How EHSQ 4.0 Is Set to Supercharge Your Organization

When people think of Industry 4.0, they might think of connected factories and smart manufacturing. Yet the methods and tools of Industry 4.0 extend far beyond manufacturing. Soon, every organization will be able to benefit from Industry 4.0 methods and practices as they adopt more flexible and connected networks of people, data, and machines to improve efficiency of assets, quality of products and services, and process flow.

The approach of Industry 4.0 is poised to supercharge the world of EHSQ. For several years, the EHSQ community has been using integrated management systems to consolidate ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 45001 systems, an approach that ISO has recently made easier with the introduction of the High-Level Structure (HLS). As EHSQ assimilates the tools of Industry 4.0 to become EHSQ 4.0, it will move from being a way to record incidents and track quality events to one of bridging multiple disciplines … Read more...

Root Cause Analysis and the Tools You Need to Drive Continuous Improvement

Root Cause Analysis is part of an ecosystem of tools and techniques you can implement to help your organization harness the value from their EHSQ integrated management systems. Improving your organization’s processes requires identifying a methodology and approach that can spur innovation through evidence-based analysis.  

Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is one of several methodologies in your toolkit – including Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA), Control Plans and Corrective Actions (CAR or CAPA) – that can be used to uncover the reasons for safety incidents or near misses, occupational health issues, environmental issues like repeated violations and quality events like recalls and nonconformances. Implementing a framework that incorporates multiple analysis tools to achieve a desired outcome can result in measurable results.  

Top Five Tools for Continuous Improvement

These tools can be extremely valuable for performance when used proactively — and in conjunction with one another. Here’s how they might be used together:   

  1. Identify potential failure modes through a Process Failure Mode Effects
Read more...

Ensuring Food Safety with Quality Management Software

Food safety characteristics have a very close connection to food quality characteristics, and while all food safety characteristics relate to quality, not all food quality characteristics relate to safety. Food quality, according to Alli (2016), relates to ensuring that products meet the established requirements for food characteristics. Garvin (1987) describes eight dimensions for measuring the characteristics of food quality: performance, features, reliability, conformance, durability, serviceability, aesthetics, and perceptions. Food safety, which relates to the characteristics that have the potential to be harmful to human health by causing illness, falls under the performance and reliability dimensions of food quality. Food safety characteristics are therefore specific kinds of food quality characteristics.

By recognizing that food safety and food quality have an integrated relationship, organizations can bring quality methods and tools to bear on the difficulties of navigating food safety regulations in their FSMS (Food Safety Management System). With food supply chains now … Read more...

Using QMS Software to Tame the Complexity of Food Regulations

Not many safety failures hit the headlines quite the way those in the food industry do. With high-profile incidents like the 2013 horse meat scandal in the EU, the listeria contamination at Maple Leaf Foods in 2008, and the seemingly constant cadence of recalls involving leafy greens, food safety failures have the potential to create foodborne illnesses that cause serious harm to human health and significant financial damage to the organizations at the heart of them.

Global supply chains for food products have only increased the complexity of the compliance requirements for food safety. Organizations in the international marketplace must consider standards and frameworks such as ISO 22000:2018, FSSC 22000, ISO 9001:2015, HAACP (Hazard Analysis and Control Points), and the many voluntary standards of Codex Alimentarius, as well as overseers such as GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative), the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), and SQFI (Safe Quality Food Institute). In … Read more...

Engaging your Employees: Four Strategies for Success

How do you help employees feel accountable in their jobs? How do you create and cultivate a workplace filled with engaged employees? This potentially is the Holy Grail for many organizations, regardless of industry.

Deep and deliberate employee engagement can result in a more focused workforce where the right thing is done even when no one is looking. It’s not hard to imagine how this can translate into a quantifiable ROI for your organization. The key to achieving this level of engagement is motivation.

Motivation is necessary for survival in the most basic sense of the word. We need to be motivated to get out of bed, feed ourselves, shower, go to the doctor, clean the house, celebrate birthdays and all the other seemingly mundane tasks that create meaning in the context of private and public interactions and cultural contracts. This motivation becomes important in the workplace when health, safety, … Read more...

The Benefits of FMEA & QMS Software in your Organization

FMEA studies can require a huge effort. For complex processes or product designs with a multitude of systems and subsystems, you can easily end up with hundreds or thousands of failure modes.

Enhancing your Quality Management System (QMS) software with an FMEA application will enable you to store and manage risk-related information, and easily relate risk reduction to quality events for maximum benefits. In addition, you can:

  • Streamline data collection, risk assessment and reporting across sites and facilities
  • Eliminate duplicate data, improve sharing and communication, and significantly reduce study time
  • Deploy active notifications based on built-in risk reduction policies and threshold limits
  • Reducing costs through improved risk management processes, including more effectively identifying and addressing failure modes
  • Provide real-time access to corporate quality performance metrics
  • Create control plans and control plan templates to follow through

In Intelex’s latest video, “Effectively Mitigate Risk with Intelex’s FMEA Software!” we show you … Read more...

The Business Case for Document Control

Knowledge management is the heart of any business enterprise. Having ready access to accurate and up-to-date information strengthens decision making capabilities, aligns everyone in the organization around learning, and supports a culture of innovation. The ability to effectively manage documents is also a central element of most quality management systems, including ISO 9001:2015, Baldrige, and EFQM.

Documents are “the means… to communicate legitimacy, work requirements, instructions, methods and results.” (Pho & Tanbo, 2014) Because they are so central and elemental, document management systems also unify the people within an organization (and sometimes also across boundaries of the supply chain ecosystem) around shared processes. They are used to manage the internal flow of information, and also to advance sustainability targets by substantially reducing paper usage. Together, they can:

  • Create new documents or edit existing documents
  • Keep track of document versions, and what changes were made in each revision
  • Collaborate with people
Read more...

What Can Your Organization Learn from the Deepwater Horizon Disaster?

By Scott Gaddis and Graham Freeman

The Deepwater Horizon disaster has left an indelible mark on the field of health and safety. The images and footage of the massive oil rig engulfed in flames and slipping under the water are both emotionally powerful and a searing indictment of the mechanical and organizational failures that led to the tragedy.

The mechanical failures at the heart of the explosion are well-documented. A surge of hydrocarbons overwhelmed the malfunctioning blowout preventer (BOP) and travelled 18,000 feet to the rig, where they ignited and caused an untameable fire that killed 11 workers and injured 16 more. The open well dispersed approximately five million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over the next three months, leading to one of the worst environmental disasters in history. By 2017, British Petroleum (BP) had already spent approximately 62 billion dollars working to mitigate the impact of … Read more...

OSHA Forecast Sees Inspections, WV Measures – and Even Drones – On the Rise

A leadership vacuum, a surprising increase in enforcement activity, and the potential “rise of the drones” all characterize OSHA as it closes the books on 2018 and moves into 2019.

These were some of the observations that representatives of Conn Maciel Carey LLP, a Washington, D.C.-based law firm specializing in occupational health and safety issues, put forth during a recent webinar. Hazards, injuries, prevention measures, preparedness, preventing fatalities and general occupational safety and health reigned top of mind while looking into the coming 2019 year.

In reviewing key OSHA developments in 2018, Eric Conn, Chair of the firm’s OSHA Workplace Safety Practice Group, said the most notable event of 2018 was a non-event – namely, the lack of an appointment of an Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA. “We’re nearly two years into the Trump administration and there is still [no one in the role],” he said. “We have … Read more...

Demonstrate Risk-Based Thinking to Auditors

The auditor is coming, or will be coming, to evaluate your organization. While continuous improvement and compliance helps, there are things that you can do to make the auditing process go much more smoothly (this applies to internal audits as well). Preparation doesn’t start the week before, it starts the minute you implement a quality management system or prepare for ISO 9001 certification. You need a systematic approach to audit reporting that begins with core management principles, training, traceability, and credibility.

Because risk-based thinking is more prominent in ISO 9001:2015 than in previous versions of the standard, many organizations are wondering how to demonstrate how they do it to auditors. Fortunately, most activities in the domain of quality management, if successful, serve to reduce risks. The key is to keep track of how your efforts relate to risk.

Here are five actionable recommendations to demonstrate risk-based thinking to auditors :… Read more...