Odds of a Catastrophe

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You probably read in the newspaper, online or heard on the radio that on Friday, February 15, 2013, Asteroid 2012 DA14 came close to the earth and it was the closest recorded pass of an asteroid to the Earth ever -- about 17,150 miles.

Ironically, earlier that day a meteor streaked across the sky and exploded over Russia's Ural Mountains with the power of an atomic bomb. Its sonic blast shattered countless windows and injured nearly 1,000 people in the nearby city of 1 million people, Chelyabinsk, according to early reports.

The meteor -- estimated to be about 10 tons and just 2 meters across -- entered the Earth's atmosphere at a hypersonic speed of at least 33,000 mph and shattered into pieces about 18-32 miles above the ground, the Russian Academy of Sciences said in a statement.

The shock wave released several kilotons of energy above the region. City officials said 3,000 buildings in the city were damaged by the shock wave, including a zinc factory where part of the roof collapsed. The shock wave blew in more than 1 million square feet of glass, according to city officials.

Several Hollywood movies have been produced over the years themed on the destruction of the earth by a meteor or asteroid hitting the earth and increased hype on the topic has been evident over the past year.

But what are the chances for you being killed by such an event. They currently estimate you have about a 1 in 4,000,000,000,000 (4 trillion) chance of being killed by such an event.

What about being killed on the job? About 1 in 25,000! Now that is something you should take serious. It's also something that, in more than 80% of the incidents, are preventable by your actions.

Ensure you follow the established procedures for LOTO, PPE, and your specific job functions. Similar to an asteroid hitting, it can happen in a flash, when you least expect it. And in most cases you can ensure the odds in your favor.

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