We've probed a lot of areas through the years in our monthly single-question poll. We pose some questions to allow readers to offer their opinions on important issues. Others enable respondents to compare the situation at their site with that elsewhere. All help us gain a better understanding of our audience so we can tailor our editorial content to best suit readers' needs. We've learned many things.
For example, we found out that 92% of readers said they would rate the physical security at their sites as adequate or better. The breakdown: Adequate: 32%, Good: 36% and Excellent: 24%. That left 8% of our audience in the abysmal category. It also left a lot of room for improvement at many facilities and an opportunity for us to provide resources to help move more plants closer to the "excellent" category. A quick search of our site brings up several articles including "Properly Protect Your Plant's Perimeter" and "We Must Improve Safety and Security." We even have an Ask The Experts category dedicated to the topic. The resident expert is Dave Moore, president and CEO of AcuTech Consulting Group, San Francisco, a firm that specializes in security and safety. You can ask him a question any time at.
We always provide at least four choices as potential answers to a question. And, usually, each option gets some takers. So, it was telling when we asked whether readers preferred a safety system integrated with the process control system or kept separate as is traditional, and found that respondents only used two of the choices — 63% selected Separate and 37% Integrated. However, many vendors now are offering systems that differ significantly from those of the past, so we published “Select the Right Safety System,” to provide some guidance.
The poll questions provide a wealth of information. But it wasn't until a recent “a-ha” moment that I realized I should package all of these poll questions up in one spot and categorize them for easy searching. So I set about scouring ChemicalProcessing.com for all the poll questions and putting them into appropriate buckets. You can access the archive directly via ChemicalProcessing.com/poll-questions. There’s also a link under the Talk To Us tab of our menu bar.
Now you can see which topics we gravitate toward (there are plenty of asset management questions as well as questions about workforce issues). You can also check out the results from year to year if questions are similar.
Some of the polls have been closed, but you can still see the results. You'll also notice we've used a few different polling systems, so the look of the poll differs. But at the heart of each link lies valuable benchmarking data. You can use this information to help you make your plants as efficient, safe, environmentally friendly and economically competitive as possible. And you can search our site for practical, impartial, real-world best practices to continuously improve your process operations.
So the next time we ask you a question, we hope you will consider answering. We want to build our database and we must do it with your help.
And if you have a question you’d like to put to our audience, please let us know. We’ll be happy to consider it.
Traci Purdum is Chemical Processing's senior ditial editor and fan of asking readers questions one at time. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.