A Passion for Collaboration Drives New EHSQ Alliance Lead

Scott Gaddis has built his long and accomplished career as an Environmental, Health and Safety leader on the belief that collaboration and communication are essential ingredients for success in protecting people in the workplace.

It’s this people-based approach that makes him a natural fit for his new role as the Health and Safety Practice leader for the EHSQ Alliance, powered by Intelex.

After all, the Alliance is an evolving vision to construct a one-stop repository of great insights and knowledge for EHSQ professionals, and to also build a cooperative virtual community and meeting place for information-sharing and collaboration.

In his role, Gaddis will lead integration of the EHSQ Alliance in thought leadership and building partnerships with key clients and other top influencers in EHS. He will be responsible for the engagement of EHS professionals across the globe to provide a platform for sharing information and collectively driving solutions that … Read more...

A History of Workplace Health and Safety – Part 3

General awareness of the need for better workplace safety continued to grow in the early years of the 20th century, as reformers, journalists and artists began to expose industry’s shortcomings. Upton Sinclair’s seminal novel The Jungle, for instance, laid bare the horrific working conditions within Chicago’s turn-of-the-century stockyards and slaughterhouses.

The first significant U.S. reforms came in the railroad sector with the passing of the Safety Appliance Act of 1893. It was designed to protect workers performing such traditionally dangerous tasks as coupling and decoupling railroad cars. Industrialists began to consider the benefits of ensuring their workers’ safety, including improved production and increased profits.

At the same time, governments began making the cost of ignoring worker safety increasingly onerous. Liability and compensation legislation was toughened up, forcing employers to pay attention to the plight of workers. Firms began placing protective guarding around machines and mandating the use of … Read more...

A History of Workplace Health and Safety – Part 2

By the middle of the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution was in full swing. As the pistons pumped and furnaces fumed, however, often lost in the clang of progress was the plight of the workers within the new factories, mills and workshops. Employers and governments showed little regard for the often-atrocious working conditions in which laborers were forced to toil. Consider:

  • 12- to 14-hour workdays were common.
  • Wages were low, often at mere subsistence levels. Women typically earned only half of what men did.
  • Children were frequently employed. Part of their duties included cleaning and servicing machinery (often while it was still running) that had tight spaces that only they could fit into.
  • Severe punishments were meted out, often to children, who were sometimes hung in baskets from factory roofs and often doused with water to keep them awake. Strapping was common, and some children even had their ears
Read more...

A History of Workplace Health and Safety – Part 1

Human societies have endeavored to ensure the health and safety of their workers for centuries. Doctors in ancient Greece raised concerns over lead and other dangerous materials to which miners were routinely exposed. Later, the Roman senator Pliny the Elder alerted citizens to the dangers of sulfur and zinc. He recommended miners cover their mouths and noses with animal bladders – one of the first examples of industrial respiratory protection.

In the 15th Century, Austrian physician Ulrich Ellenbog published a treatise on the dangers that mercury and asbestos posed to laborers and the correlation of these and other metals with lung disease.

About 1700, Italian physician Bernardo Ramazzini – today known as the Father of Occupational Medicine – published his findings on the topic of occupational disease. He famously urged other doctors to ask their patients “What is your trade?”, drawing a definite link between the typical conditions of … Read more...

Why it’s critical to get Lockout/Tagout right

The Lockout/Tagout (Control of Hazardous Energy) standard is one of the most frequently cited standards of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA). For this reason and many others, says Eric Conn, Chair, OSHA/Workplace Safety Practice Group at Conn Maciel Carey LLP, companies should make compliance with the standard an area of focus. The firm, which specializes in OSHA-related matters, sees Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) consistently appearing in the top five on OSHA’s list of most frequently-cited standards.

“OSHA is paying a lot of attention to it,” Conn said during a recent webinar devoted to the topic.

“It’s known as the low-hanging fruit. When OSHA is in your facility, no matter what it is that caused them to be there, [LOTO] is something they can find and cite rather easily, and they do.”

The LOTO standard is designed to protect workers from hazardous energy and moving mechanical parts while they are … Read more...

Trump’s OSHA deregulation push is no fait accompli

The spotlight throughout 2018 will once again be on the Trump administration’s efforts to deregulate government and roll back regulations brought in under the Obama government. When it comes to the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), however, one expert believes the current president will not have an easy time making any big changes.

During his first year in office, Trump moved forward with some notable initiatives aimed at deregulation. He relied on the rarely-used Congressional Review Act to eliminate 14 regulations, including two OSHA-related rules, the “Volks” rule around record-keeping and the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” rule.

Another example of rollback action took place in January 2017, when Trump brought in the so-called “2-for-1” regulations. This executive order stipulates that if any government agency wants to get a new rule out they must cancel two older ones.

In addition, some OSHA rules that have not been updated in … Read more...

People-First Approach Key to Business Success, Intelex CEO Tells Students

Environment, Health & Safety, and Quality (EHSQ) is a people problem, not an asset or data problem, according to Intelex CEO Mark Jaine. And it is this premise that is behind how his company builds software that … Read more...

In Business, It’s All About Your Ideas, Intelex CEO Tells Students

Businesses succeed or fail on the quality of their ideas, not on the fanciness of the way those ideas are conveyed to management and other decision-makers.

That was just one piece of advice Intelex CEO Mark Jaine conveyed to students enrolled in a Management Consulting practicum at Toronto’s prestigious Rotman School of Management earlier this month. The two-week program is designed to give students real-world experience in providing consulting advice to a company.

“We have a saying at Intelex: It’s great ideas that win. It’s not about the presentation. I don’t care how glossy your binder is. It’s the substance that matters,” Jaine said.

An entrepreneur himself, Jaine was more than happy to spend time with a group of students embarking on their own business careers. And having a successful Canadian CEO in front of them for a few hours was a big benefit to the students, instructor Scott Rutherford … Read more...

The High Cost of Musculoskeletal Disorders – And How to Lessen Them

A single workplace musculoskeletal injury can cost a company between $18,000 and $60,000, according to Mike Kim, CTO and co-founder of StrongArm Technologies, a safety data solution provider.

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) affect muscles, tendons, blood vessels, nerves, ligaments, discs, etc. Aside from the compensation costs paid to injured workers, a company can also incur indirect costs, including lost productivity, the cost of replacing affected employees, and the price tag that comes with training their replacements.

“Because of these indirect factors, OSHA believes the cost might be doubled,” said Kim, speaking during a recent Intelex EHSQ community webinar. “Then we’re looking at $36,000 to $120,000 for one injury. And that’s not to mention the personal toll it takes on the workers and their families, and their livelihood.”

To help prevent MSDs, it’s important to know what causes them. The main factor, according to the 2017 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Read more...