Safety Instrumented Systems

Safety on Our Minds

Workplace Safety Is a Lot More Manageable Than Preventing Floods or Tornados, Which Isn't to Say It's Easy. Let's Be Careful Out There

By Nancy Bartels

What with tornados, floods, terrorist attacks and factory explosions and collapses, safety's been on our minds at quite a bit lately. Given that our view of the world focuses tightly on process automation, those industrial "accidents" have garnered the bulk of our attention.

Workplace safety is a lot more manageable than preventing floods or tornados, which isn't to say it's easy. Still, it's something that has to be on every business's agenda, especially if one's business involves substances like oil and gas, chemicals or explosives.

Over time, has gathered a library of material on process safety. The most recent additions include last month's cover story, "Solving the Process Safety Puzzle," which talks about the trend toward integrated DCS and safety systems, and the challenges of building a plant-wide safety culture. A companion piece is the ARC podcast with Barry Young.

To hear more about integrated safety systems, listen to Walt Boyes discuss them with Charlie Fialkowski of Siemens, an active member of ISA's S84 standards committee, and Bill Goble of exida, a global authority on SIS and process safety. Listen to it now.

In "Why Is Safety So Hard?" Dan Hebert discusses why process safety is so hard.

Security issues have added a new wrinkle to the safety debate. This article, "Cybersecurity in Your Safety DNA" talks about linking the two.

In "Process Automation Industry: When an Apology Is Just Not Good Enough," Jim Montague explains why "sorry" isn't a good enough response when a catastrophic accident happens at your plant.

We have plenty of white papers on safety subjects too. You might start with "Selection of a SIS for Maximum Availability," while "Don't Compromise on Safety" discusses how to be uncompromising about safety without breaking the bank.

And there are plenty more where those came from. Just type the words "process safety" into the ControlGlobal search box for the entire collection.

Meanwhile, as Sgt. Phil Esterhaus of "Hill Street Blues" used to tell his people every morning, "Let's be careful out there."