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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

Training to be Unsafe

Posted on June 13th, 2017 in Chemical Manufacturing Excellence

“When you gamble with safety, you bet your life.”  Slogan on an industrial entrance mat

The biggest obstacle to getting people to heed safety training is that unsafe behavior does not result in certain death. The problem with a safety slogan like, “When you gamble with safety, you bet your life,” is that most people, most of the time, win the bet. We all learn from experience.  Continue reading “Training to be Unsafe” »

Inconceivable: Unrecognized Hazards

Posted on May 23rd, 2017 in Chemical Manufacturing Excellence

The Princess Bride

Photo credit:  Still from “The Princess Bride”, Act III Communications

“You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means.”  –Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride

Let me assume for a moment that you are one of the dozen people in the world who is unfamiliar with the motion picture, The Princess BrideContinue reading “Inconceivable: Unrecognized Hazards” »

Master the Box

Posted on April 21st, 2017 in Chemical Manufacturing Excellence

“Constraints inspire creativity.”  Christopher Isaac “Biz” Stone, co-founder of Twitter. I recently asked a young engineer if he knew from where the phrase, “Think Outside the Box,” came. “Taco Bell?” he replied tentatively. Continue reading “Master the Box” »

You Can’t Make Me: Mandatory Safety and the Peltzman Effect

Posted on March 8th, 2017 in Chemical Manufacturing Excellence

imgur8DOBVHG

Photo credit: imgur.com/8DOBVHG

“If the government wanted people to drive safely, they’d mandate a spike in the middle of each steering wheel.”  Gordon Tullock Continue reading “You Can’t Make Me: Mandatory Safety and the Peltzman Effect” »

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