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On the Lighter Side

This page provides a mixture of quotes, stories, anecdotes, lists, definitions of terms, and questions and answers, some humorous, that help to make points relevant to risk and safety.

New items are added regularly so check back periodically.


Category: Anecdotes

During a PHA study in Canada, the study team kept referencing waste water going to what the facilitator thought was the "bayou". This term describes a body of water in the south of the US where the facilitator lived. Eventually, the study team realized that "bayou" was being recorded in the PHA worksheets rather than their intended "Bio" which was how the team referred to their waste water treatment facility. This homophone could have affected the interpretation of the environmental results of the PHA.


Category: Quotes

It's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish.
- J. R. R. Tolkien


Category: Quotes

Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.
- Arnold Bennett


Category: Quotes

The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.
- Albert Einstein


Category: Anecdotes

First employee: "I failed my safety training test today".

Second employee: "Why was that?"

First employee: "Well, the question was: In case of fire, what steps would you take? Apparently, the answer is not, 'Very large ones'!"


Category: Anecdotes

Human Factors in Processes

Before starting a process hazard analysis (PHA), the team conducted a walk-through of the process. One team member was barely five foot tall. Another team member noticed that the pull chain for an emergency shower was at least seven feet above grade and could not be reached by the short engineer. It had probably been that way for years but most of the people working at the facility were tall enough to reach it and noone ever noticed the deficiency.

Has a review been conducted for your facility to ensure that its design accommodates all people who may be present considering the possible range of anthropometrics and abilities?


Category: Anecdotes

Past performance is no guarantee of future success. Operation of a facility for many years without a major incident does not prove the facility has a tolerable risk.
 - Anon 


Category: Quotes

If you think safety is expensive, try an accident
 - Trevor Kletz


Category: Quotes

Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
- William Shakespeare


Category: Quotes

Some people get lost in thought because it is unfamiliar territory for them.
- Anon

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