About Graham Freeman

Graham Freeman is a content writer and editor at Intelex Technologies in Toronto, where he writes on topics relating to quality management. You can follow Graham on LinkedIn by clicking here: www.linkedin.com/in/graham-freeman-aa5a575b/

Necessity is the Mother of Invention: ISO Responds to COVID-19 with ISO/PAS 45005:2020

ISO 45005:2020 and COVID-19

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations are reaching previously unimaginable levels of efficiency in their quest to bring stability and safety back to a desperate world. While everyone has been focused on the speed with which pharmaceutical researchers are producing COVID-19 vaccines, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has been working on providing a new specification in the 45000 series for occupational health and safety during the pandemic.


The Development of ISO/PAS 45005:2020


ISO/PAS 45005:2020: Occupational health and safety management—General guidelines for safe working during the COVID-19 pandemic was developed by ISO/TC 283 for Occupational Health and Safety Management in only three months, which is a far cry from the usual three years it takes to develop a standard. ISO/PAS 45005:2020 provides information that helps organizations in the following areas:

  • To protect workers and stakeholders from COVID-19 in the workplace.
  • To provide evidence that it is
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People, Processes, and Tools: How Industrial Scientific and Intelex are Securing the Vaccine Cold Supply Chain

Students of history know that wars are often won and lost on the basis of their supply chains. Delivering the materials for war, such as ammunitions, medical supplies, and food, is a vital function in any military operation. An efficient and resilient supply chain can mean the difference between a world-class military and a ramshackle group of people unable to manage the basic principles of organization.

In the battle against the novel coronavirus, the supply chain for delivering the vaccine will be as vital for defeating the virus as was the research that produced the vaccine. Hundreds of thousands of workers and a mix of dozens of public and private organizations will make up the army that will be required to deliver the vaccine to the people that need it the most. Cutting-edge technology solutions for health and safety will be vital to ensuring the safety and security of the … Read more...

Sharing Expert Knowledge: A Look at Some of our 2020 Webinars

2020 Intelex Webinars

The coronavirus pandemic has made 2020 a year of crisis, financial devastation, and human tragedy. At the same time, it’s been the catalyst for unprecedented introspection and analysis about the way our world works and what we need to do better to help the people that need it most.

  1. A Look Ahead at 2021—More of the Same for EHS or a Whole New Ballgame?
    • Attorneys Michael Taylor and Adam Roseman from the law firm of Greenberg Traurig look back at 2020 to see what EHS will look like in 2021.
  2. How Quality Professionals Should Gather High-Quality Data to Inform Truly Effective Decision Making via Neuroscience
    • Dr. Gleb Tsipursky discusses how to avoid cognitive biases and blindspots that can give us bad information and result in poor decision making.Moving from Data Collection to Data Decisions—Supporting Business Continuity During a Crisis
  3. Moving from Data Collection to Data Decisions—Supporting Business Continuity During a
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Are You a Business “Prepper”? Lessons for Today’s Organizations from Survivalist Culture

Prepper Culture and Organizational Resiliency

The traditional idea of a “survivalist” is that of a grizzled, perhaps eccentric, person living on the edges of society, digging bunkers in their backyard, stocking them food, and waiting for the end times. In popular culture, survivalists are usually depicted as part of a fringe culture that represents a seditious and even dangerous element in the modern world.

But a recent article by the BBC provides insight into the ways in which survivalist culture has become a broader, less radical “prepper” culture around the world. In the last decade, events such as Hurricane Sandy hitting New York in 2012, the massive power outage that plunged New York into darkness in 2019, and the COVID-19 pandemic causing worldwide shortages of critical supplies, have inspired a new generation to look at their emergency preparedness. These events have taught us that while apocalyptic cataclysms that devastate society remain unlikely, smaller high-impact events … Read more...

The Boeing 737 MAX is Cleared for Takeoff: What Have we Learned?

Boeing 737 MAX Recertification Means it’s Ready to Fly

In the midst of the gloom that has settled over the airline industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Boeing is experiencing perhaps its best news of 2020: the Boeing 737 MAX, which has been grounded worldwide for almost two years after two horrifying crashes in 2018 and 2019, has been cleared to fly worldwide. On the heels of this news, orders for the 737 MAX have begun coming in, with Irish budget airline Ryanair ordering 210 aircraft as part of its plan to expand its services across Europe.


What Caused the 737 MAX Air Disasters?


The story of the design flaws that led to the crashes is well known. When Boeing’s competitor Airbus announced an upgraded version of its A320 to compete with Boeing’s 737, Boeing decided to upgrade the 737. To get this done as quickly as possible, Boeing rushed through a series of redesigns, among them … Read more...

Root Cause Analysis for the Twenty-First Century: Lessons from the Port of Beirut Explosion


The Event


On August 4, 2020, just after 6:00 pm, a fire that had been burning at a warehouse at the port of Beirut turned into a cataclysmic explosion that devastated the city, killing more than 200 people and injuring approximately 6,500. According to a team of researchers from Sheffield University, the blast—which caused at least 15 billion dollars in damage and devastated the Lebanese economy—is one of the largest non-nuclear explosions ever recorded.

The fundamental root cause of the explosion was the accidental detonation of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, a chemical compound used in fertilizer production that was stored in the warehouse. However, this explanation neglects the complex interaction of events that led to both the fire and the subsequent explosion.


The Investigation


In November 2020, Legal Action Worldwide (LAW), a non-profit organization that provides access to legal resources for victims of disaster and violence around … Read more...

Do You Know How Cold-Chain Requirements for the COVID-19 Vaccine Can Impact its Time to Launch?

COVID-19 Vaccine cold supply chain
The Good News: The Vaccines Work


News of promising results in COVID-19 vaccine research has brought a glimmer of hope to people around the world. Within the space of two weeks, both Pfizer and Moderna have announced that early results of their front-runner vaccines show an effectiveness rate of about 95%. The news catalyzed an upsurge in the stock market and spurred governments around the world to begin planning for delivering the vaccines to the most vulnerable populations.


The Bad News: Delivering the Vaccine Will Be Challenging


While the world’s attention has been on the vaccine as a way out of the COVID-19 crisis, distributing the vaccine globally will require one of the largest logistical operations in modern history. The most significant barrier to large-scale distribution is the requirement of a seamless cold-chain. Pfizer’s vaccine needs to be stored at an ultra-cold -75C, while Moderna’s vaccine requires storage at … Read more...

How to Sell Your Software Solutions to the C-Suite

Sell Software to Chief Officers

EHSQ practitioners know the value they bring to an organization. Keeping workers safe, protecting the environment, and meeting customer requirements are elements at which every business wants to excel, so anything we can do to help achieve that should be met with open arms by leadership, right?

Well, not always.


When the Value of EHSQ Software Doesn’t Sell Itself


If there’s anything EHSQ practitioners know as much about as their own value, it’s the feeling of rejection when pitching digital solutions for compliance and EHSQ software to leadership. Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the benefits of EHSQ should practically sell themselves, it’s not always easy to convince leadership that software is what the organization needs. Even fact-based arguments focusing on benefits like decreasing recall risk, giving leadership access to data, maintaining compliance, and improving audit preparation are not enough to loosen the purse strings for your … Read more...

World Quality Day: Food Safety in the Spotlight After Supreme Court of Canada Decision

Food safety

The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an appeal that would have seen Maple Leaf Foods held responsible for financial and reputational losses that occurred during the listeriosis outbreak in 2008.

The outbreak at the Bartor Road plant in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 2008 resulted in 22 deaths and is considered one of the deadliest food safety outbreaks in Canadian history. The contamination affected a number of cold cut products produced at the plant. The cause of the outbreak was the cleaning procedures of two slicing machines that had meat residue lodged deeply inside their internal workings, which allowed the bacteria to grow unchecked over a long period of time despite the thorough cleaning and maintenance of the working surfaces. Maple Leaf Foods had an exemplary record for food safety up to that point and had demonstrated a high level of attention to food safety and quality for several years. … Read more...

How Home Renovation Projects Have Exposed Supply Chain Fragility

Supply Chain Fragility

Like many people around the world, you’ve probably been working from home for the past six months. Perhaps you’ve also been monitoring your children as they navigate the improvised labyrinth of online learning. All day, every day, you’ve been immersed in your home environment far more than you ever thought you would be. It seems like you’re constantly preparing food, loading the dishwasher, doing laundry, getting snacks, and engaging in a seemingly infinite number of other mundane activities that have turned your quiet home into a concerto for frazzled knowledge-worker soloist and obsolete-appliance orchestra.

If this is you, then perhaps your familiarity with your home has bred contempt for its flaws. Perhaps, you reason, if you’re to be imprisoned in your home during the dreaded second wave of the pandemic, it’s time to switch things up a bit, time to retire your veteran appliances and draft in a new generation … Read more...