The Process Safety Professional. Part 3: That Would Be Telling
The Kletz Legacy
Time flies — we are coming up to the tenth anniversary of the passing of Trevor Kletz. He made immense contributions to the discipline of process safety. He is particularly remembered for his contributions to do with hazards analysis, incident analysis and inherent safety. But maybe his biggest contribution was the manner in which he communicated — particularly with regard to story-telling. The popularity and impact of his books such as Learning from Accidents and What Went Wrong? was due in no small part to the fact that they were actually story books that explained actual events. Human beings learn best from stories and Trevor knew it.
The catch is that few people who work in the process industries possess Trevor's communications skills. Process safety professionals typically have a technical background, often engineering; they are not skilled at story-telling, and have had no training in the topic. Probably the nearest they get to telling a story is when they have to write a report following the investigation of an incident, and then company guidelines and legal constraints provide little freedom for artistic creativity.
Process Safety Stories
There are, however, a few exceptions to the above observations. Examples include the Process Safety Beacon, the Chemical Safety Board videos, and the use of Safety Moments.
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