Our articles and safety moments are organized into Topic areas. The current list is shown in the left column of any page at this site. (This list is constantly being updated.) Some comments to do with some of the topic areas are provided below. Please follow the link to learn more about that topic and to identify which articles and safety moments are included within it.
Publications that contain information to do with the hazardous and flammable materials that are commonly found in process and energy facilities are part of this topic area.
Although process and energy facilities are different from one another, they do share many common hazards. This is a theme that runs through many of the publications at this site.
The articles and safety moments in this area are to do with written and spoken communications of all types.
Many serious incidents have, as one of their root causes, an action that was intended to improve safety.
This topic area covers all items that are to do with equipment used in the process and energy industries.
Fires and explosions are, of course, a major hazard in virtually process and energy facilities. Articles and safety moments to do with this critical issue are part of this topic.
A vital part of any risk or process safety management program is the ability to identify and then risk rank hazards. This topic area identifies publications to do with this vital issue.
Articles and safety moments to do with health, safety and environmental issues are collected under this topic title.
Information to do with this new and exciting mode of transportation. Incident Investigation Information and discussion to do with the follow up to incidents and near misses.
This topic covers actual incidents: large and small. Industries One of the themes of this site is that industries that are technologically very different from one another have much in common when it comes to safety management.
Articles and safety moment to do with management strategies and techniques.
Information to do with this important, yet high risk, business area.
Operational excellence incorporates disciplines such as Process Safety Management and Health, Safety and Environmental to achieve higher levels of operation in all areas, including production and profitability.
Includes publications to do with the operation and maintenance of process and energy facilities.
Information to do with piping and valves, including pressure safety relief valves.
Articles and safety moments to do with Process Safety Management (PSM) are included in this topic area.
This topic covers articles and safety moments to do with the important issues to do with regulations and standards.
An understanding of the nature of risk is fundamental to many of the publications provided at this site.
Safety Cases are widely used in many areas of the world to provide a framework for understanding and managing the risks to do with complex industrial facilities.
The SEMS rule was developed following the Deepwater Horizon / Macondo blowout. It provides a management system that is similar to other process safety management standards for use in offshore operations.
This topic is to do with trains and related topics such as the unloading of tank cars containing highly hazardous chemicals.
The articles and safety moments in this topic area are to do with the importance of transferring experience from those who have worked at a facility for many years to those who have much less knowledge and experience.
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…
One of the themes of these Safety Moments is that different industries have much in common. Therefore, a safety program that works for one industry is likely to be useful and relevant in another. Certainly, each industry has its own specific issues that are not shared with others (some of these are described in Safety Moment #8: “But We’re Different, You Know”). But, as a generalization,…
In Safety Moment #8: “But We’re Different, You Know” we show that risk analysis techniques have much in common across different parts of the process and energy industries. Lessons can be shared across industries such as oil refining, chemicals manufacture, pipeline operations and offshore oil and gas production. But, given that the first word in the phrase Process Safety Management (PSM) is…
The Deepwater Horizon/Macondo catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) in the year 2010 demonstrated the need for new safety management regulations. The draft regulations went through various iterations, and the name of the responsible government agency changed twice. In the end, the SEMS (Safety and Environmental Management System) regulation became a requirement for offshore oil and gas…
In Safety Moment #24: Where Then Shall (Process Safety) Wisdom Be Found? we suggested that an effective safety management system is built around three elements: Formal Systems/Education, Process Safety Management Systems and Practical Experience. When we combine these three elements we move toward Operational Excellence or Process Safety Wisdom, as shown in the sketch at the top of this page…
There has been much discussion in recent years as to how to develop new and improved cultures within the process industries. There appears to be an implicit assumption in these discussions that ours is the first generation to wrestle with the problem of creating a new culture. Nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, it can be instructive to examine how previous generations affected…
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…
Storage tanks are widely used in the process industries to store liquids that are below their boiling point at atmospheric temperature (some tanks may be insulated and they may have heating or cooling coils to maintain the temperature of the liquid that they are storing). Typically, tanks are either open to the atmosphere or to a system such as a flare or vent header that is at atmospheric…
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…