtrak train hits car

9. Another No Contest

This Safety Moment is a follow on to ‘3. No Contest’. It describes an incident that occurred on the same tracks. This time the driver of the car did not leave her vehicle and she was injured (fortunately, not too seriously).

The lesson learned here is that we all, at times, consciously and knowingly bypass safety barriers.


If you are using this safety moment to kick off a meeting ask the attendees to share a time in their career when they intentionally violated a safety standard.