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A New Hydrogen Disaster? The Leeds Experiment

Posted on November 23rd, 2017 by in Chemical Manufacturing Excellence

The Hindenburg disaster in Lakehurst, New Jersey, May 6, 1937-photo by Sam Shere

The Hindenburg disaster in Lakehurst, New Jersey, May 6, 1937-photo by Sam Shere

“The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.” – Harlan Ellison Continue reading “A New Hydrogen Disaster? The Leeds Experiment” »

China’s Risk Criteria

Posted on October 26th, 2017 by in Chemical Manufacturing Excellence

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“Who can hope to be safe? Who sufficiently cautious?”  Horace Continue reading “China’s Risk Criteria” »

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

Posted on August 25th, 2017 by 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?” »

Training to be Unsafe

Posted on June 13th, 2017 by 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” »