The Return of Stan Smiley, Master Hydrogen Sulfide Trainer
Safety Consultant with Sheldon Primus
The Return of Stan Smiley, Master Hydrogen Sulfide Trainer
June 30, 2023
In this episode Sheldon speaks with Master Hydrogen Sulfide Trainer Stan Smiley. In this conversation, Sheldon and Mr. Smiley speak about the hidden dangers on Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S), H2S training and detergent suicide. Don't miss this revealing episode.
Warning: This content describes detergent suicide.
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Keywords: Oil and Gas Extraction, detergent suicide, Process Safety Management, Oil extraction, oil refineries, construction, Guyana, Hess, Exxon Mobil, Environment, Sustainability, Workplace safety, Hazardous materials, Industrial hygiene, Occupational health, Safety regulations, Hazard prevention, Risk assessment, Chemical safety, Ergonomics, Health and safety, standards, Environmental policy, Workplace health promotion, Environmental health, Air quality, Water quality, Climate change, Green initiatives, Sustainable development, Government news, Public policy, Politics, Government services, Government programs, Public administration, Political analysis, Government leadership, Federal government, State government, Local government, Public service, Workplace safety, Occupational safety, Safety training, Health and safety compliance, Safety management systems, Risk assessment, Safety audits, Safety culture, Incident investigation, Ergonomics, Hazard identification, Industrial hygiene, Safety inspections, Behavior-based safety, Safety program development, OSHA compliance, Safety policies and procedures, Job hazard analysis, Safety performance metrics, Safety certifications, Sheldon, Primus, Sheldon Primus, Safety FM, Jay Allen, Dr. Todd Conklin, Dr. Sydney Dekker, Stan Smiley, Safety Differently, HOP, BBS, COSS, COSM, Oil and Gas, Chemical Manufacturing, Medical Compliance, Human Resources, HR, Podcast 

[00:00:04] Announcer: This episode is powered by Safety FM.  
[00:00:00] Sheldon Primus: Welcome to the Safety Consultant Podcast. I’m your host, Sheldon Primus. This is the podcast where I teach you the business of being a safety consultant, we talk about OSHA, talk about a bunch of stuff, don't we? Alright, so this week I’ve got some stuff for you. Actually, just kind of thinking about a class that I’m gonna be doing with Stan Smiley. Stan is actually the one who's gonna be conducting the class, and uh I am gonna be helping him facilitate the class. Just Zoom and all the other stuff, connecting technology that needs to be connected together. So I'm helping to put this thing on.  
So in preparation for that, we talked again about his specialty, which is hydrogen sulfide, uh so if you have not been aware of the Stan Smiley interview before, he is a master hydrogen sulfide inspector. Uh excuse me, instructor. I guess he could be an inspector too. This man can actually do anything related to sulfides. I’ve forgotten so much more about sulfides than many of us even knew existed. Uh So we talk about um just the industry as it is, some of industries that he's worked on was emergency management, and oil fields, and stuff like that in the oil and gas industry, but he's been a consultant for people in my industries. And my industry is wastewater treatment, been doing that for quite a bit. Uh, so, uh, that was, yeah. Pre consulting life, I haven't done any wastewater operation in quite a while. Uh, I miss it though, I do. It's one of those things where, um, you start getting into consulting and then all of a sudden you're like, I was uh whatever technician in this or technician in that, and after a while, you know, you get away from it so much that, you know, you're like, hm, I miss those days. But you still consider yourself, you know, like for me, my case, a wastewater operator.  
So Stan talked about a little bit in my field, the wastewater operation field, and we actually talked a little bit about um, the phenomenon, if you would, of what's called chemical suicide. So as a note, this might be triggering to some people, so I just wanna let you guys know that. What the idea was is, when I was trying to figure out what me and Stan could talk about was, you know, besides hydrogen sulfide, is just how it relates to so many businesses. We know that there's sulfides in oil and gas, and uh there's sulfides in the fishing and tanning industries, sewer systems, obviously because of all the organic matter, you know, there are some chemical processes like paper mill and pulp mills and mining and um asphalt roof work. They will generate sulfides and chemical processes. So there's a lot of people who uh we know have that kind of um exposure to sulfides. But as Stan and I talked, we uh got to really, um, I, I took the first class and this is an instructor development course, uh three-day course. Uh, what it's set up for is, this is a train-to-trainer class that Stan and I are doing. And if you want to go ahead and go right to it, go to My last name P-R-I-M-U-S  dot training. So that's the full uh URL So when you get there, you'll see that we're doing a three-day class, um and it's for trainers. So when you get done, you now will be able to be certified for three years to train people in hydrogen sulfide awareness. And those people that get your training are end-users. They're not training anyone else after you train them. That's not the type of certification this is. It is a certification that's gonna help you with the end-users. So when we uh do this one, it's coming up in August, uh Stan and I, we're just talking about everything and uh the chemical suicide came up, just because most people aren't aware of even what that is. So, um hydrogen sulfide and searching, certain concentrations over 1000 parts per million, uh will be deadly within a few breaths. So what people have um seen, or actually it's been around for a little while now, is people will mix a chemical that was an acid with some sort of uh sulfur compound uh such as a pesticide, insecticide, they mix those two together in a closed atmosphere and then the instantaneous creation of the sulfides is in such a concentration that the, the person then will expire within a few breaths. So what's happening though is uh that's a purposeful uh thing that they're doing there, in some cases it's not, because people aren't aware to keep those chemicals away from each other. But in some cases, especially uh the cases when people are trying to have that reaction in a closed environment, they'll put a sign on the uh window that would say in effect, uh don't open this glass or, or something similar to danger uh toxic gas inside. So what would happen is, if someone did not do a sign similar to that, then the first responder, they'll see someone slumped over in his seat. They want to crack the glass, as they're trained, to try to get that person some fresh air, but that gas concentration will be high enough to also affect that individual to the point of fatality. So it's an important, important message to get out, that uh hydrogen sulfide training isn't just for people that, you know, the usual suspects. We all know who needs the, the sulfide training. You've got the, uh, animal processors in any way, people in asphalt, in any way, chemical labs, water, wastewater, tanneries, fisheries, fertilizing companies, rubber, plastic processors, pulp and paper. So there's a bunch of people out there that we already know, needs some training for hydrogen sulfide because they have, uh, the exposure, not just oil and gas, but now we're also thinking first responders need this training as well.  
[00:07:33] Sheldon Primus: So that's the, the conversation that we're having and I just want to at least let you guys know about that, so if uh we, we call it now a trigger warning, uh so there's some, some wording on that. Uh But it is important to understand, if you are a person who is a first responder, or you have a loved one that's a first responder, uh make them aware of this. So just want to get you guys ready again for the episode. But before we do, let's see some locations.  
So my top 10 right now is US, followed by a Bahrain, Bahrain, excuse me. Singapore, France, Italy, Germany, Finland, Canada, Netherlands, and Hungary. And you are the top 10 listeners of the podcast right now. Thank you very much, and for the other listeners, thank you as well. Even though I may not have listed your country. Well, let's go ahead, 11 starts UK, South Africa, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, Portugal, Thailand, Kenya, Switzerland, Belgium, Korea, Israel, Denmark. Hm, India, Ireland, Sweden, Croatia, Poland, Malaysia and Spain. Thank you all for listening. Uh Share it with a friend, get your country up a little bit higher. Uh I actually read those in order of listeners, so pretty, pretty cool. Thank you guys, hoping I'm helping you with this.  
Uh oh the hydrogen sulfide um course is online and it is international. Uh only restriction is, is um uh we got to keep it small enough so we can have some good uh feedback. And again, when you leave this class, you'll be a trainer. Uh So I'll try to make sure that you're gonna get really good interaction, so we're gonna limit this class to 20. You know, literally, just in the US alone, we've got 27,000 downloads there. So, uh that means it might end up going quickly. Uh So, uh again is where you're gonna find the info. Listen to Mr. Smiley as uh we get to talking a little bit of hydrogen sulfide, you can hear his passion. And uh then as we finish up this episode, I'm not gonna come back on and, and anything, it's only gonna be one episode. 
[00:10:05] Announcer: This episode is powered by Safety FM. 
[00:10:09] Sheldon Primus: So, there you go, I'm starting it over. Like nothing ever happened and I was never here. All right, gang. Let's listen to Stan and me in the interview. Go get ‘em. 
[00:10:32] Sheldon Primus: All right, I am set. So welcome again, Mr. Smiley for another episode of the safety consultant podcast with Sheldon Primus. And you have been really good at helping me understand hydrogen sulfide even better than I thought I did. When I got your class I, I really realized how much I didn't know. 
[00:10:55] Stan Smiley: Unfortunately, there is a lot of people out there that are the same, and in the safety world they teach you in Safety 101 that assume means that you make an ass out of you and me. But in, in this stuff, when you assume and you go out there, it's uh it's like going to a gun fight with unloaded guns. Uh the, the downside of it can be so critical and I always have a hard time. Uh I've been in the oil field now since 2010, I guess. I've made my home in most venues, but in the oil field for the last 13 years. And you go out there and you talk to people at work with the atmosphere that they can have this as a hazard, and they've worked in it for two years, three years, five years, whatever and not had an incident. And so it, it's hard to teach what the, the real hazard can be.  
Sheldon Primus: Yeah.  
Stan Smiley: So, uh and you know, when we, when we look at the range of possibilities as far as hazard areas, it's so strong. It goes into agriculture um, it goes into processing plants, paper mills, uh, people that are going inside your, your transport carrier, truck trailers and cleaning them out, um, barges, even cruise ships. Uh, anything that can have decay, anything that can have petrochemical-based properties in it, uh, is, is a possible problem. If, if you go in and you investigate a little bit, you see so many municipalities that have had issues and it's with people that they've probably been trained in a minor degree and I've seen several instances where people go down into water treating areas and they're in low lying areas and they carry SCBA’s, you know, your Scott air packs, they carry them, but they don't use them.  
Sheldon Primus: I had a question then, excuse me for interrupting you there. Uh, do you find that, um, like you're just saying there and it, it gave me an idea like with when people are, are done, they don't really know their exposure to H2S and, uh, it looks like the behavior of the person uh, it is, is part of the cost, and the behavior of not wearing their, their packs, or their behavior of, of truly not knowing, or I should say not protecting themselves when they are in situations that sulfides could be present. Is that what you're seeing? 
Stan Smiley: Well, the Scott Air Parks are a pain. Uh, they're heavy and people have been used to working without them and then when they go into an area that's hazardous, uh, they, they carry the same mentality or the same thought process that everything's gonna be ok. Uh, I worked in a refinery for 22 years. I was on the response team, I responded to a lot of stuff, mostly fires. And during a turnaround, which is a scheduled outage where you go in and revamp a lot of equipment, and normally about every five years we would have people that worked under air and not unusual to have 2000, 5000 parts per million. But it was always in a controlled environment. We knew that it was gonna be there. We had air handlers to push and move, and had the area blocked off, we had sensors around to make sure that nobody got into the area. It was a controlled environment. But what gets people in, in a problem is they're working in an environment that doesn't have those safeguards and controls. Um They're, they're left to rely on their own training, their own wit, and probably their smarts. A lot of people get so used to things, they get the bravado and they walk into something that they don't understand. And with this stuff, you might not be able to back joy out. Uh You know, all it takes is one breath at 500 to 700, 1000 parts per million. You know, in the class that you sat in, we talked about physiology. We talked about a person's unique physiology, and what that really means is your sensitivity level. And so you can't teach people this stuff and put it on the blackboard and said that at 1000 parts per million, this stuff is gonna kill you. It doesn't, it, it's, it's just, it's not a real number for most people. And, um you know, you, it’s just unfortunate. 
[00:16:45] Sheldon Primus: I had a thought that came up from that one with uh, you're saying about the different, um, like for instance, you, you just mentioned about your career and, and e match and, and, uh, just making sure that people, when they need emergency, emergency help, you're there to help them with that. Uh, with the, the, the rate of the detergent suicide, I'm not too sure if everybody's aware of what that even is, but the first responders when they see someone slumped over in a car and they want to help, they now are in danger. Yeah, that's, that’s- 
Stan Smiley: When we, yeah, when we started preparing for this last training session that we did, I know that it was kind of new to you, not unknown, but new. And you started researching and you found where people could go online and register to do a train-to-trainer for three or four hundred dollars and a three-hour class. You said through mine, what do you think you could have really learned in three hours? 
Sheldon Primus: Uh, learn someone's name and maybe a little bit about the properties of hydrogen sulfide in three hours. That's about it. 
Stan Smiley: In the oil field it's not unusual where the possibility is there to have people that are trained still on a 20 or 30 minute, uh, CV2. And the only thing you're doing is setting those people up for a possible fail that could be fatal. Um, you know, the ANSI program, the Z390, is a suggested method of training. It's the most recognized out there because the, the training is pretty in depth, it's recognized worldwide. I used to get calls from, from the Middle East wanting me to go to Saudi Arabia, go to Oman and do this training. I got my training from Frank Perry, I think I might have mentioned that before. Frank is the Daddy of H2S, if you google him, and he was extremely busy with this stuff. He spent a lot of time in the Middle East training people, and I think that there's somewhere around 15 or 20 trainers in the Middle East. And uh in the, in the working world that meant that things that we take for granted now were not addressed. A lot of it had to do with confined space. Confined space you run into the same issue you deal with hydrogen sulfide, sometimes hydrogen sulfide is in a confined space, but it's all about your respiratory system isn’t it? Being able to get quality air, and I know personally, I saw two times where people were brought out of confined spaces dead.  
Sheldon Primus: Wow. 
Stan Smiley: Uh, and it, it was from lack of training, lack of understanding, lack of proper procedures. Uh, you know, death is not new. Not being able to breathe is not new.  
Sheldon Primus: Yeah. 
Stan Smiley: Uh, why, but in those days, a safety person was rarely a safety professional. There was somebody that got hurt and so they moved them up into safety because safety doesn't have to do anything, and you really don't have to know anything. And it cost people, cost people dearly. It cost them in their health, it cost the lives. Um, and, and that's sad. It really is.  
Sheldon Primus: Yeah. And it also makes it where the, um, the new hire, if you would, they’re you put into this position, there could be, to them, a feeling of, I got demoted or it's a shame almost, and then they're gonna be operating their safety program with that premise already. That they're, um, they've got a chip on their shoulder to prove that they're, they're not in a worthless job, and therefore their attitude may hurt the overall goal of getting people to trust you in safety. 
Stan Smiley: Well, I think we, we talked the last time in that class, we talked about a whole lot of things, and my personal view on the safety world is we have a lot of safety people and we have very few safety professionals. You have some well-schooled people, they're sitting in a desk, never get out into the field. They wear their starched clothes, their shined boots, and they go to meetings and they’re safety. But the, safety is an attitude. Safety is a culture. It's something that has to be built, it has to be instilled in the people.  
I've worked all the way up to the corporate ladder in some, in some big companies. Uh When I got involved with the company that I still consult for, I am a consultant, a safety consultant, mostly out in the West Texas area where things are very, very hard to deal with. When my people go out, if, if they go out at four o'clock in the morning, I'm over there in my truck at 3:30 waiting on them to, to come to the area where we're getting ready to leave. You have to get people's respect, they have to understand that you're really there for them, to listen to you, especially on things like this. If you're, you're the little boy, crying wolf and they haven't seen the wolf. So they're not worried about the teeth and that's it. People have to respect you to be able to understand that you're really in it for them, you're really trying to keep them safe, healthy and alive, and by listening to you, it'll help.  
Sheldon Primus: Wow. 
Stan Smiley: I, I, I've been in a lot of circumstances where a split second decision saves lives. Fires, I've been in three fires, I think I told you, I've been in one explosion, and you don't have time to make a strong evaluation. The things that you've learned have to come back immediately and you have to understand how to respond. And that's, that, that's what's gonna save your life. 
Sheldon Primus: And that goes with the retention of the, that information. You know, you get the information, you hear it repeatedly in the annual session, but if it's quality information, it's gonna be retained. If it's just regular, you know, computer-based training, CBT, uh, then in that case, uh they may not get the opportunity to talk to someone like you with that experience and everything by, you know, they may initiate an email to someone, but they're not gonna get the, the opportunity to, to know firsthand. Uh And also right there in real time from an instructor teaching them in real time. So that's why I believe you're, you're, um, you're right about the training and being able to bring that and recall it back in the moment of an emergency. And if you can't, then that is life threatening. 
Stan Smiley: Uh, we talked about detergent suicide in that, in that training session. We talked about the homeland security now that is worried about it for terrorist activities. If you keep up with current events, there's a lot of stuff out there that's building for terrorist activities here.  
Sheldon Primus: Can you explain how that would work? The, um, the, we've, they've heard the term detergent suicide, but maybe the people may not be familiar of, of how the compound of uh sulfide gets manipulated in a situation that creates the detergent suicide.
Stan Smiley: Detergent suicide was brought to us by the Japanese in 2008. Someone, in 2008 figured out that if you take a bottle of drain cleaner and a bottle of insecticide and pour it into a pail, open pail, and it doesn't have to be in a strictly measured amount, it takes care of its own mixing. And what they do is they get into a vehicle because it's a confined space, they shut down the capability of your system to bring in outside air, everything's gonna recirculate. And they sit there and they pour the insecticide in the drain cleaner into that pail, and in an extremely short time, almost instantaneously, you have the production of H2S as a byproduct coming up and it's over 1000 parts per million which no matter what your physiology is, you're dead. And so that's, that's a method of killing people. People after they hear this podcast, I guarantee you will go and they will Google detergent suicide, and it will amaze you. I haven't googled it in, in a few years, but when I did, I was really shocked at how many people said, but if I do this, will it really kill me, or am I gonna lay in a bed of vegetable for who knows how long. People wanted to kill themselves, there's a forest in Japan that people go out there to kill themselves. It's famous. Uh amazing. 
[00:27:06] Sheldon Primus: This was a byproduct of that then, of the uh just the, uh I guess just the, the desperation of the, the people at this point brought them to different ways that would be more permanent. And then also it would be almost like falling asleep, if you would. 
Stan Smiley: What they, what they finally decided and learned from detergent suicide was there were a lot of peripheral deaths. People would go up there and knock on the window, are you ok? They don't get a response. Knock on the window, are you ok? And you know, in a, in a welfare direction for a person that is unconscious, you're supposed to check them out. Check to see if they have a pulse, check to see if they have a respiration. And so they open the door, and when they open the door, they get hit by the H2S that's in there, and now they find people dead on the outside of the door there. And so what they said is make sure if you do this, you leave a note on your window, leave a note on your dashboard, do not enter poisonous gas. Call Hazmat, call local authorities, et cetera.  
I tried to teach our border patrol down here where I live, on the Texas border, we're, we're completely overwhelmed now, by people that are coming through. But even in the older days, it, it was not new, border patrol was out in the middle of nowhere, and they, they actually were somebody that you would use if you were trying to find a location you call because they know. They're in and out of everywhere. But that means that their opportunity, just like a law enforcement officer, was extremely strong to come up on this. And so I tried I, I do a lot of volunteer training, if I can. No cost, just to try to help people. And what I ran into with the border patrol, and with our highway patrol, you volunteer your service and the people in the field find value in it real strongly, they understand. But when you talk to a trainer, or they talk to a trainer, those people have an arrogance that a lot of people in upper management or in a, in a corporate world have. And so when you try to bring something forward and they are not aware of it, then they feel threatened. I have never done one for anybody other than county sheriffs, uh, and volunteer fire department, et cetera. You know anybody that has hazmat departments, they all have it. If you look at the infamous explosion in West Texas, which is out by Fort Worth that killed so many people. Blew up God knows what all. And it was a fertilizer plant. Fertilizer is the same thing that Timothy McVeigh used to blow up the Edward R Murle building. And people that worked around it, just old farm boys, no problem. Uh, the first 11 people that were killed responding to that explosion fire were emergency responders. 
Sheldon Primus: Wow. 
Stan Smiley: One of them was a captain in the Dallas Fire department. And I cannot imagine that a captain that had not been trained in this type of situation with Hazmat, you don't run into a fire, especially of that magnitude, you don't run into a release without sitting back, studying, looking at placards and that kind of stuff to see what is involved.  
Sheldon Primus: Yeah 
Stan Smiley: These people went running in, there was a, a fuse lit on a bomb. They had no idea how long the fuse was. Uh, sadly, the other 10 people that followed him are dead too. 
Sheldon Primus: Wow. 
Stan Smiley: What it destroyed in that city cost millions of dollars to replace  
Sheldon Primus: Yeah 
Stan Smiley: The jobs that it killed in that small town, same thing. You know, people don't understand the ripple effect of an incident, a death, uh what happens? Your, your people, they, they're worried about themselves. All of a sudden, they're spending more time worried about safety than they are with the job they're doing and that makes them double dangerous. You have to have your mind on your job, but you have to understand and you have to be trained. You need to be comfortable in your job and that comes from proper training, proper supervision. Most of this stuff so people are not well supervised. Um, you get people that are moved up through the cruise and a lot of times there's somebody's drinking buddy. They're, they're their buddy, they're their brother or cousin, and are they really capable of overseeing people? When you get into the H2S world, I know in the presentation and the, the, the part that we did about the tornadoes 
Sheldon Primus: Yeah 
Stan Smiley: I went into how somebody could be standing in a small circle and everybody have an H2S monitor on, and one person get hit and the rest of the people in the circle not, because of the way the wind currents come through. And so how do you understand, and it makes understanding your people, knowing them and watching them very closely becomes critical. Oftentimes, especially if a person gets hit with several hundred parts per million, they go into a, a situation where they lose muscle control, they can't speak, they know they're in trouble, their brain hasn't quit working yet and they're, they're just sitting there waiting to die if somebody doesn't get them to fresh air. And  
Sheldon Primus: Wow 
Stan Smiley: I really try to promote safety professionals. And in this training, the curriculum that Mr. Perry put through, it covers it all.  
Sheldon Primus: Oh yeah 
Stan Smiley: I know when you sit in that class, there's a whole lot of stuff you're probably sitting there wondering how does this really relate?  
Sheldon Primus: Yeah, dispersement models and everything else. I'm looking at, uh, I've seen dispersement models before with other chemicals and then watching it go with, uh, sulfides and how it's possible that the whole community could get this pretty quick at some levels. And then also the, um, yeah, learning a lot about, uh, for, for me what, I'm on the wastewater side, so we're, we're, we're not even in percentage, right? We're in parts per million. So, for us, I, I've never really been exposed to, to that gigantic amount of parts per million that you would get from oil and gas extraction. So I, I truly, truly learned a lot on that. But I had another, I had two questions that I want to make sure I get in, uh one was related to um you mentioned like uh when you're talking about the first responders and the towns and I've um you know, myself, I'm, I'm Guyanese-American and Guyana has got oil and Exxon is now the people that are working on it, their um their Liza, I think it is um plant and they're, they're constantly growing and growing and growing and this is a small country. So I don't know what impact is, is oil and gas gonna do to this small country. Uh What kind of services does it take to help oil and gas industry run? This would be my question. 
Stan Smiley: It's uh it's complex. You, like I said, I know when we did that 2 days, 2.5 days, we covered a whole lot of ground. And most people have told me, you know, you, you, you get off and you go in this direction, you go in that direction, but everything seems to come full circle. If you take time to think about it and put the pieces together and there's so much to cover, you're not gonna cover it all. You can't. Uh, the material in that book is a good primer and it, it gives you an awful lot of information. There's so many different aspects that you can't train them all. You can't. Um, drilling, there's, there's three or four different aspects of trying to train it. Uh, when you get on up into what the operating company is responsible for, instead of what you need to be training your people that are out in the field hands-on, is completely different. Uh, I don't train the operating companies. I could, but I don't. The opportunity just doesn't avail itself. But, uh, you know, it's, uh, it's, it's a, it's a tough world. It really is. You, you know, the hardest part is making people understand that they really need it. 
 Sheldon Primus: No, it's true. It's a, it is a tough sale because honestly you're, you're selling a boogeyman, if you will, because no one's seeing it, they barely smell it, you know, after their olfactory senses get demolished. Uh, so they don't see it as a, a threat until it's a big story. You know, so that's, that's usually what I see. Is that why you, um, got into consult? Um, I know a lot of our listeners here will be thinking about the path to consulting, and if they're also, you know, thinking about consulting through hydrogen sulfide, using their training to start a relationship with someone in consulting, uh, what do you suggest for those people? That, that want to use this training, get done and then they start training, uh people that are gonna be frontline hydrogen sulfide operators. 
Stan Smiley: The the safety world, especially consulting, is a difficult arena. And most people would like to be specialists in one particular direction. But if you're gonna really build yourself as a consultant open to the public or to the industries, you have to, you have a lot of have a lot of arrows in your quiver. And this training opens up the opportunity. If you chase some of these places and you are persistent, you find the right ear, then you can open up opportunities. And some of these that just don't see the need. Um Obviously after they've had a fatality is an excellent time, but normally you can't get into those doors because they're overrun with OSHA. They're overrun with their insurance companies and they're, they're running and they're trying to hide. They've got their head in the sand. Uh And they don't want to take responsibility. They certainly don't want to hear that had they known, they probably could have prevented that. Uh Nobody wants to admit fault., defeat.  
Uh, I think I told a story about a man for a larger drilling company. He had worked up through the ranks. He ended up getting notice that an old friend was killed on a drilling rig, and so he went and he attended the funeral. Show his respects and what have you. The man's little boy, little, I don't know how old, uh, walked up and grabbed him by the hand and asked him, why did you kill my daddy? I don't know how much more of an impact that could have on someone, but I learned from those stories. I don't have to have that little boy coming to hold my hand. I've worked for companies when I was in the corporate world, four or five different locations, up to four or 500 people at a location. I have never, in all these years, had a fatality. That's pretty strong.  
Sheldon Primus: Oh, yeah. 
Stan Smiley: That's pretty strong. Uh, and, uh, you know, you do it but I never, never letting your guard down. People will say, you know, you, you're, you're so anal, you're so directed and don't take no for an answer. Um, and that's what you have to be. A safety person works a 25-hour a day. If you don't, you're, you're not doing your job. If, if people's lives are depending on you, you have to be plugged in all the time. When those people are off, when you're off, you've got to be thinking about it. What have I not covered? What, what do I need to do? How can I make this safer and better? How can I get more understanding and respect from the people?  
You know, in the old days when people came into a job place, everything was done by on the job training. So you would go out with someone who knew his job and you would be trained by him. The old game of sitting in a circle and you tell somebody, that guy shot that cat, by the time that thing gets back around to you, it's not anything close to what it was, was it? People, people do their own assessment of what works and what doesn't work. What they like and what they don't like, and it seems to work for them and that's how they train people. And so what it really means is that the regimen of training is so diluted that it doesn't even appear to what it should be. We got in, I think somewhere in the mid to late eighties, we got into a certified brand of training, stuff that was recognized. Stuff that was, that's what we use to train people. And it's made a very strong impact in the work world. But when you get out into the small places, the, I keep picking on the water treatment people. Uh the truck drivers, you know, that are, they are pretty much left at their own volition on how they go about affecting their day. How they, how they carry out their job and how they have figured out to keep themselves safe and alive. And most of it is because they just haven't been posed with that situation where a split second keeps them alive.  
Sheldon Primus: Yeah, absolutely. 
Stan Smiley: A lot of people live their lives and never do. And that's wonderful, it is. But as a safety professional, you have to understand it and you have to have worst case scenario in mind. And that's what keeps people uh 
Sheldon Primus: That's powerful, because most of us in the safety field, we, we know it inherently that our job is truly to make sure that we, in most cases protect people from themselves. But uh I, I think that's a strong message I'm gonna uh just truly  
Stan Smiley: And they’re right, they’re right. 
Sheldon Primus: I want to thank you for, for the time. I don't want to take your Father's day away from you, but thank you so much for, for, for just coming on the show, joining us and hosting again with me. I, I truly, truly appreciate it. 
Stan Smiley: No problem. I hope it helps somebody out there. If uh if somebody has questions on it, they can reach me at That's the number five, all lower case. Uh If people have questions, I I'm here for them. Uh If, if we can do anything to promote another class, I'd love that. Uh, I'm truly committed to the subject and to trying to make people aware of how critical it is to know. Um, so anything that I can do, let me know, I appreciate your, uh, your diligence and maybe we can, uh, save somebody out here. 
Sheldon Primus: Yes, sir. Have yourself a wonderful rest of your day.  
[00:46:12] Announcer: This episode has been powered by safety FM. The views and opinions expressed on this podcast or broadcast are those of the host and its guest and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the company. Examples of analysis discussed within the past hour are only examples. They should not be utilized in the real world as the only solution available as they are based on very limited and dated open-source information. Assumptions made within this analysis are not reflective of the position of the company. No part of this podcast or broadcast may be reproduced, stored within a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means mechanical, electronic recording or otherwise without prior written permission of the creator of the podcast or broadcast, Sheldon Primus. 

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