About Greg Enright

Greg Enright is Content Marketing Manager at Intelex Technologies. A veteran journalist, writer and editor, Greg has written extensively on technology, finance and EHSQ issues. At Intelex, he focuses primarily on Health and Safety.

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...

Brexit Worries, CDM 2015 Define Future of Health and Safety in U.K. Construction

The likelihood of a construction worker being killed on the job in the United Kingdom is on average four times higher than in other industries. With the sector employing roughly seven percent of the U.K. workforce, that translates into a high number of people who unfortunately do not return home at the end of the work day.

According to the U.K. Health and Safety Executive, the government agency that oversees workplace health and safety, there were 38 fatal injuries to workers (and six to members of the public) in the construction sector during the period between April 2017 and March 2018. That number has not changed in five years, with the average during the past half-decade sitting at 39 fatalities per year.

It’s easy to discern the causes for a large majority of these deaths. According to the HSE, a staggering 47 percent of construction-related fatalities were due to falls … Read more...

The Ultimate ISO 45001 Checklist

Demonstrating performance of environment, health, and safety (EHS) initiatives is a challenge. There are the obvious legal compliance and established safety policy obligations, but to truly optimize an EHS management program, there also must be a management-led culture of a commitment to safety, inclusive and open communication among employees, and demonstrated continuous improvement of risk management. The purpose of ISO 45001, the Occupational Health and Safety Management Standard published by the International Standards Organization (ISO), seeks to provide employers of all sizes worldwide a tool that will enable them to proactively identify and manage EHS risks and specifically evaluate the performance of EHS programs.

Although ISO 45001 is an effective way of enhancing EHS performance, it can be a cumbersome task to fulfill its requirements. This checklist will audit your conformance with the evaluation components in section 9 of the standard. Even if you are not seeking official ISO 45001 … Read more...

How Temporary and Contract Workers Affect Your Safety Program

Employers can enjoy many benefits from hiring temporary workers, contractors and on-call workers — a group that is collectively known as “non-permanent” workers. The flexibility that allows them to quickly respond to changing workloads is a key driver, as is the ability to bring in specialized help and expertise on an as-needed basis for tasks such as confined-space work.

The arrangement offers benefits for workers, too; many who work on a contract or contingent basis have chosen to do so and prefer to work this way.

Unfortunately, organizations that have abused the system of temporary and contract labor have drawn scrutiny from regulatory and enforcement agencies, casting a shadow over the system’s benefits. Employers must be aware of new regulations that aim to ensure the health and safety of temporary and contract workers, such as OSHA’s Temporary Worker Initiative.

Along with compliance, employers must stay up to speed on other … Read more...

Construction Abatements, Data Collection OSHA’s Chief Challenges: Report

Obtaining reliable data about workplace injuries is hindering OSHA’s efforts to determine how best to use its resources to help protect U.S. workers’ health and safety, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DoL) Office of Inspector General. This challenge is particularly acute in high-risk industries like forestry, fishing, agriculture, mining and construction.

The report, titled “Top Management and Performance Challenges Facing the U.S. Department of Labor,” details challenges faced by all arms of the DoL, of which OSHA is a part.

The situation, the DoL writes, is exacerbated by underreporting of injuries by employers. Without reliable data regarding workplace injuries, OSHA “lacks the information needed to effectively focus inspection and compliance efforts on the most hazardous workplaces.”

One former OSHA official, however, believes the agency already receives more than enough data to prioritize its actions.

“Most employers over-report, not under-report. They put stuff down … Read more...

The Business Value of ISO Certification

Although companies have no requirement to do so, gaining certification to one or more standards established by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) brings a bounty of benefits. Some are altruistic in nature, such as the satisfaction and positive public relations that come with ecological or social responsibility. Others are directly linked to a business’s overall performance, including operational competitiveness and internal process improvement. And, of course, there are those payoffs that are seen on the ledger sheets, such as increased sales and higher revenues.

So, just what is the purpose of the ISO standards? According to the nongovernmental agency itself, they are intended to “facilitate trade, spread knowledge, disseminate innovative advances in technology, and share good management and conformity assessment practices.” Upwards of 22,000 ISO standards have been published, with many being specific to certain products or industries. Some more frequently referenced ones apply more broadly, such as ISO … Read more...

HSE Prioritizes High-Risk Industry Inspections in 2019

The U.K.’s Health and Safety Executive is making inspections in high-risk industries a priority for 2019, along with the completion times of investigations and subsequent decisions, according to the body’s 2018-19 business plan.

The recently released document provides an overview of what the HSE says it has accomplished in the 2018 and a full list of where it intends to focus its energies in the coming year.

The HSE will carry out 20,000 proactive inspections and increase its use of campaigns that focus this work on “specific issues and activities found in high-risk industries.” This will include a sustained focus on health risks associated with occupational lung disease (OLD) and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

As part of this targeted effort, the HSE will deliver five major inspection campaigns, each with at least 500 inspections in the following sectors: metal fabrication; agriculture; waste and recycling; food manufacturing; construction refurbishment (one that … Read more...

The New Partnership-Based Landscape of QMS Validation

Many organizations across countless industries are turning to the Cloud Computing model to validate their Quality Management Systems. With this shift comes many changes, including a new emphasis on partnerships. Let’s look at this new partnership-based landscape.

Three’s company

With more than two parties (traditionally the customer and the software provider) now involved in the validation process (the cloud provider has now added to the mix), the concept of the typical Service Level Agreement (SLA) changes in the cloud. It’s important, says Ray Glemser, CEO of IT solutions and services provider Glemser Technologies Corp., for a customer to recognize they are now in partnership with the other two players, who are performing more specialized functions for them.

“These are tied together in what we used to call an SLA,” Glemser says. “We are now organizing them into quality agreements where the quality system validation state needs to be maintained … Read more...

Making Sense of OSHA’s Recordkeeping Requirements

If you’re a health and safety professional responsible for reporting your company’s injury and illness records to OSHA, you can be forgiven for being a bit confused. After all, the rules have seemed to be changing faster than the autumn leaves.

In May 2016, OSHA added another layer of complexity when it published the final rule, titled Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses. Also referred to as the Electronic Recordkeeping Rule, it required certain establishments to annually submit injury and illness data to OSHA through an online portal. This data would be posted to a public website with the intent of “shaming” employers into an increased focus on workplace safety. Despite objections, the rule’s implementation proceeded, though not without delays and modifications.

Then, a proposed rule published in July 2018 aimed to simplify the requirements and limit the scope of the rule, but its core remains intact. Significant … Read more...

How Software Provider Innovation Is Driving Change in QMS Validation

Important changes are taking place in the way many software providers develop their products, ones that have direct impacts on the validation process.

Waterfall development vs. Agile development

For many years, developers have used the “waterfall” model to create their software. This involves creating a fully developed version of the software before presenting it to customers or internal customer representatives for testing and feedback. Each step – plan, analyze, design, construct, test, deploy and maintain – is done one after the other, forming a waterfall visual.

Here, all user requirements are defined before anything is developed. A major drawback to the Waterfall model is that it is often impossible to know all user requirements at the outset of a software development project. Those that are identified often change during the months-long development cycle. Others do not become evident to users until the completed version is put before them. Developers … Read more...