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We’re Engineers, Not Wizards:  Why Didn’t the PHA Catch This?

Posted on December 19th, 2017 by in Chemical Manufacturing Excellence

“But how can they be charged with negligence because they were not wizards, appellant’s brief does not make clear.”  —Osmond K. Fraenkel, successfully arguing before the New York Supreme Court, 1935 Continue reading “We’re Engineers, Not Wizards:  Why Didn’t the PHA Catch This?” »

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” »

Inconceivable: Unrecognized Hazards

Posted on May 23rd, 2017 by 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” »

Lab Safety

Posted on October 10th, 2016 by in Chemical R&D

Honolulu fire dept

Photo credit: Honolulu Fire Department

“Once trained, the hazard often becomes a routine part of their experimentation and researchers perceive themselves to be experts in handling the hazard. Perceived familiarity can shift the awareness level from cautiousness to complacency.”  University of California Center for Laboratory Safety, June 29, 2016 Continue reading “Lab Safety” »

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