Maybe it’s something in the air. Maybe it’s a once-in-a-blue-moon alignment of the planets. Or maybe it’s just sheer happenstance. Whatever it is, it seems that an inordinately large percentage of recent EHS news has skewed toward the bizarre, the outlandish and the surreal.
From the stories that make you scratch your head to the ones that make you question your faith in humanity, we’re taking a look at some of the strangest EHS developments from the past year or so.
In Appalachia and the Illinois Basin, coal companies use a process called "wet washing" to reduce the amount of non-combustible material. There are other methods of separating coal and non-coal used in other places, primarily where mining occurs in arid areas with limited water supplies.
Many companies go to great lengths to keep their business strategies under wraps – except when it comes to safety. Organizations that otherwise might be reluctant to open their doors welcome EHS professionals into their facilities to share best practices and to learn new methods for making their operations safer. It’s a tradition steeped in the spirit of continuous improvement – and in the spirit of saving lives.
When Ralph Lee first called attention to the threat of arc-flash explosions in the early 1980s, he noted that an electric arc between metals is four times as hot as the surface of the sun. Perhaps because the concept of electric arcing seemed as fantastical as a supernova, it took over a decade for Lee’s concepts to gain mainstream acceptance.
Losing sleep over what OSHA might be looking for the next time a compliance officer inspects your facility? The agency's annual list of its top 10 most frequently cited safety standards could offer some valuable insight, especially when you consider that the standards on the list don't vary much from year to year.