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Mike Schmidt

Mike Schmidt

Principal, Bluefield Process Safety, LLC

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About the author:

Mike Schmidt and the team he works with at Bluefield Process Safety provide safety lifecycle consulting to the chemical process industries, both by working with industrial and academic clients, and by training others to do this work.  With a career in the CPI that began in 1977 with Union Carbide, Mike was profoundly impacted by the 1984 tragedy in Bhopal and has been working on process safety ever since.  Mike founded Bluefield Process Safety in 2008 because there are simply not enough resources available to help with process safety.  Since 2009, he has also been on the faculty at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri, where he teaches graduate courses on safety engineering and process risk management, training almost a hundred engineering students every year.

Mike frequently publishes and presents article and papers on process safety, particularly in the areas of Layer of Protections Analysis, Risk Tolerance Criteria, and Safety Instrumented System design.  Most recently, he coauthored “Auditing IPLs – Using Safety Critical Functions Manuals,” which was published in Process Safety Progress.


Posts by Mike Schmidt

Setting Limits: Boundaries of a PSM-Covered Process

Posted on October 3rd, 2017 in Chemical Manufacturing Excellence

“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.”  Albert Einstein

Everyone we have ever worked with is accepting if not downright enthusiastic about managing process safety. Continue reading “Setting Limits: Boundaries of a PSM-Covered Process” »

Fools Rush In: What Do We Really Expect in an Emergency?

Posted on August 25th, 2017 in Chemical Manufacturing Excellence

“For Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread.”  —Alexander Pope

One evening very early in my career I was working in the pilot plant.  There were people elsewhere in the facility, but I was in the pilot plant by myself. The reaction ran in a solvent at a temperature above the solvent’s flash point. Continue reading “Fools Rush In: What Do We Really Expect in an Emergency?” »

Experiences to Learn From

Posted on July 21st, 2017 in Chemical Manufacturing Excellence

Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.”  C—C.S.Lewis

We all learn from experience. When it comes to brutal lessons, though, it is better to learn from someone else’s experience.  Over the past couple of months, three clients Continue reading “Experiences to Learn From” »

PSM Auditor: Coach, Umpire, or Police

Posted on July 11th, 2017 in Chemical Manufacturing Excellence

“Umpires don’t make the rules.  They apply them…They make sure everybody plays by the rules.  But it is a limited role.  Nobody ever went to a ballgame to see the umpire”  Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts

When we are approached to conduct a PSM audit, the conversation usually begins with a query about whether we can do a third party audit. Continue reading “PSM Auditor: Coach, Umpire, or Police” »

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