You may or may not have seen news about a recent explosion at an oil refinery in South Philadelphia. The sad news is that this was the second recent fire at the facility.

While it appears that no one was hurt nor killed, the consequences have been devastating. Unfortunately, this has lead to an announcement that more than 1000 workers will be immediately affected by the closure of the plant. Further, the owner of the plant had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in order to give itself the best chance of rebuilding.

Why did this happen? No one can be certain. It appears that maybe a faulty butane vent might have been a root cause in the most recent fire. Perhaps, it was just bad luck with a defective part, and there’s a possibility that nothing could have prevented it.

But with two fire events close together, one has to at least wonder what could have been done to avoid such costly events. Was it operational fatigue, failed communications, poor inspection processes or follow-through? You can bet that investigators will be pouring over operational records to try to determine exactly what happened or what didn’t happen that should have happened.

Today more than ever operations are working hard to tighten procedures, combat fatigue and improve communication.

Here at LogBook, that’s why we work to provide a centralized record keeping and communications platform that can help organizations focused on continuous improvement and operational excellence. This news reminded us how important record keeping and communications are in important operations like this, and reinforced our commitment to providing tools that can make a difference.

God bless the displaced workers and their families. We hope they find new gainful employment soon.