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Learning from incidents: A practical application



Confucius is credited with stating “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” It is only the true innovators who can learn by reflection; for the rest of us need to learn by either imitation or experience. When we consider experience in the context of the process industry, this is often equipment damage or human impact such as injuries or fatalities. This article focuses on the practical application of learning from others' incidents outside the immediate workplace at the Australian Vinyls Corporation Laverton plant. This article describes methods to learn by imitation potentially saves not only financial and production resources, but also human life. © 2008 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Process Saf Prog 2009