Surviving the Black Swan, Strategies for process safety specialists and companies to survive unpredicted catastrophic events
By John F. Murphy
We have authored and coauthored three papers on the “black swan”, the rare and unpredictable catastrophic event that happens in everyone’s life including practicing process safety engineers and the companies they work for. The first two papers discussed the concept of the black swan and the difficulty in predicting such events. The third paper discussed the fact that we have difficulty maintaining the lesson’s learned from black swan events that have occurred. The authors have survived several black swans that have affected them personally and professionally. During our careers, we have also witnessed several black swans that have occurred in industry. Black swan events are rare but inevitable. Some individuals and companies survive black swan events and continue on while other do not. This paper presents examples and strategies for surviving “black swan “events from a personal, professional and a company point of view.