Perspectives: Field Notes

Learn from a Safety Guru

Take advantage of the insights in the books of a renowned expert

By Dirk Willard, Contributing Editor

The first anniversary of the passing of Trevor Kletz, who died on October 31, 2013, provides a good opportunity to re-emphasize how much we still can learn from him. Frequently called the father of process safety (see: "Trevor Kletz Bequeaths Better Process Safety[http://goo.gl/vTQZFf]”), he wrote many books on the topic; some sit on a shelf in my study. Kletz directed some of his attention to the managerial malaise that explains why past accidents recur. One of my favorite quotes seems to strike at the heart of the problem: “If you think safety is expensive, try an accident.” So, let’s explore some of his comments on process safety. Pardon my paraphrasing.

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Consider operating conditions not just specifications and price

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Defuse Dust Dangers

Carefully consider and then counter risks of fire and explosion

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Consider the Consequences of Chemistry

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