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End users made the same complaint when OSHA introduced the PSM (Process Safety Management Standard, 29 CFR 1910.119) regulation over a dozen years ago. OSHA has reported that not only have the number of accidents gone down over 20%, but companies are reporting that their productivity is higher (as a result of doing PSM).
An interesting brief article in the February 2002 issue of Continental magazine, “Energized By Safety: At Conoco, Putting Safety First Puts Profit First Too,” describes how a foreign contractor did not plan on doing all the safety studies required by the owner. Once forced to do them, it reported, “We’re a little embarrassed to say this, but since you forced us to do this, we did such a good job of planning and organizing… that our productivity is much higher than we normally would experience. This actually allowed us to do the job at a lower cost.”
The article stated the moral of the story was “Safety is good business.”
Nancy Leveson’s book, Safeware, System Safety and Computers, describes a “study conducted by a group that included the major engineering societies, involved employees of 29 industries and 60 product groups who had a combined exposure of over 50 billion hours. The final report confirmed the hypothesis that production increased as safety increased—a lesson still to be learned by many people today.” As long as management believes that safety will cost them money, they won’t want to do the required tasks. However, once they realize that safety will save them money and improve their productivity, their attitudes and actions will change.
Paul Gruhn, PE, CFSE
Re Bela Liptak’s “The Third Industrial Revolution” in the March issue: Your thinking and articles are right on and give me hope. I’ve been in process control my whole career. I’m 54 and at this point, I’d like nothing better than to work with other like minded folks to make the solar-hydrogen power plant to reality.
So, thanks for thinking this through and I’m looking forward to reading your new book.
After reading Walt Boyes’ article about the elephant in the wireless room, (April 2008), I wonder if anyone on SP100 is being a liaison with other ISA standards committees to work on issues you identified.
P&ID symbols fall under SP5.1 Instrumentation Symbols and identification.
Loop diagrams fall under SP5.4.
Instrument spec sheets fall under SP20.
A huge TR-100.xx could be created to help users with application of Wireless instruments.
As we know very well, this could take a lo-o-ong time to be completed.
As we also know the wireless push by vendors is to sell wireless instruments to make profits for their shareholders. Nothing wrong with that. So documentation is not their primary concern. Now documentation could fall under asset management which could be profit generating service.
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