Prof. Krishna's Odds & Ends Page
Here, I shall display -- in reverse chronological order, the latest first -- any and all weird ideas that strike me now and then, ideas that I often use in my lectures. Some of them may possibly be even useful.
They may be connected with some latest news item too!

Click if and where indicated, for more information!

INDEX (CLICK on any row to reach its contents.)
18 2 Nov 2011
17 20 Oct 2011
16 22 Jan 2011

14. What does it mean to be "Pro-Active" in Hazard Identification?
Picture at left shows a worker killed by collapse of a trench with unshored sides, being removed. A similar tragedy can be averted by watchful professionals ... read on:

Quick action by OSHA inspector helps avert employee injuries in trench collapse
When a compliance safety and health officer (CSHO) from OSHA's Calumet City, Ill.,(USA), Area Office arrived at a jobsite to conduct a trench inspection under the agency's national emphasis program, he observed an employee working in an unprotected 7-foot deep trench. Although the employee worked for a village public works department, the CSHO identified the hazards and the construction employer agreed to voluntarily remove the employee from the unsafe trench. As the employee began exiting the trench, the side wall collapsed and the water main the employee was working on erupted sending approximately 4 feet of water into the trench. Because OSHA had no jurisdiction, a referral was made to the State of Illinois Department of Labor for further investigation.
Detailed information on excavation safety is available on OSHA's Web site at

Issue 01 of iWSH - Information for Workers on Safety and Health (February 2009) reports how
the vigilance of two Jurong Port safety inspectors who were doing their rounds spotted
him with his body harness unanchored and immediately instructed him to hook up. Shortlya fter he complied and continued to work, the platform he was standing on collapsed due to overloading. It was only the inspectors' pro-active action that saved this woker's life.

Read more from:

Point to note is that in Case Study No.1, the officer who guided the worker was not directly responsible for the worker's safety!

13. Wireless = Public?
Leaving aside cell phones which (of course!) have to be wireless, most of us use even land lines through wireless (cordless) phones.
Are they really safe?
Who is the young lady phoning to?
CLICK HERE for a true story and an expert opinion!                 TOP

12. General procedure for Risk Assessment and Control

Let us say you know all about the theory of risk assessment and risk management; that you understand the procedure for carrying our risk assessment and control.

Now you have to get started, do your own RA on your job, in your project.

You need a format, you need a kickstart.

That is the hardest part. Once you get started right, the momentum keeps you going. You learn from each job, improve with each mistake.

CLICK HERE for a pdf file of the general procedure and a basic 3 by 3 risk assessment form (both qualitative and numerical modes), which I recommend for beginners and SMEs, and which I too use most of the time.

11. How to recognise a stroke, and what to do about it

10. My book on Risk Management

CLICK on the salesman at leflt if you want to know about my new book on risk management [To return to here, Click 'Back' from there]

9. My 5A-Way to Safety

Posted: March 2007

This is a template I devised for my own use in various situations.
It was suggested that it might have applications to the safety culture that is being currently promoted in Singapore.
It is my pleasure and privilege to share my thoughts on management’s role in safety through this 5A-Way template.
Needless to say, none of these ideas are new ... just time-honoured thoughts of all-time greats, in a fresh garb!

(A-1) Attitude is believing in it.
It is the beginning, the foundation for all we want to do.
In safety, it means that we want every one of the workers who comes in the morning to return home in the evening, safe and sound.
It means that we wish to share information and knowledge about incidents and accidents with our cohorts.
And so we can proudly tell ourselves, and tell others: “I accept workplace safety as a core value!”

(A-2) Awareness is knowing what is involved.
Knowing what is going on around us.
In safety, it means we must learn what can cause harm, to whom, with what impact.
It means that we must see the potential dangers, hear and sense them ... to identify them, so that we can avoid or control them.
To save employees from injury or death, to save our property from damage, and our environment and reputation from harm.

(A-3) Acceptance is taking responsibility for it.
Being pro-active, taking initiative, leading the way.
In safety, it means being accountable for the welfare and safety of all the stakeholders.
It means treating all the stakeholders as partners.
It means making RM part of our mission and our vision ... not only say the words but also arrange for funds and personnel to achieve them.

(A-4) Analysis is knowing what to do.
Applying the right principles, using the right tools.
In safety, it means identifying the hazards, estimating if and when accidents may happen, evaluating how bad they may be if they do, and what their combined risk level would become.
It means that we decide which risks are acceptable, which are unacceptable, and which are tolerable and can be managed.
And then what and how to control, and also who and when.

(A-5) Action is going ahead and doing it!
Putting our money, and our hands, where our mouth is.
In safety, it means getting all the stakeholders to participate.
It means documenting background and facts, implementing our decisions, re-doing our assessment as required ... getting on with the business of safety, and the safety of our business.
Communicating with all concerned, reviewing progress, continuing to advocate and promote safety first ... safety last.

8. Manual Handling
Manual handling, implying generally bending down and lifting heavy things by hand, is a pet peeve of mine. As an engineering student, a classmate twice my size dared me to lift an iron anvil in our smithy class. I did lift it, and ended up with a low back problem which got aggravated over the years ... it is under control, but I need a heating pad now and then! CLICK on the man at left for more!

7. Harness Hazard!
Belt vs. Harness: [June. 2006] An interesting review of why body belts are not good for saving people from falling and hitting the ground or other hard object -- a problem of "Operation was successful, but the patient died!" -- and why a full body harness is the solution ... if we take care of the new problems that the harness would bring!
CLICK on picture of man at left for more.


6. Krishna on a Crane!
Nov. 27, 2006
Yes, that is me at far left, on the top walkway of a crane, wearing a helmet.
I am with the two guys in the background - checking the fit-up of a barge for transportation of five cranes from Singapore to Kolkata in June 2006.
The design was done by QED Engineers of Singpore.


As consultant to QED, I designed struts at feet (marked 'A' in photo below), cross-bracings between crane legs, and welds.
These would protect the cranes from the wobble and vibration due to wind and waves buffeting the barge during the three-week travel on the high seas during the worst of the monsoon.

5. An inspiring boss!

Posted, Oct. 2006
Scott Melnick, Editor of Modern Steel Construction published by the American Institute of Steel Construction, in the December 2005 issue of the monthly, had this to say about his retiring boss Lou Gurthet.

I think that these same sentiments apply to safety, as much as to most other matters in our lives.

-- N. Krishnamurthy

In praise of a retiring boss ...

"He taught me that it's okay to fail as long as you've tried.

"He taught me that you can't do everything yourself, that you need to be able to depend on others.

"He taught me to recognize when something is just never going to work and to have the strength to cut your losses.

"And he taught me to expend the effort where it will have the most results; to not insist on perfection but rather to recongnize that the time it takes to go from 98% to 100% is probably better spent elsewhere."

4. Success and defeat at the North Pole


18 August 2006

Inspired by a talk "Vision, Focus, and Accountability -- Unsupported to the South Pole: Experience from a Pioneering Expedition" presented by Roland Kruegar, at NUS Business School, on 16 August 2006

-- N. Krishnamurthy

[Photos by NUS, Left: Speaker, and me in the audience.]

[July 2006, Curious about what the picture above, the icon I have used for my structures section is? ]

3. Terrorist-proof WTC design!

The NEW Twin Tower Design: Very few notice my fine print question, and fewer take the time off to find out!
Some time after the 9/11 (2001) terrorist attack on the New York Twin Towers (Left), with the American penchant for joking about everything, a video titled "In a Perfect World" made the rounds, proposing a design for the next Twin Towers to replace the ones that were lost: This time built so that if and when another plane came at them, they would literally bend over backwards to let the attacing aircraft pass between them harmlessly (Right). 
2. Safety Slogans
[Dec. 2005] A collection of random text and images aimed to promote safety, as and when they occurred to me. Use any of them if you like it, and if you think it will help the cause of safety.

on image at left for more!
1. Newton in Singapore
[Nov. 2005] A whimsical look at Newton as the unit of force, which may give engineers (and non-engineers too) a "feel" for it as much as they have for the kg (or strictly speaking) kgf. In a continuation of the Newton metaphor, another visual to help engineers get a feel for floor loading maps are displayed at MRTs and other public locations.
CLICK on sumo wrestler at left for the whole story!