Communicating in Crisis: Employees

In Part Three of the series “Communicating in Crisis,” Scott Gaddis explains how important it is for EHS practitioners to be as honest and transparent as possible when communicating to employees about a crisis situation.

Unless employees are front row center as a crisis unfolds, it’s a safe bet that only versions of the truth are being shared with them by coworkers.

First and foremost, it is paramount during a crisis that the EHS practitioner and the management team be as upfront and honest as possible with employees. This does not mean the organization is admitting fault or taking the blame, but is communicating what is known as truth at the time the crisis is occurring. Unless employees were front row center as the crisis unfolded, it’s a safe bet that only versions of the truth are being shared with various fabrications of the facts crafting a new storyline as … Read more...

Communicating in Crisis: The Role of EHS in Managing Communication

In Part Two of the series “Communicating in Crisis,” Scott Gaddis explains the role of the EHS function in gathering information to help the organization make informed decisions as part of crisis management efforts. Read Part One, “Communicating in Crisis: The Role of the EHS Practitioner.”

The EHS function often plays a role in internal and external communication during crisis management.

The EHS practitioner is likely to work along several paths in dealing with and communicating in a crisis.  In an emergency, the practitioner has multiple audiences that will need to be informed including employees, senior management and government agencies. The media and the public also are a consideration, but usually with the idea of supporting that activity with data that will be shared externally by others.    

It is imperative to gather as much information as you can about what happened. Taking for granted that people have … Read more...

How AI Might Impact Sustainable Development Goals

How can the EHSQ community contribute to the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals? One way is through strategic investment in AI. Find out the focus areas here.

In 2015, the United Nations established its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to “provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.” The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide an actionable basis for participating countries to advance the SDGs through their local policies and initiatives. The 17 SDGs (that are associated with 169 more specific targets) are:

GOAL 1: No Poverty
GOAL 2: Zero Hunger
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being
GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities…

Communicating in Crisis: The Role of the EHS Practitioner

How you manage crisis events impacts their lasting effect on employees, the business, the community and your value as an EHS practitioner.

It’s a safe assumption that you will face a situation at some point, either manmade or natural, in which the need for effective crisis communication is likely.  

Crisis communication for the EHS practitioner is a necessary skill to master and should be part of your skills toolbox. Whether you are a staff-level specialist, leading a program or working within a defined incident command system, there is a need to be able to actively listen, gather and analyze information and deliver credible communications in high-stress situations. 

Granted, and I would venture a guess that this is true for most of us, there are organizational policies that dictate specifically who speaks in crisis and who does not. At least for me – and for most of my career it was … Read more...

Driving Next Level Safety Outcomes – Trends Oil & Gas Safety Professionals Need to Know About

New decade, new perspective. Do you know the five major trends forecasted to hit the Oil and Gas industry in 2020 and how they might affect you, your safety management system, and your company?

During the webinar “Driving Next Level Safety Outcomes – Trends Oil & Gas Safety Professionals Need to Know About,” Bobby Bourque of Industrial Scientific Corp. and I will discuss actions you can stay on top of these trends while future-proofing your safety initiatives and operational performance overall. We’ll also cover ways to protect your organization against any negative impacts the trends may pose and discuss how solutions from Intelex, Industrial Scientific, and Predictive Solutions can play a positive role in your safety management system. Whether you’re a seasoned safety professional or new to the job, we’ve designed the webinar for EHS professionals looking to stay ahead of the curve through technological adoption and intelligent management.

Although …

A Checklist for the 10 Leading Indicators That Predict Employee Safety Engagement

Employee engagement in safety can be a predictor of employee engagement in the success of the organization as a whole.

Safety, regardless if you are the CEO or the newest hire, is almost always a shared value. Increasing workers’ level of engagement with safety practices is a key goal of many organizations. Employee engagement in safety can be a predictor of employee engagement in the success of the organization as a whole and a leading indicator of a solid safety management system.

From an organizational business perspective, workplace safety is a common area where transformational change is best realized using human capital. Safety is the part of the management system for which it is easiest to gain “buy-in” from workers and the management team.

Increasing engagement—like building culture—is easier said than done. Competing priorities, such as challenging production goals, unforgiving supply chain schedules, and other factors tied directly to the … Read more...

Business Continuity in the Time of Coronavirus

Employers are encouraged to develop a business continuity plan to survive the Coronavirus outbreak.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has released a guidance for employers to help them protect employees and provide business continuity for their organization. All employers should be ready to implement strategies to protect their workforce from the Coronavirus to ensure business continuity.

As with all illnesses, employees diagnosed with Coronavirus should stay home and away from the workplace. While at the workplace or home, it is important to use cough and sneeze etiquette. Encourage employees to frequently clean hands with soap and water, and routinely clean commonly touched surfaces.

The guidance is based on the latest information from the CDC and offers this advice in advance of diagnosed cases:

Is Flex Working an Option?

Review human resources policies. Explore whether you can establish policies and practices, such as flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours.

Remind employees that if they become sick, they should telework instead of coming into … Read more...

What Is EHS Compliance?

EHS compliance becomes more important as companies expand global operations.

EHS compliance refers to the environment, health and safety (EHS) regulations and workplace procedures that are designed to protect workers, the environment, the public, and production. 

Businesses that operate globally must contend with regulations that are unique to every jurisdiction, and the regulations for each jurisdiction can be extremely complex. Some businesses are responsible for complying with regulations in several or many jurisdictions, which adds to the workload of EHS teams that already are stretched thin.

EHS Compliance Part of OPEX

For many companies, EHS compliance is an aspect of operational excellence, and it is an important component if you want to operate a safe and productive business. Managing EHS for multiple facilities, in multiple countries and across multiple functions can be a daunting task. Often, compliance must be achieved without a lot of resources.

Failure to comply with EHS laws not only can lead to devastating injuries and business … Read more...

Coronavirus – Leading EHS During Crisis

Have your priorities as an EHS leader changed during the current Coronavirus crisis?

Organizations are experiencing an unprecedented situation. Now more than ever, EHS professionals can help lead their organizations through the crisis caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Over the past 25 years, I’ve spent all my time working as an EHS professional in local and corporate level positions, determined to improve business processes and performance. Throughout my career, I’ve noticed one consistent theme: organizations optimize their efforts when they provide robust and well-balanced leadership.

This means that they do not focus on a single factor but consider the work system, employee capability and capacity, how the organization is led, and the management system. During times of crisis such as what we’re now experiencing with Coronavirus, it is vital to lead your organization more effectively.

Simply, the dividing line between managing things and leading them is measured by the ability to affect … Read more...

The Campbell Institute Releases Strategies for Injury and Fatality Prevention

Organizations that pursue strategies to eliminate serious injuries and fatalities have reached a level of maturity in their safety management systems that allows them to identify the most serious risks to workers.

The Campbell Institute, the global Center of EHS Excellence at the National Safety Council, has released a new white paper, Designing Strategy for Serious Injury and Fatality Prevention – the second in its series on this emerging safety trend. The report shares the perspectives of 11 Institute member and partner organizations on a variety of topics surrounding the development of their serious injury and fatality (SIF) prevention strategies and long-term goals, including metrics, tools, communication, and performance.

“We’re finding that organizations pursuing SIF prevention strategies have reached a level of maturity that goes beyond focusing on near misses and injuries to identifying the most severe risks,” said John Dony, director of the Campbell Institute. “Organizations working on SIF … Read more...