Think Twice Before You Dismiss that Near-Miss

They happen every day. They happen 300 times more frequently than incidents and they contain important information to prevent incidents. Yes, I am talking about near-misses. OSHA describes a near-miss as “an incident where no property was damaged and no personal injury sustained, but where given a slight shift in time or position, damage and/or injury could have occurred.” Basically, near-misses are any occurrence where the events did not result in injury but could have. This is why near-misses are often referred to as close-calls.

Near-Miss Reporting

Reporting and investigating incidents, injuries and any kind of damage is not only a vital step to managing safety, but for most organizations today it is required. Despite this, many organizations have yet to expand their reporting processes to include near-misses. This is a serious mistake. After all, near-misses are the precursor to the main event. By failing to report, analyze and understand why a near-miss happened, employers are missing out on a key opportunity to learn from the mishap.

The Safety Pyramid

In 1931, Mr. H.W. Heinrich developed the safety pyramid which shows that for every major injury, 29 major injuries happened first and 300 near-misses occurred before that. This means that 300 near-misses actually occurred before that single major injury! That’s essentially 300 warning flags. Near-misses don’t have to result in incidents and can actually be leveraged in order to prevent incidents. All that is required of you is to record and report (think R ²).

Near-Miss Management

Establishing a reporting culture can transform your safety program from a reactive process to a proactive process. Organizations can do this by implementing a near-miss management system to manage safety incidents, accidents and injuries. Safety incident reporting software provides forms to streamline workflow, eliminate unnecessary time spent logging near-misses, and assess the severity of the occurrences.

Start reporting your near-misses today and implement a near-miss reporting system!

To learn more visit our whitepaper library and download the FREE whitepaper on near-misses and start protecting your employees and organization today.

Earth Day 2014: Green Cities & ISO 14001

Every April 22, more than one billion people across 190 countries recognize Earth Day. In honor of this year’s theme, Green Cities, we’re talking about how ISO 14001 is helping cities across the world take steps towards sustainability.

The EPA’s Stance on ISO 14001 & Green Cities
ISO 14001 is a voluntary standard that, like other ISO standards, is the result of international collaboration and represents global best practices. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) participated in its development and even sponsored a pilot program back in March 2012 designed to show the benefits of an ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) for public-sector agencies. Nine municipal organizations participated and reported many benefits that include better operational controls, improved communication, and a decrease in the cost of waste disposal.

“Hopefully this pilot project will demonstrate that the EMS approach for managing environmental activities is not only applicable and useful to private sector entities but also for local government operations,” says John Dombrowski, EPA Office of Compliance.

A Success Story: The City of St. Albert
Indeed, many cities are realizing the benefits of implementing a robust Environmental Management System and achieving certification with ISO 14001. The City of St. Albert in Alberta, Canada achieved ISO 14001 certification with the help of Intelex’s Environmental Management System, moving away from paper and spreadsheets to a web-based reporting system. By streamlining their processes in the Transit and Public Works departments, the City of St. Albert gained visibility into their departmental nonconformances and found opportunities to take proactive measures. Ultimately, they achieved an 80% reduction of nonconformances in these departments and annual audit cost savings of roughly $14,000 in internal resources.

These are the kinds of savings and improvements that a best practices approach can achieve for municipalities. An improvement in overall environmental performance and compliance is almost a given, but the benefits don’t end there. As the City of St. Albert case study shows, implementing ISO 14001 principles effectively can also increase a city’s cost savings associated with managing environmental obligations and help cities prioritize scarce environmental management resources. It’s a win-win!

Green Cities Are Smart Cities
In addition to the benefits already mentioned, cities that achieve ISO 14001 certification also receive a boost in reputation among external stakeholders and an improvement in public perception. In the U.S. there is stimulus money that has been tied to things like energy efficiency, green job programs and public transit improvements.

“The cities of tomorrow must be smart cities, utilizing scant resources to best effect,” commented ISO Secretary-General Rob Steele in a January 2013 issue of ISO Focus+ magazine. “Smart cities are needed to safeguard their inhabitants’ rights to a liveable, sustainable environment. When people live in close proximity, everyone and everything must work together. That’s where ISO comes in.”

You can read about the benefits of ISO 14001 in greater detail on the International Standards Organization’s website, and learn more about the role of Environmental Management Systems here.

Earth Day 2014: Green Cities & ISO 14001

NIOSH Offers Black Lung Screenings, EPA Proposes Largest Cleanup Yet, Tips for Employers with an Aging Workforce 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:

  • NIOSH offers free black lung tests to coal miners
  • FRA proposes minimum crew size
  • Hazardous industries in Winnipeg face annual inspections
  • Largest cleanup in EPA history proposed
  • Study finds back pain is the #1 ergonomic issue worldwide
  • Tips for employers faced with an aging workforce

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.

  • NIOSH’s Video “Faces of Black Lung.” View it here.
  • Largest Proposed Cleanup in EPA History. Read it here.
  • NIOSH’s Publication “Simple Solutions: Ergonomics for Farm Workers.” Read it here.
  • Tips for Employers with an Aging Workforce. Read it here.

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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)