US Refinery Workers Reach Tentative Deal, FMCSA Launches Mobile App, Poison Prevention Week and More!

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

  • Poison Prevention Week: Poison Prevention in the Workplace
  • FMCSA Releases Mobile App to Identify Safety Data for Truck and Business Companies
  • US Refinery Workers Reach Tentative Deal
  • New MHCC Report on Psychological Health and Safety

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.

  • U.S. Refinery Workers Reach Tentative Deal. Click here
  • FMCSA Announces New Smartphone App to provide Safety Data . Click here.
  • OSHA Chemical Hazard Communication. Click here
  • Mental Health Commission of Canada Report on Psychological Health and Safety. Click here

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Webinar: Eliminating Unsafe Behavior with Impactful Safety Training

Your company’s safety record depends on the effectiveness of your safety training. But training is an often misunderstood and overlooked opportunity. In too many organizations the unsafe behaviors that lead to near-misses and incidents persist, despite a comprehensive safety training program. Why does this occur? And how do you ensure your training delivers results?

In order to be impactful, safety training must be more than a checkmark in a box. Implementing Kirkpatrick’s Four Level Training Model allows you to close the gap between the safety training you conduct and the unsafe behavior you continue to observe. Leveraging the information in this webinar will empower safety professionals to demonstrate the effectiveness of their training and help eliminate unsafe behaviors

Watch this webinar and learn:

  • The fundamentals of Kirkpatrick’s Four Level Training Model
  • How to applying Kirkpatrick’s Four Level Training Model to improve safety performance
  • How to concretely observe and measure the outcome of safety training
  • The benefits of leveraging technology to ensure you are delivering impactful safety training
  • The importance of tying it all together to close the gap between safety training and unsafe behavior

Watch a preview below or click here to watch the full webinar.

U.S. Mine Fatality Trends Prompt 2015 Updates to Outreach and Enforcement

In 2014, the U.S. coal mining industry reported the lowest number of coal mining deaths in recorded history; this follows a steady decline in coal fatalities over recent years. Yet the overall fatality count for the U.S. mining industry in 2014 was just the fourth-lowest annual total on record.

The explanation? A spike in fatalities in the metal/nonmetal (MNM) mining sector. This sector reported their own record low fatality numbers back in 2011 and 2012, with 16 deaths each year. However, MNM fatalities rose to over 20 in 2013, and reported another increase in 2014 with a total of 25 deaths in the sector.

“Unacceptable” according to MSHA chief Joe Main, who has announced an increased focus in 2015 on combating fatal incidents, serious injuries and their root causes, particularly in light of the increasing fatality numbers in the metal and nonmetal mining sector.

Increasing Enforcement Efforts

MSHA’s “Rules to Live By” is an outreach and enforcement program that’s been around since 2010, but recent announcements from the federal mine agency are pushing the program back into the spotlight and expanding on its influence. Intended to address and prevent some of the most common causes of fatalities, the Rules to Live By program highlights frequently cited standards that cause or contribute to fatal accidents in the mining industry.

On February 25, 2015, Joe Main announced at an MSHA stakeholder meeting that the agency would be stepping up enforcement efforts for the standards covered under Rules to Live By. Specifically, any operators with more violations than the industry average will be risking additional impact inspections or spot inspections. A new web-based tool, the Rules to Live By Calculator, makes it possible for mine operators to monitor the number of violations at their facility in comparison to other mines.

MSHA is also rolling out an aggressive fatality prevention initiative onsite at metal and nonmetal mines, temporarily reassigning several coal inspectors to assist with “walk and talk” inspections. MSHA has called upon its training specialists from Educational Field Services (EHS) to assist with this initiative as well.

These inspections have a particular focus on mining occupations where the most fatalities have occurred. Since October 2013 there have been 37 fatalities in the metal/nonmetal sector (shockingly, this is more than double the number of fatalities reported in the previous three fiscal years combined). Of those 37 metal/nonmetal deaths, 9 of the victims were supervisors, 7 were truck drivers, and 10 were employed by contractors. Mining companies should anticipate that inspectors will be speaking to miners in these roles during their walk and talk inspections.

How Can Mining Companies Prepare?

MSHA’s Metal/Nonmetal Administrator, Neil Merrifield, warned mining companies in the MNM sector not to expect a business as usual approach from MSHA in these upcoming months, stating firmly that “business as usual is not working.”

Mine operators should take this as a call to action. Inspectors will be expecting to see proof that hazards are being identified and addressed promptly, as several pre-shift inspection standards (including 30 CFR 56.18001 examination of working places, 56.14100(b) examination of equipment for defects affecting safety, and 56.3200correction of hazardous conditions) have been identified as contributory factors in a number of the 37 fatal incidents.

Proper documentation of these inspections and related corrective actions will be critical, so if you don’t have a thorough and conscientious approach to Inspection Management, now is the time to get your ducks in a row!

Contractor safety is also high on MSHA’s radar, as is supervisor training. MSHA’s recent announcements have stressed the importance of training, and operators would be wise to take this opportunity to review their supervisor training records and task training policies in particular to ensure that supervisors and miners are being properly trained for all aspects of their day-to-day duties. If you find that you’re having difficulty ensuring that training takes place or is adequately documented for inspectors, it may be time to consider a Training Management System to assist in tracking training for employees and contractors alike.

One thing seems clear: the mining industry, and the metal/nonmetal mining sector in particular, should expect that increased scrutiny will be the new normal in the months ahead.

About Intelex

Intelex Technologies provides environment, health and safety (EHS) and quality management systems to the metals and mining sector, as well as others. For more information, visit www.intelex.com.

U.S. Mine Fatality Trends Prompt 2015 Updates to Outreach and Enforcement

FDA Releases Mobile App, Bangladesh Factory Collapse, NTSB Forum, and More!

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

  • Bangladesh Factory Collapse
  • FDA Releases Mobile App to Identify Drug Shortage
  • OSHA Announces Final Rule on Retaliation Complaints
  • NTSB Forum Addresses Dangers of Railroad Trespassing

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.

  • Bangladesh Factory Collapse. Click here
  • Mobile App Released to Identify Drug Shortages. Click here.
  • OSHA Whistleblower Protection Programs. Click here
  • NTSB Announces Forum to Address Railroad Trespassing Dangers. Click here

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FDA Releases Mobile App, Bangladesh Factory Collapse, NTSB Forum, and More!

Intelex Celebrates Two Prestigious Industry Awards

Break out the Champagne! It’s an exciting time for us here at Intelex as we celebrate two
major achievements today, being named once again one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for the 3rd consecutive year while also being selected as one of Canada’s top Small & Medium Employers for the 2nd year in a row.

The accolades are some of the most well-known and respected awards in the industry, recognizing companies for world-class service, outstanding business performance and innovative management. We are extremely thrilled to receive these awards and be included in such great “company.”

The awards speak volumes to the team we have at Intelex and truly is a reflection of how much we’ve grown and evolved over the years. Together we have earned these awards, and together we shall celebrate!!

About Deloitte Canada’s Best Managed Companies

This national awards program, recognizes Canadian companies that have implemented world-class business practices and created value in innovative ways. This is our third consecutive year receiving this award and it comes in the wake of having been awarded the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 and Technology Fast 50 awards in 2014. Deloitte’s Canada’s Best Managed Companies award is among the industry’s highest designations. Recipients of the award undergo a rigorous evaluation process, with a small number of organizations being selected.
 

Intelex Honored at Awards Reception for Canada’s Top Small &Medium Employers

The official reception honoring this year’s winners of Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers will take place today (Tuesday, March 10th) at the Toronto Region Board of Trade from noon to 2:00pm. The reception provides an opportunity for fellow award winners to mingle with one another from industries across the region.

The winners were announced in a special magazine published in The Globe and Mail. To view our article, on page 38 click here, and to view the complete list announcing this year’s winners click here.

The SME award recognizes small and medium enterprises that lead the nation in creating exceptional workplaces with forward-thinking human resources policies. Canada’s SME sector is tremendously important to the nation and is responsible for over half of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) and accounts for nearly 90% of the private-sector labour force as well as over three-quarters of the new jobs created in the past decade.

Congratulations to the entire Intelex team for helping us make this list again this year! To view the full press release for Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers click here and the full press release for Canada’s Best Managed Companies can be found here.

Happy International Women’s Day!

According to the United Nations, “International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities”.

Looking specifically into the technology industry, “Women in Tech” has been a popular topic of conversation in recent media. Here is an example of some of the themes that have been taking over the headlines:

  • What’s it like for Canadian women working in tech? (Globe and Mail)
  • Women in technology: A brightening outlook? (Forbes)
  • How women can break into tech (Fortune)
  • Why we need more women in technology (Forbes)

It is in this spirit that I (and Intelex) want to take a moment to recognize and celebrate all the women who are working in the tech industry. We are extremely proud of the successful, inspiring and bright women that we are fortunate to work with on a daily basis – especially those here at Intelex.

In thinking about International Women’s Day and the ladies I work with, I decided to ask them about what inspired them to get involved in the tech sector and see how their thoughts fit into the larger conversation.
Here is what they had to say:

Kristen Yang
Technical Analyst
IT

“I got into tech during my co-op term in high school at Samtack. This is when I was first exposed to building computers, which I grew to enjoy. From there, I paved my way into the IT world through work experiences in help desk support. I really enjoy what I do and can’t imagine being anywhere else!”

 

Charlotte Bates
Project Manager
Global Services & Support

“From when my dad got me my very first Windows 3.1 machine, I have always had a love for technology. From computers, to networks, to databases, I can’t resist trying to figure out how things work (or how to fix them!). It feels only natural that I ended up in this industry. I love being in technology, it’s a challenge but also very rewarding when a solution comes together.”

 

Susan Tommy
Product Sales Consultant
Sales & Alliances

“It’s important for me to feel the work I do is helping to improve organizations, particularly within the healthcare industry. Technology enables streamlined business processes, which lead to greater efficiencies and better outcomes. For me, the technology solutions I help develop offer a quick way to make a huge impact on the Health Care System – which I am really passionate about.”

 

Galina Dzhasova
Developer
Engineering

“As a programmer, the most rewarding part is to be able to create what I want with a blank screen. Whatever I can create can be used to solve many people’s problems. Critically thinking and analyzing problems to come up with a valuable solution at the cost of a blank screen and typing is just so cool. I also really enjoy working with a team of very smart people and learning from them. The tech field has given me this great opportunity!”

 

Nadeesha Masachchi
Quality Assurance Manager
Engineering

“I got my first computer in 1995 and from that day forward, I was so fond of computers. The first game I played was “Chess Master” and it inspired my IT career because it was written using the human brain. While I was in school I got to choose between QA and development – I chose QA because I felt I was better suited toward QA. I can say with complete confidence that I’m happy with my decision. Why am I still in tech? I love keeping up to date with the latest technologies. Also I get a lot of satisfaction when I see the product is used to help someone else.”

So please take a moment to recognize and celebrate all of the strong, brave, inspirational and important women in your lives today!



 

Happy International Women’s Day!

Intelex Celebrates Employee Appreciation Day!

Are you ready to celebrate National Employee Appreciation Day? That’s right, in case you forgot (or were living under a rock!) the big day is finally upon us!. On March 6th we here at Intelex will be commemorating this special day by celebrating and honoring our employees for their endless commitment and dedication to our company. Whether it’s going that extra mile to complete a project, or going beyond the call of duty to help out another peer, we want take the opportunity to share some gratitude, appreciation and celebrate with our colleagues for all of their hard work.

Our employees have made Intelex what it is today and we have a lot of fun activities in store to celebrate National Employee Appreciation Day!
 

LexiGrams – Recognizing Our Peers

Aside from getting the opportunity to mix and mingle with other Intelexians, one of the highlights of our Employee Appreciation Day, are what we like to call “Lexi Grams”. As a token of appreciation, Lexi Grams are given to fellow employees, acknowledging their contributions towards making a positive difference at Intelex. Each Lexi Gram contains a personalized hand written note of gratitude and appreciation along with chocolates! (Who doesn’t love chocolate, right?).
 

Service Award Ceremony 

In addition, we will also be hosting an awards ceremony where our very own President and CEO, Mark Jaine will be handing out awards to recognize a group of employees for their many years of service with the company. Intelex currently has over 40 employees who have reached important milestones – all the way up to 20 years with our company and what better way to mark this momentous occasion then by celebrating and acknowledging each employee for their hard work and contributions over the years. This is a great opportunity for us to communicate, connect and reinforce the value of our employees and what really matters most to us as an organization.

Employee Appreciation Lunch

It’s often said that the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach; so what better way to conclude the festivities and show our appreciation then by treating our employees to a fully catered lunch. After all, who doesn’t love food? Along with enjoying good food and great company, the social gathering also presents a great bonding experience for fellow employees and is a great building block for trust and team comradery, all of which are vital elements of our successful team.

Amidst the often hectic work schedule, it’s easy for us to lose sight of what’s really important sometimes. On behalf of the entire organization, we would like to extend our congratulations to all Intelexians! We want to thank everyone for their hard work and commitment and for helping shape Intelex into the organization it is today…and the one it will be in the future!

We also want to extend a congratulations to everyone out there making a difference.

Thank you for your hard work – You Rock!!

Intelex Celebrates Employee Appreciation Day!

NIOSH launches Web-Based Training, U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and More!

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

  • New US Beef Supply Chain Sustainability Round Table
  • NIOSH launches Web-Based Training for Emergency Responders
  • Truck Drivers Need to Buckle Up
  • Canada Announces New Safety Requirements for Rail Industry

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.

  • U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef . Click here
  • NIOSH launches Web-Based Training for Emergency Responders. Click here.
  • CDC’s Vital Signs report on Trucker Safety. Click here
  • Canada Announces New Safety Requirements for Rail Industry. Click here.

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