Don't try these things in your plant

Since late 2001, one of my favorite organizations, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), has been trying to keep plant workers safe from the sometimes self-inflicted workplace injuries that can jack up your insurance rates and workers comp costs.

Through something called Safety and Chemical Engineering Education (SAChE), an initiative of the AIChE and its Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS), the organization posts entries in the Process Safety Messages for Manufacturing Personnel, a series of brief case studies about industrial accidents of many types.

These one-page case studies explain what happened, how it happened, and what you can do to avoid making the same mistake. Finding the information you seek is a bit convoluted. First you select a year, then select a keyword or two from drop-down menus, and finish by clicking on your language of choice.

While we’re on the subject of safety, remember that, in the ideal world, you have an additional 16 hours each day to get into mischief, some of which can be deadly. Consider the bizarre case of Sheila Decoster, who died because, apparently, she lost her balance.

Stay safe out there. That makes good sense.