Events | News

Blog 82 - In Praise of And

  Tuesday, March 14, 2023

‘And’ or ‘But’? Think of a situation recently where you were in conversation with a peer. Perhaps a work colleague or a casual acquaintance. Your discussion develops into a subject you sense is leading into ‘disagreement’ territory. Your interlocuter makes a statement which you don’t fully agree with, so you want to respond to give your perspective. Take a minute to revisit the scenario then phrase your response thus: ‘I hear what you’re saying but (….)’, filling in the ellipsis with your argument. How does that make you feel? Now do the same thing with a slight tweak. Simply replace the &ls.....Read More

Blog 81 - Threat, Opportunity, Friend?

  Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Meet Talus. You won’t recognise him, but your ancestors may well have. Or at least someone resembling him. And if they did, they would have made a rapid judgement about whether he was a threat, opportunity or benign. A female ancestor may have perceived Talus as a potential mate, whereas a male one as competition for a mate. Instinctively, we, like them, have evolved to weight threats more than opportunities, perhaps because opportunities will recur but if you don’t take a potential threat seriously once, it might be your only time. In the binary world of your genes, they just want to survive. You are reading this today in part because of these ances.....Read More

Blog 80 - How to Become a Process Safety Peacekeeper?

  Monday, August 1, 2022

In the UK, there are currently 55 Cub Scout recognition badges ranging from Astronomer to World Faiths and everything in between. Back in the day, around 50 years ago, I sported my own humble collection, which was probably tarnished by being part of the gang who locked Akela (or Mrs Breckenridge to her friends) in her office as a jape. But I digress. The purpose of these badges is, according to the website, for boys and girls to ‘become an expert in something you love or try something shiny and new’. A practical supplement to Primary School Education. I found it fun, exciting, challenging and rewardi.....Read More

Blog 79 - HAZOP: the future is bright, the future is ....hybrid

  Wednesday, July 20, 2022

The view from the early part of the 21st century is that private fuelled personal transport will move increasingly towards the battery electric format and dramatically away from the conventional hydrocarbon fuel types. There are several reasons for this, a significant one being combatting green-house gas emissions. Indeed, in the 3 years from 2018, new UK registrations of conventional cars has declined from 93 to 54% of the total and at the same time electric has moved from 1 to 12%. The reason these yearly numbers don’t total 100% is that a third category exists and is currently flourishing (up from 6 to 34% of new registrations). This is partly because, .....Read More

Blog 77 - Your New Secret Weapon: the ALARP Anchor

  Thursday, May 26, 2022

Think about your national culture for a moment. I won’t risk exposing my prejudices by giving blasé (and probable trite) examples from other countries but will endeavour for my own. For me, British cultural concepts include Stoicism (the capacity to ‘grin and bear it’ whilst being diligent and respectable, as is exemplified in the slogan “keep calm and carry on”) and a particular type of humour (much British humour and sarcasm may be delivered through subtle or dry understatements). To this grouping I would also add the ALARP concept. ALARP stands for “As Low As Reasonably Practicable“ and is derived from and enc.....Read More

Blog 76 - To those I have loved...and not lost

  Monday, March 14, 2022

I’d be surprised if you and Kurtis Walker knew each other. Kurtis worked as a Warehouse and Logistics Supervisor at a manufacturing site in the UK. But, even if his name doesn’t ring a bell, you may well have helped prevent Kurtis suffering life changing burns injuries or even dying at work. So, thank you. Soon after a new facility at the site had been commissioned, the Security Team noticed what seemed to be liquid spray discharge on one of their CCTV screens - probably a defective fire sprinkler, they thought. As it was the weekend and no production was taking place, they called the Maintenance Manager who got in his car and drove to the site. He .....Read More

Blog 70 – Why the Beauty of Engineered Solutions matters

  Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Earlier this month I spent a delightful long weekend with my partner in Kent, England. We based ourselves at Dymchurch, a coastal village, from which we walked and cycled. One of its key features is the above sea wall, which is just the latest incarnation of defences which date back to Roman times. Completed in 2011 at a cost of £60m, the barrier protects around 2500 residences in the low-lying ground behind. As we strolled along it on the Friday evening, I wasn’t surprised to find that such an engineered safety feature was robust and effective. What I hadn’t expected was to be entranced by its beauty. From the path topping the wall, the barri.....Read More