Intelex Named a “Best Workplace in Canada” for the 3rd Year!

Last night marked my 3rd time attending the Great Place to Work gala to receive the coveted title as one of Canada’s Best Workplaces! I have to say every time I’ve been, the air has been electric and this year was no different. There were hundreds of employees from companies across Canada eagerly waiting to hear where their companies ranked on the list.

Along with 9 other Intelexians, my eyes were fixated on the giant screen at the front of the room as the countdown of 100 best workplaces began. The list of Best Workplaces in Canada is complied annually by the Great Place to Work® Institute and recognizes 100 companies in Canada for building workplaces that foster trust among employees. It’s an approach that has always been at the heart of Intelex’s company culture.

One of the best surprises of the night was the announcement that we had won a special award as the 7th Best Workplace for Women! Both these awards were presented based on a survey of employees’ ratings of their work environment and an in-depth review of corporate culture, and more than 60,000 employees across Canada participated in the 2014 survey!

Even when we were trying to figure out who from Intelex should attend the awards ceremony, our amazing company culture shone through. Employees were all asked to nominate one of their peers that has helped make Intelex a great place to work by         embodying Intelex’s Core Values of Value Creation, Integrity, Teamwork & Trust, Stewardship, Leadership, Respect for All, Hard Work, and Happiness. These values are emblazoned on our office walls, but they’re also put to practice by our employees, who are reminded each day of the meaning behind the work they do and how our company impacts the world in positive ways.

All in all it was a great night. In true Intelex style we sat chatting and sharing until the doors of the event closed and the event staff were packing up. I am thankful every day that I get to work for such a wonderful company and last night was just one more reminder of how truly special our workplace is.

Intelex Named a “Best Workplace in Canada” for the 3rd Year!

How To Manage Audits

Intelex’s Audits Management software makes it easy to manage audits and inspections by streamlining all types of audits and their related activities including compliance, quality control, employee safety and environmental goals.

 

How To Manage Audits from Intelex Videos on Vimeo.

Many companies still manage audits using spreadsheets or paper-based systems which are notoriously inefficient and cumbersome to manage, particularly when it comes to follow-up actions.

This centralized software system allows you to create and schedule your audits, while automatic notifications guarantee that everyone who needs to know does. Anyone with the appropriate privileges can easily access the system, quickly review the scheduled audits, and ensure they have the required documentation ready.

Next, by using a smart-phone, tablet or computer, auditors can use the checklist functionality to record all of the results. If any issues are identified that need to be corrected, users can simply log a non-conformance, then initiate and assign a corrective action with just the click of a button.

Whether you’re looking for internal audit software or software for external audits, using this centralized web-based solution can help to streamline your organization’s audit program and improve audit results.

To learn more about Intelex Audits Management software, visit our website and Request Free Trial Access today!

How To Manage Audits

Kickstarter HACCP Plan, Steelworker Safety, Work Zone Awareness Week and more on EHS This Week!

On this week’s edition of EHS This Week we’ve got the week’s top stories in environment, health and safety news:

  • Wisconsin salami business creates first HACCP plan through Kickstarter
  • OSHA revises standards for electric power generation, transmission and distribution
  • United Steelworkers say “Stop the Killing. Enforce the Law.”
  • Upcoming Steel Safety Day on April 28th
  • National Work Zone Awareness week highlights the costs of speeding

Remember to write us with your suggestions, questions and comments. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you.

Until next week, enjoy the program!

EHS This Week Resources

For more information on the stories and resources mentioned in this week’s podcast, check out the links below.

  • OSHA Final Rule. Learn more here
  • United Steelworkers Campaign. Learn more here.
  • Work Zone Safety tools. Access them here.

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Kickstarter HACCP Plan, Steelworker Safety, Work Zone Awareness Week and more on EHS This Week!

National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 7-11, 2014)

This week is the 15th National Work Zone Awareness Week, a campaign designed to educate drivers and construction workers alike about the dangers associated with work zones. Local, state and federal transportation officials observe this week in April as this is the start of highway construction season across most of the country.

A Costly Mistake

The theme for 2014 is “Work Zone Speeding: A Costly Mistake.” Indeed, it is a costly mistake, and not just for the workers themselves. In 2012 there were 609 traffic-related fatalities in US work zones, which is 19 more compared to 590 deaths in 2011. However, most work zone fatalities are the drivers and their occupants (usually 85-90%) while the workers and other bystanders, such as pedestrians and cyclists, account for 10-15% of these deaths.

This year’s theme points to the fact that speeding is a major contributing factor of these work zone crashes, and was involved in more than 1 out of 3 fatal construction/maintenance zone crashes that occurred in 2011. Signs – like the one above from MySafetySign - encourage drivers to drive at a responsible speed in work zones.

Construction Work Zone Safety Resources

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) website can direct you to many excellent resources for workers themselves, and resources for the companies who are responsible for ensuring their safety. Examples include this eye-catching “Know Flagging” Poster which illustrates six procedures for safe flagging in work zones.

Ensuring proper training for your construction employees on safe work procedures is crucial to preventing future incidents, as is learning from past incidents and near-misses. Intelex’s safety solutions for training management and incident management have helped hundreds of companies ensure the safety of their workers.

National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 7-11, 2014)

EPA proposed rule for Clean Water Act, Occupational Health and Safety peace officers, Jetpacks as fall protection PPE, and more on EHS This Week!

On this week’s edition of EHS This Week we’ve got the week’s top stories in environment, health and safety news:

  • EPA proposed rule for Clean Water Act
  • Railroads provide support for employees who witness traumatic accidents
  • Alberta crowns first 10 Occupational Health and Safety peace officers
  • OSHA beauty alliance to eliminate hazardous chemicals
  • Hong Kong DOL increases inspections after fatal falls
  • Jetpacks as fall protection PPE

Remember to write us with your suggestions, questions and comments. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you.

Until next week, enjoy the program!

EHS This Week Resources

For more information on the stories and resources mentioned in this week’s podcast, check out the links below.

  • EPA proposed rule to clarify Clean Water Act. Read it here.
  • Final rule: railroads support employees who witness traumatic accidents. Read it here.

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EPA proposed rule for Clean Water Act, Occupational Health and Safety peace officers, Jetpacks as fall protection PPE, and more on EHS This Week!

Lessons in EHS History: Constructing the Olympic Games

The Olympics have grown tremendously in size over the years since they first began. In the present day, preparing for the Olympics is a massive undertaking for any host country. The construction required to host the Olympics includes building sports venues, hotels, roads, and other major infrastructure – all for several weeks of Olympic sports. With the world’s eyes on that country, and the pressure to outdo previous host countries on everyone’s minds, the stakes are high, the projects are complex, and the timelines are tight. All of these factors pose a potential threat to worker safety and good EHS practices. In this month’s edition of Lessons in EHS History, we take a look at the evolution of the Olympics and its environmental, health and safety record.

The Origins of the Olympics

The first modern day Olympic Games were held in 1896, when less than 300 participants (all of whom were men) competed in front of an estimated crowd of more than 60,000. The event was organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which had been founded two years earlier by Pierre de Coubertin. He was inspired by the ancient Olympic Games held in Olympia, Greece. According to historical records, the first Ancient Olympic Games took place in 776 BC – to salute the Games’ origins, the first Summer Olympics were held in Athens, Greece.

The Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, Greece on April 5, 1896. The first modern day Olympic Games.

It is difficult to comment on the health and safety record of those early years, as companies didn’t have the same kinds of EHS standards as we do today, and reporting requirements were not nearly as comprehensive. However, a quick look at the U.S. construction industry in the early 1900s can provide some clues as to how dangerous a construction job of this size would have been. In a 1907 article titled “Making Steel and Killing Men,” a researcher named William B. Hard estimated that each year out of a workforce of about 10,000 approximately 1,200 men were killed or severely injured (12%). Based on these and other accounts it certainly seems likely that, regardless of where in the world the Olympic Games were held, their construction would have resulted in many fatalities.

Fast Forward to the Present

Sochi 2014 was surrounded by much controversy. One concern was the environmental impact, which included toxic waste dumps in rivers and irreversible damage to ancient ecosystems.
Photo taken on Feb 2, 2014 – Reuters-Kai Pfaffenbach

From humble beginnings, the Olympic Games have grown to about 10,500 competitors from 204 nations at the 2012 Summer Olympics (Winter Olympics are generally smaller). Despite being an enormous construction project, the London 2012 Games boasted the safest construction in recorded history, with 62 million man-hours, more than 46,000 workers involved, and ZERO fatalities. The Sydney 2000 and Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games resulted in just one recorded fatality each.

Unfortunately, not all Olympic Games in recent years have such encouraging records. The Greece 2004 and Beijing 2008 Games resulted in over 10 fatalities each and dozens more injuries; many of these were immigrant workers who did not receive proper safety training. Similarly, the construction of last month’s games held in Sochi resulted in both tragic fatalities (some estimates put this number at around 50, though this is difficult to confirm) and devastating consequences to the surrounding environment.

Looking to the Future: The Moral of the Story

Let’s make the Olympic legacy a safe one!

As an international community, we have learned so much about best practices in EHS since the 1896 Olympics. There are a wealth of international standards available, and perhaps we should be requiring Olympic host countries to be certified to those standards.

Ultimately, it is up to each individual host country to protect the health and safety of the workers involved in its Olympic build. However, it is also up to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to award the honor of hosting the Olympic Games to countries that can demonstrate their commitment to a safe, environmentally friendly Olympic construction. London proved it was possible to create a successful and safe Olympics with zero construction fatalities – all future Olympic host countries should be held to the same standard.

The International Olympic Committee has called on the general public to submit opinions regarding the “Olympic Agenda 2020″ – this agenda covers items such as bidding, sustainability and legacy, and Olympic Games management. The deadline for submissions is April 15, 2014. Ask the IOC to protect safe work conditions and workers’ rights by requiring bidding countries to prove their ability to achieve a construction with no fatalities and minimal environmental impact. Email Olympicagenda2020@olympic.org

Lessons in EHS History: Constructing the Olympic Games

Deadly East Harlem Gas Explosion, New OSHA Whistleblower Protection for Food Industry, Peru’s Illegal Gold Mining Protests, and more on EHS This Week!

On this week’s edition of EHS This Week we’ve got the week’s top stories in environment, health and safety news:

  • Deadly East Harlem gas explosion
  • New OSHA whistleblower protection for food industry
  • U.S. Coast Guard cruise ship inspections
  • Peru’s illegal gold mining protests
  • EU-OSHA announces their 2020 goals
  • New deaths in the telecommunications tower industry
  • Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 update

Remember to write us with your suggestions, questions and comments. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you.

Until next week, enjoy the program!

EHS This Week Resources

For more information on the stories and resources mentioned in this week’s podcast, check out the links below.

  • OSHA whistleblower protection for food industry. Read it here.
  • From Near-Miss to At-Risk: How Untracked Data Costs Lives and Kills Profits. Read it here.
  • EU-OSHA 2020 goals. Read it here.
  • OSHA online resource for communication towers. Read it here.

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Deadly East Harlem Gas Explosion, New OSHA Whistleblower Protection for Food Industry, Peru’s Illegal Gold Mining Protests, and more on EHS This Week!