West, Texas, Updates, Bangladesh and Other Safety Matters

It's been two weeks now since the explosion and fire at the West Fertilizer Company destroyed the facility, killed 15 people, leveled more than 50 houses, an apartment complex, two schools and a nursing home. In some respects, we don't know anymore now than we did the day after the...

BP Agrees to Pay $4.5 Billion to Resolve Criminal Claims on Deepwater Horizon

You may have seen this elsewhere, but just in case, BP today announced Nov. 15 that it’s “agreed with the United States government, subject to court approval, to resolve all federal criminal charges and all claims by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against the company stemming from the Deepwater...

ISA Automation Week 2012: Innovation in Orlando

I'm not usually much of a Disney fan. The characters from Snow White onward were fantastic, but they were almost always pure good or all bad. Unfortunately, this black-and-white ethos always seemed kind of flat and artificial, like early Superman or DC comics or Lawrence Welk's robotic performers.

Inside Fukushima and Preventing Future Disasters

It's been exactly a year and a day since Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami. So, in addition to all the lives lost and communities swept away in northeastern Japan, it's also been almost a year since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was damaged to the point that several of its...

Bayer Cropscience accused of cover-up in House hearings-- uses MTSA to hide behind national security

In the keynote address I gave last September to the TUV Rheinland Safety Symposium, I referred to the accident that had just occured at the Bayer CropScience facility in Institute West Virginia. I pointed out that despite thousands of man-hours of standards writing, training and compliance enforcement, accidents were...

St. Charles County MO lubricant plant suffers explosion

Once again, we've been treated to another process plant blowing itself up. Or rather, to people blowing up a process plant. There's a subtle but important difference there.

ABB Comes to Lunch

Truth in Blogging Notice: Walt's taking a break from SoundOff!

PlantSuccess: a unique view of safety

Deborah Grubbe, vice president of safety change management for BP and General Ken Eickmann, USAF (ret.), from the Energy Institute of the University of Texas presented an interesting view of safety.

So you think Bob Adamski's nightmare is wrong? Read on!

Bob Adamski, Invensys' SIS guru, has been talking about the hacking of process safety systems for several years now. I think he's right, but we appear to be in a minority. Bob gave me his nightmare about how this could be done several years ago, and I've had it for a...

How to prevent dust explosions...

Joe Kaulfersch of Pepperl+Fuchs tried to post as a comment a white paper that he wrote on preventing just the sort of dust explosion that we all theorize might have caused the disaster at the Imperial Sugar Dixie Crystals plant near Savannah, Georgia last Thursday.