I have a satellite radio in my car. I often get stuck on the 70s channel because Casey Kasem's American Top 40 reels me in every time. I love knowing what people were listening to years ago. For example, the No. 1 hit for the week ending Dec. 4, 1976, was Rod Stewart's "Tonight's the Night." I like the No. 2 song better, which was "The Rubberband Man" by The Spinners — but that's just me.
While I don't have the golden voice of Mr. Kasem, I do have access to chart toppers for ChemicalProcessing.com. And it seems fitting to end out the year with a list of popular articles, news items and expert advice. The ranking is based on page views in 2013.
Top Articles in 2013: Reliability, Safety and Salaries
No. 1: Reliability Efforts Broaden
Expanding from a plant-based focus provides significant benefits.
Reliability improvement remains imperative for chemical makers. Most companies focus their efforts at the plant and asset level but a broader approach promises even better results. At least that's what two major firms — Air Products and Chemicals, Allentown, Pa., and Dow Chemical, Midland, Mich. — are finding.
No. 2: Process Safety Begins In the Board Room
Senior management should take six important steps.
Major accidents such as those at Texas City, Texas, Buncefield, U.K., and in the Gulf of Mexico have highlighted the critical role played by senior managers in the process industries. Effective leadership is essential to develop a positive safety culture that remains constantly vigilant toward process safety risks.
No. 3: 2013 Salary Survey: Salaries Aren't Leveling Off
Annual salary survey results show slight improvements.
Numerous reports this year indicate a positive outlook for the chemical industry. Now, those who responded to Chemical Processing's 2013 Salary and Job Satisfaction Survey seem to echo these findings — salaries, raises and bonuses all continue to rise, further demonstrating prospects are bright.
Top News in 2013: Layoffs, Hazardous Chemicals and Safety
No. 1: Dow Corning to Layoff 500 Workers
On Jan. 10 Chemical Processing reported that Dow Corning Corp. planned to cut its global workforce by approximately 500 people in response to slower-than-expected growth.
No. 2: OSHA Launches Chemical Substitution Toolkit, Updated Occupational Exposure Limits Table
On Oct. 23 Chemical Processing reported that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as part of the ongoing effort to protect workers from exposure to hazardous chemicals, will host a conference to announce the launch of two web-based resources.
No. 3: CSB Report: Chevron Ignored Safety Procedures Prior to Refinery Fire
On April 18 Chemical Processing reported that the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) concluded that Chevron failed to adequately analyze and document refinery safety technology that could have prevented a refinery fire in Richmond, Calif., Aug. 6, 2012.
Top Expert Advice in 2013: Corrosion, Mixing and Pumping
No. 1: What is the difference between 304 and 316 stainless steel?
Chemical Processing's corrosion expert Brian Dalder, an engineering consultant at Eli Lilly and Co., Lafayette, Ind., and a registered professional engineer, explained the difference to readers.
No. 2: How do I design my agitation system?
Chemical Processing's most prolific expert is Dave Dickey, senior consultant for MixTech Inc., Coppell, Texas. Dave's advice focuses on mixing processes and equipment; he gave a thoughtful answer for designing an agitation system.
No. 3: Can the suction size of the pump be bigger than the pipeline?
Ross Mackay, president of Ross Mackay Associates Ltd., Aurora, Ontario, a firm he started in 1990 to provide training and consulting on pumps, serves as our expert on pumps. He addressed the size question with ease.
So there you have it. . . the top stories and questions of 2013. Since Casey ended his Top 40 shows with a letter, I'd like to do the same. In fact, this quick note earned Eric D. Finley a $25 American Express gift card for just taking the time to comment on Mark Rosenzweig's editorial "Hoax Highlights Publishing Problem." Each month we name a new winner — you could be next.
Here's what Eric had to say: "This might have been a good moment to share with us, your readers, how you review articles submitted for publication. Anyway, good magazine. I read several articles a month."
Thanks Eric -- Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.
Traci Purdum is Chemical Processing's senior digital editor and fan of 70s music. You can e-mail her at email@example.com.