About Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the Global EHSQ Content Lead for Intelex Technologies. Formerly the Content Director for EHS Today, she has been writing about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990. Her work as a journalist and editor has been recognized with national and international awards. She has been interviewed about occupational safety and health for national business publications, documentaries and television programs; has served as a panelist on roundtables; and has provided the keynote address for occupational safety and health conferences.

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Construction Industry in the United States

COVID-19 and Construction

New research released by the Center for Construction Research and Training focuses on the economic impact of COVID-19 on the construction industry through September 2020, examining construction spending, new residential construction and the well-being of small businesses.

A recent report published by the Center for Construction Research and Training notes that COVID-19 has had a “stark impact” on the U.S. economy and many industries, including construction. “Impact of COVID-19 on Construction Businesses and Productions,” published by researchers Samantha Brown, MPH, Raina D. Brooks, MPH, Xiuwen Sue Dong, DrPH, found that while stay-at-home orders aided in “flattening the curve,” they had stark impacts on U.S. workers and businesses, including construction.

The pandemic hit some sectors of the construction industry harder than others, researchers reported. Overall construction spending dropped $68.4 billion from January to May and increased by $44.7 billion from May to September in 2020, remaining about $23.7 billion below January … Read more...

ESGs, Sustainable Development and What the Pandemic of 2020 Revealed

ESGs and Sustainable Development

Covid 19 and its global impact has focused attention both on the strains imposed on our health systems and the ability of those systems to respond to the challenges presented by the virus and the interconnecting of people and travel that have acted as vectors in the spread of the disease. The pandemic also served to emphasise the vulnerability of people and societies, and to shed light on the relationship between people and the planet.

Our world, and the diversity of ecosystems it supports, is threatened by deforestation, pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, draining of wetlands, climate change, globalization and other factors of modern life. As noted by World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in an address to the 73rd World Health Assembly on May 18, 2020: “The pandemic is a reminder of the intimate and delicate relationship between people and planet. Any efforts to make our world safer … Read more...

8 Checklists for 2020: A Quick Way to Check In and Level Up Your EHSQ Programs

These checklists from Intelex offer practical advice about managing aspects of safety like slips and falls and electrical hazards, help you touch base with employees during these stressful times, offer insight into your organization’s preparedness planning, provide guidance on quality issues like voice of customer and 5S, and much more!

Don’t Be Shocked – A Checklist for Electrical Safety – While the objective of protecting the safety of their employees continues to be a strong focus for employers, there still needs to be more checks in place to reduce injuries.

Embrace the New Age of Digital Learning: Training Management in the Age of COVID-19 – Learning and training is more important than ever. When the world moves quickly, sometimes in unexpected ways, we need to make sure our training can keep up and give our teams what they need to survive and thrive.

Back to Work Checklist for Mindful Leaders – While strategic vision … Read more...

Safety Tips for the First Day of Winter

Winter storms and cold temperatures can be dangerous. Stay safe and healthy by planning ahead and preparing your home and vehicles.

Although winter comes as no surprise, many of us may not be ready for its arrival. If you are prepared for the hazards of winter, you are more likely to stay safe and healthy when temperatures start to fall.

Prepare Your Home

Staying inside is no guarantee of safety. Take these steps to keep your home safe and warm during the winter months.

  • Winterize your home.
    • Install weather stripping, insulation and storm windows.
    • Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls.
    • Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks.
  • Check your heating systems.
    • Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure that it is clean, working properly and ventilated to the outside.
    • Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
    • Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
  • If

The Top 10 Intelex Blogs Focus on Technology, Trends and Personalities

Top 2020 Intelex blogs

With 2020 wrapping up, we’re taking a look at the Top 10 blogs published by Intelex in 2020. From emerging trends to emerging technology to emerging leaders, 58,000 people found something or someone that interested them in the Intelex blog.

Our most viewed blogs of the year are…

  1. More Lessons from the Boeing 737 MAX: How Culture of Quality Failures Led to Tragedy
  2. Infographic: Sustainability: Profits, Planet and People
  3. Coronavirus: Will It Cause Workplace Distraction?
  4. Ready to Return: Our Return-To-Work Tools Can Help You Safely and Successfully Reopen Your Workplace
  5. Kristen Duda: It Is Critical to Align Your Personal Values to Those of the Company You Work For
  6. Learning to Thrive: Learning Disabilities in the Workplace
  7. Margery Moore: Starting My Own Company Was the Only Way To Truly Honor My Dreams and Achieve My Goals
  8. How a Robust EHS Solution can Help you Address COVID-19 Related Challenges in your Organization

Our Gift to You: The 10 Most-Popular Intelex EHSQ, Technology and Return-to-Work Downloads

Top content downloads

Whether you’re looking for a checklist to help you manage return to work or recognize leading indicators, want information about energy efficiency and sustainability, or want to improve safety performance, we’ve got you covered with this Top 10 list of most-downloaded content from Intelex.

  1. Return-To-Work: A Template for a COVID-19 Business Preparedness
  2. Checklist 10 Leading Indicators Employee Engagement
  3. The Five Things You Need To Know About Incident Management
  4. Verdantix Green Quadrant EHS Software 2019
  5. Pandemic Preparedness: Propel Your Safety Culture Forward by Avoiding these 7 Mistakes
  6. Seven Leading Indicators to Drive Safety Improvement
  7. Achieving Energy Efficiency with ISO 50001
  8. Employer Preparedness Plan Requirements Checklist
  9. Evaluating Safety Program Performance
  10. EHS and Sustainability An Evolving Relationship

To access our resource library, please click here.…

The Weather Outside Is Frightful: Winter Driving Safety Tips

Winter Driving Safety Tips

Seventeen percent of all vehicle crashes occur during winter conditions.

It’s easy to forget after months of mild conditions that snow and ice demand careful driving and special preparation for your vehicle. Even the most experienced drivers can be challenged when it comes to driving safely in winter weather. We all can use a refresher when it comes to making our way through a winter wonderland.

Safe driving starts before you start your trip. Regular tune-ups and maintenance of your vehicle are the starting point for safe driving year-round. In winter, pay special attention to your vehicle’s battery, wipers, coolant, tires and other systems that can take a beating when the temperature drops. If you’re using snow tires, have them installed before the snow begins to fall. When you know your vehicle is ready for the road, clear your car of snow, ice or dirt from the windows, forward sensors, … Read more...

When Being Thankful is the Reward Itself

“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.” – Margaret J. Wheatley

I’ll be honest, I dreaded writing this blog. (How’s that for an opening statement!?)

I dreaded it because let’s face it, 2020 has been a struggle for all of us. It’s hard to think about being grateful during a pandemic that has taken the lives of 1.41 million people worldwide, sickened nearly 60 million people and upended the way we work, go to school and socialize. Millions of people are out of work, small and large businesses are impacted, hospitals and healthcare providers are overwhelmed.

But something happened last week that made me realize that I actually have much for which to be grateful. This past year has helped me, and my “community” here at Intelex, discover what we care about.

Our Employee Appreciation Day was last week. We received … Read more...

Lessons Learned the Hard Way: OSHA’s Most Common COVID-19 Citations

OSHA Violations and Solutions

Although there is no federal standard related to COVID in the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been conducting COVID-19-related inspections and has frequently cited for violating certain standards, primarily the Respiratory Protection Standard and the Personal Protection Equipment standard.

On Nov. 20, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it has issued 232 citations arising from inspections for violations relating to coronavirus, resulting in proposed penalties totaling $3,148,452.

In an article posted to the Fisher Phillips Workplace Safety and Health Blog, attorney Nicholas S. Hulse warns that a guidance recently issued by the agency “makes it clear that the most commonly cited standards related to COVID-19 involve respiratory protection and personal protective equipment (PPE). Based on the data provided by OSHA, it is evident that many employers are issuing respirators to employees without the required medical evaluation and without establishing and implementing … Read more...

L2L: How To Have a Productive Dialogue with Senior Leadership

Leaders Productive Dialog
In this episode, our Health & Safety leaders discuss how to create a productive dialogue around health and safety with senior leadership.

Health and Safety is changing. It is now more complex and dynamic than ever. In addition to traditional concerns over safety, today’s professionals must deal with everything from individual mental wellbeing to global environmental citizenship. It is anything but simple.

In episode 8, we hear that while one of the greatest challenges faced by Health & Safety leaders is how to communicate with senior corporate leadership in a meaningful, productive way, it also is one of the most productive things an HSE professional can learn to do.

Paul Darby, Global Head of Health & Safety – DHL Global Forwarding, counseled, “If you have an overall business strategy, don’t have a safety strategy that looks completely different.” Make sure your safety strategy lines up with the business strategy, he … Read more...