What The OSHA Revealed About The Top 10 Violations In 2017

We all know that safety in the workplace begins with quality training and education. While this has been the topic of many recent debates, there is no hiding the fact that it is the cornerstone to getting it right the first time around. Recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted some research to determine what safety violations are topping the charts this year. They used this information to create what they called a "Blueprint for keeping workers safe", as it aided in keeping workers information and empowered to take control of their safety. Among the results were Electrical Wiring Methods at Number 10, Ladders at Number 6 and the top three being Fall Protection - General Requirements, Hazard Communication and Scaffolding respectively. OSHA also took this time to reiterate that, "When we all work together to address hazards, we can do the best job possible to ensure employees go home safely each day". The final report is expected to be r…

Protecting the Biomass Process from Fires and Explosions -

How to keep from blowing up and burning down your wood pelleting operation.

“You know you are making fuel, right?”
This is a question I often found myself asking as new wood pellet and biomass plants started
sprouting up all over the Midwest, Northeastern States, and Canada, but especially here in the Southeast United States. And I didn’t say this to be rude, but to point out potential combustible dust and ignition issues.

We have been making wood flour in North America for decades in the forest products, wood
products, secondary wood products, and especially in the MDF Medium Density Fiberboard and other related industries. Yet there seemed to be little technology transfer. Especially in fire and explosion prevention and protection.

Every engineering firm and large equipment manufacturer seemed to think they could build a wood
pellet plant better than the last. So, naturally many of the designs are different. Some are efficient, some not so much. Some are built with the proper engin…

Dust Explosions – Sources of Dispersion and Ignition Not Independent

From Eur Ing Keith Plumb | Pulse | LinkedIn

Corn Silo Topping - Junkin Media
Dust Explosions – Sources of Dispersion and Ignition Not IndependentPublished on August 18, 2017
Process and Equipment Consultant
In the November 2015 issue of the Chemical Engineer I wrote an article ( about the fatal flaws associated Hazardous Area Classification.

In this article I wrote the following with respect to equipment selection.

“Also, the logic behind this selection is that the event that  causes a dust cloud to form is independent of the event that leads to an ignition source becoming active. This is probably true for electrical
equipment, less so for non-electrical equipment and could be completely  wrong for an electrostatic spark where the creation of the dust cloud  could also create the spark.”

The video at the link below shows a corn silo at White Farms Inc in Indiana, USA,toppling over and rupturing. This causes a large dust cloud …

Grain Bin Collapse with flashfire

From Bryan Haywood SAFTENG

July 31, 2017 at approximately 1:00 pm. Switz City, Indiana. White Farms
Inc. Overhead tank collapsed full of corn. It hit a power line on the
way down and sparked the grain dust igniting the dust and causing the
flash. There were no injuries!

Bryan Haywood SAFTENG

Published on Jul 31, 2017

Fireball set off explosion

A textbook example of a flash fire, explosion, secondary explosion, and criminal negligence from the Sarnia Observer.

"the amount of dust in the air made it impossible to see from one end of the shop to the other."

Trial continues Monday Fireball set off explosion in Veolia shop By Neil Bowen, Sarnia Observer
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 6:47:10 EDT PM 

Sarnia court
A fireball from an explosion in a dust collector set off another explosion inside a Sarnia shop during a 2014 incident that killed one worker and injured others.

Veolia Environmental Services and a company manager, Anthony Lavoratore, were charged with criminal negligence following the Oct. 25, 2014 fire and explosion that killed 37-year-old Jason Miller.

Miller was one of six men injured. He died days later in hospital.

Charges were laid in 2015 and the trial began during January in Sarnia court but has been spread over many days d…

The Behaviour-Based Safety debate goes on


Behavior-based safety has been practiced since the Ford Motor Company used it to increase seat belt usage in 1970s. Controversy has dogged it ever since, especially in the 1980s and 1990s when the BBS bandwagon attracted a small army of consultants.

Organized labor and worker rights activists protested long and loud that BBS was nothing more than a blame the worker tactic. Thousands of businesses spent millions of dollars implementing BBS programs because they believed it was a way to involve workers in their own safety and it was “the next new thing” in safety.

On Wednesday, June 23, a plenary session at ASSE’s Safety 2017 drew between 4,000 and 5,000 attendees to a spirited discussion on “BBS at cross roads.” What puts BBS at a cross roads in 2017? It’s the rising popularity of Human and Organizational Performance (HOP), called by some the anti-BBS initiative. HOP holds that human error is inevitable and should be expected. The organization of work and mana…

“You can’t fix stupid”


On Thursday, June 22, Dr. Tim Ludwig drew an audience of 500 attendees at ASSE’s Safety 2017 to his presentation on stopping the ever-popular blame game as a safety practice and instead striving for a better understanding of human behavior.

According to Dr. Ludwig, a professor at Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, if you want to “turn the lights off on your safety culture” go and blame the worker. By going on the offensive and pointing out that injuries are their fault, a learning moment is lost, Dr. Ludwig said. It’s better to use the incident to learn from behavioral science how to find the true root cause of human behaviors, he said.

There is still much relevance and much to be gained from behavioral science, said Dr. Ludwig, who also consults globally as the Safety-Doc.

Says Dr. Ludwig: “Our human tendencies result in interactions that hurt the safety of our workers and the effectiveness of the systems we put in place to protect them. One tendency i…