Will the terror continue?

Are the most recent terrorist events in schools a portent for industry? The tragedy of Littleton, CO, has sparked all the usual questions, accusations, and frustrations as people search for reasons, explanations, and understanding.

06/01/1999


Are the most recent terrorist events in schools a portent for industry?

The tragedy of Littleton, CO, has sparked all the usual questions, accusations, and frustrations as people search for reasons, explanations, and understanding. While there's no value in adding to the cacophony and media frenzy that have resulted, a couple of observations relating this event to industrial security may be appropriate.

First, many people believe that the terrorist attacks of the last few years are fostered in large measure by the violence youths and children are exposed to in our society. Video games, television entertainment, movies, news, and the general prevalence of anger, confrontation, "in your face" attitudes, and aggression are all frequently listed as contributing factors. If this belief is true -- and I'm inclined to think it is -- then we are likely to have problems for years to come, no matter what action is taken now.

The roots of our values and attitudes are planted in childhood. Researchers tell us that chronic exposure to violence can have serious developmental consequences for children, including truncated moral development and a pathological adaptation to violence. Thus, the seeds may have already been sown for violent acts that will be carried out 5, 10, or 15 yr from now. For many of our youngsters, even an immediate reduction of exposure to violence and aggression may be too late. The violent employee of 10 or 15 yr from now has already been indoctrinated into a world of aggression.

Second, many terrorist attacks are perpetrated from the inside. They are committed by employees, students, family members, visitors, or friends who have legitimate access to the institutions they attack. My impression is that most industrial security is based on preventing entry to facilities and areas by "unauthorized" people. The potential danger represented by people who have regular and authorized access to the plant may be neglected.

This is not a call to constant internal surveillance and the initiation of "Big Brother" practices. But it is a "heads up" warning that plant engineers should be alert to the possibilities of danger from within.

So, my observations are these: One, the seemingly random acts of terror that have become part of U.S. society are likely to continue for years to come. And, two, there may be more danger in our plants from persons who are known to us than from the stranger.





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
IIoT grows up; Six ways to lower IIoT costs; Six mobile safety strategies; 2017 Salary Survey
2016 Top Plant; 2016 Best Practices on manufacturing progress, efficiency, safety
2016 Product of the Year; Diagnose bearing failures; Asset performance management; Testing dust collector performance measures
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
What controller fits your application; Permanent magnet motors; Chemical manufacturer tames alarm management; Taking steps in a new direction
Tying a microgrid to the smart grid; Paralleling generator systems; Previewing NEC 2017 changes
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role of plant safety and offers advice on best practices.
This article collection contains several articles on preventing compressed air leaks and centrifugal air compressor basics and best practices for the "fifth utility" in manufacturing plants.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
click me