A Chemical Processing reader brought to my attention a safety concern he had with a recent column I wrote, Sit back and Listen. In this column I highlight our podcast series and encourage readers to download podcasts and listen to them during their downtime, which in my opinion includes driving.
I liken listening to a podcast to listening to the radio. Seems fairly benign. But reader Carlos Chacin, rotating equipment engineer for Citgo Petroleum Corp., forwarded an article to me that makes me see his point, which is:
"I understand that time is money and the temptation of doing something 'productive' during commuting to work or other activities is high, but distraction while driving could be dangerous. I got today an e-mail with some information regarding safety while driving and immediately made the link with your article. The article in question you can read at: http://eblast.bnpmedia.com/ISHN/Coastal0310/Coastal.html "
After reading the article, I have to admit that I agree with the premise that trying to multi-task by listening to a podcast behind the wheel is potentially dangerous. It's a lot different trying to concentrate on concepts than it is to sing along with my favorite artists (Bob Dylan tops that list if you must know).
I e-mailed Carlos to thank him for his concern. His answer back: "For us here at Citgo, safety is our number one priority and we are here to help each other. If we see something unsafe, we immediately take action in order to prevent an incident or accident -- and that includes safety coming or going back home."
Thanks Carlos for considering me worthy of your concern and helping me alert readers of the potential dangers. And keep being a champion for safety – it's always a matter of life or death.
Senior Digital Editor