All entries by this author

Process Safety: Three Critical Topics to Engage Employees

Nov 3rd, 2013 | By
Process Safety: Three Critical Topics to Engage Employees

Take a stroll through any refinery, gas plant, or maybe an offshore oil platform. Ask operators how they define process safety. The answers might be a mix of “Don’t blow the place up,” and “Keep the product in the pipe.” Those answers indicate an awareness of process safety. However, they aren’t particularly helpful in keeping
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Safety Observation Programs: How to Drive Insight from Observations

Feb 27th, 2013 | By
Safety Observation Programs: How to Drive Insight from Observations

Yellow Cards. HazObs, HazIDs, STOPTM  cards. These are names for programs that are meant to engage employees to improve safety performance.  The ‘cards’ typically have written guidance for employees to use to target safety observations.  The intent of these cards is to have employees focus on potential hazards in their workplace and identify those hazards.
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Operator Procedures: A Tale of Two Gas Plants

Dec 29th, 2012 | By
Operator Procedures: A Tale of Two Gas Plants

I have visited several gas plants across the United States.  Gas plants are complex facilities.  They operate at high pressure with flammable materials and dangerous products. Gas plants are regulated by Process Safety Management standards to address the inherent hazards of operations.   When visiting gas plants, I make it a habit to stop in the
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Is Your Contractor Safety Program in the Toilet? Maybe it Should Be!

Oct 8th, 2012 | By
Is Your Contractor Safety Program in the Toilet? Maybe it Should Be!

On a recent visit to a well site in West Texas, we stumbled (well, not really… we were escorted) upon the woman who cleans out the on-site port-a-potty. What was her greatest hazard? Gas.  And not the type of gas normally associated with a port-a-potty. This was an active drill site with sour crude.  This
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Contractor Safety Management—Getting Back to Basics

Jul 14th, 2012 | By
Contractor Safety Management—Getting Back to Basics

Contractor safety is an industry issue.  Over the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with several integrated oil companies to improve their contractor safety management programs (CSMP). Enlightened companies have been tackling high contractor injury rates with detailed and well thought out CSMP programs that cover the entire life cycle of the
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Safety Incidents: Leadership, Learning, and a Single Word

May 11th, 2012 | By
Safety Incidents: Leadership, Learning, and a Single Word

It’s clear that when it comes to safety, what leaders say and do matters. What I’ve found is that the difference in behavior between good leaders and great leaders can be very minor, but the difference in terms of outcome can be huge. How leaders approach “learning from incidents” (LFIs) is one example where small
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Does Operational Discipline Replace Strong Safety Leadership?

Mar 19th, 2012 | By
Does Operational Discipline Replace Strong Safety Leadership?

On a recent flight from Newark to Chicago, I sat next to an American Airlines pilot, with whom I struck up a conversation. In the midst of our discussion, the flight attendant began the usual speech on safety instructions, seat belts, and evacuation. The pilot stopped talking and said, “I need to listen to these
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