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.

Don’t Get Hacked This Holiday Season!

By following a few best practices, it’s relatively easy to avoid these cybersecurity traps and keep your season merry and bright.
Scammers and hackers are betting on the fact that their victims are so interested in finding that impossible-to-find gift or that unbelievable deal that they can take advantage of our distraction to rip us off.

Five tips for you how you can avoid some of the most common holiday scams.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—not only for those celebrating the holidays but also for hackers and email scammers.

Scammers and hackers are betting on the fact that their victims are so interested in finding that impossible-to-find gift or that unbelievable deal that they can take advantage of our distraction to rip us off. In fact, right this minute, they’re already planning how they can take advantage of the hustle and bustle to trick you into clicking a malicious link or installing malware that can access all your sensitive information.

The good news is that you don’t have … Read more...

Frontline Workers Say They Are ‘Seen but not Heard’

A new research report finds that operations, safety & health and wellbeing are what are most important to employees, though they don’t feel comfortable weighing in.
Operations, safety and health and wellbeing are deemed the most important topics within an organization for most frontline workers.

A new research report finds that operations, safety & health and wellbeing are what are most important to employees, though they don’t feel comfortable weighing in.  

The majority of American, Australian and British frontline workers (67%) say that they are never, rarely or only sometimes listened to on topics that matter to them the most—operations (54%), safety (46%) and health/wellbeing (49%)—according to new research by SafetyCulture. In fact, 66% of American frontline workers said they are rarely, never or only sometimes listened to by management on these important topics. 

SafetyCulture’s new Feedback from the Field research report features the views of American, British and Australian frontline workers, defined as individuals who must “physically show up to their job.” These workers include those in the hospitality, retail, manufacturing … Read more...

Majority of Private Sector Workforce in U.S. Impacted by OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Standard

Occupational Safety and Health Administrationannounces an emergency temporary standard to protect more than 84 million workers from the spread of coronavirus.
84 million workers covered under an emergency temporary standard aimed at protecting workers from coronavirus.

The waiting and speculation is over: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced a new emergency temporary standard to protect more than 84 million workers from the spread of the coronavirus on the job. It is estimated two-thirds of workers in the private sector are included in this mandate.

Under this standard, covered employers—which includes any employer with 100 or more employees total—must develop, implement and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, unless they adopt a policy requiring employees to choose to either be vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work.

Since 2020, the coronavirus has led to the deaths of 750,000 people in the United States, and the infection of millions more, making it the deadliest pandemic in the nation’s history. Many of … Read more...

U.S. Department of Labor Initiates Rulemaking to Protect Workers from Heat

Work-related heat stress is a well-known and largely preventable hazard both indoors and outdoors.
Work-related heat stress is a well-known and largely preventable hazard both indoors and outdoors. OSHA is developing a national emphasis program on heat inspections and launching a rulemaking process to develop a workplace heat standard.

Both indoor and outdoor workers can be exposed to working conditions made hazardous by heat, and this past summer’s record-breaking temperatures have made it impossible for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ignore the dangers of work-related heat stress and exposure.

Record-breaking heat in the United States in 2021 endangered millions of workers, exposing them to heat illness and injury in both indoor and outdoor work environments. Workers without adequate climate-controlled environments are at risk of hazardous heat exposure, and workers of color are exposed disproportionately to hazardous levels of heat in essential jobs across these work settings.

In concert with a Biden-Harris administration interagency Read more...

What Does the COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate for U.S. Government Contractors Mean for You?

A COVID-19 vaccine mandate recently issued by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force affects nearly all federal contractors
A COVID-19 vaccine mandate recently issued by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force affects nearly all federal contractors.

A recent vaccination mandate from the U.S. government will have a tremendous impact on the workforce of contractors and subcontractors that have contracts with the federal government. Many employers and employees are facing decisions they never expected to have to make.

A COVID-19 vaccine mandate recently issued by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force affects nearly all federal contractors. The COVID-19 Workplace Safety Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors requires the employees of federal contractors to be fully vaccinated by December 8 and imposes other pandemic-related workplace safety requirements.

On September 9, U.S. President Joe Biden announced his Path Out of the Pandemic: COVID-19 Action Plan. One of the main goals of the plan is to get more people vaccinated. As part of that plan, the president signed Executive Order 14042, … Read more...

Falls Top the OSHA Top 10 List of Safety Violations for More than a Decade

OSHA revealed the Top 10 safety violations for fiscal year 2021 at the NSC Safety Congress & Expo and once again, falls top the list.
OSHA revealed the Top 10 safety violations for fiscal year 2021 at the NSC Safety
Congress & Expo and once again, falls top the list.

One of the most highly anticipated events at every NSC Safety Congress & Expo is the announcement of the list of top safety violations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). On Oct. 12, OSHA announced its preliminary Top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety standards for fiscal year 2021 and for the 11th year, falls topped the list.

Kevin Druley, the associate editor of Safety+Health magazine, introduced Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, who presented the list virtually during the 2021 NSC Safety Congress & Expo, the world’s largest annual gathering of safety professionals.

Scott Gaddis, Vice President, Global Practice Leader – Safety and Health at Intelex Technologies Inc., joins David Wagner from Industrial Scientific to discuss “Why Read more...

Oct. 10 Is World Mental Health Day 2021: Mental Healthcare for All

The pandemic has had a major impact on mental health. Some groups, including health and other frontline workers, students, people living alone and those with pre-existing mental health conditions, have been particularly affected and this year's World Mental Health Day recognizes that fact.
The pandemic has had a major impact on mental health. Some groups, including health and other frontline workers, students, people living alone and those with pre-existing mental health conditions, have been particularly affected and this year’s World Mental Health Day recognizes that fact.

The expectation that we can be immersed in suffering and loss and not be touched by it is as unrealistic as expecting to be able to walk through water without getting wet.” – Dr. Naomi Rachel Remen.

On World Mental Health Day, October 10, it will have been more than 18 months since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the theme of World Mental Health Day is “Mental Health Care for All: Let’s Make It a Reality” (##WorldMentalHealthDay).

In some countries, life is returning to something close to “normal.” In other countries, rates of transmission and hospital admissions remain high, continuing to disrupt the lives … Read more...

The ‘Great Resignation’ Part Three: Employee Retention Starts Before the First Day on the Job

The new hire onboarding process is a great way to set the stage for an employee’s future and should be in every organization's Employee Retention 101 playbook.
The new hire onboarding process is a great way to set the stage for an employee’s future at the company and should be in every organization’s “Employee Retention 101” playbook.

The new hire onboarding process is a great way to set the stage for an employee’s future at the company. Starting a new job, even a highly prized one, is stressful. Recruiting and training a new employee is hard enough. Having to do it all over again because the new employee doesn’t “stick” is worse.

Intelex was awarded a Silver medal in Brandon Hall Group’s 2021 Excellence in Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Talent Acquisition, Human Resources, Sales Performance, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Future of Work Awards for Best New Hire Onboarding Program. The onboarding process starts a week before the employee begins and continues through the first week of employment and beyond.

At Intelex, onboarding programs … Read more...

The ‘Great Resignation’ Part Two: Is Career Transparency the Key to Engaging and Retaining Employees?

Is career transparency the key to retaining great employees? Many experts say it plays a huge role.
Is career transparency the key to retaining great employees? Many experts say it plays a huge role.

Jessica Stillman, recently writing for Inc., pointed to a new survey by Lattice that reveals an unexpected solution to the talent drain so many organizations are experiencing.

“What is this miracle intervention?” she asks. “Nothing fancier than career transparency, or a clear sense among employees of how they can grow in their jobs and how the company will support their efforts to reach their goals.”

Better yet, supporting employees on their career paths costs little or no money (at least at first) and retains employees who likely want to be there; they are just restless and looking for new opportunities. So why not offer them opportunities—or the path to new opportunities—at your organization?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, from April through June 2021, a total of 11.5 million workers quit Read more...

The ‘Great Resignation’ Part One: What Steps Is Your Organization Taking to Retain and Entice Employees?

Recognizing the strain resignations are placing on their workers and ability to produce goods, many organizations are addressing employee turnover proactively.
What if your organization experienced as much as 50 percent employee turnover this year? What if that number was 70 percent or higher? As an EHS or quality professional, that would be a nightmare and these days, not an impossible scenario.

If you’ve read our new e-Book, “The ROI of Safety: Making the Business Case for Safety and Health,” you’ll know—if you didn’t already—that the actual hard costs of injuries are but a drop in the bucket when it comes to the combined total of hard and soft costs related to serious workplace injuries and fatalities. Recruiting, onboarding, training, retraining, production slowdowns, disrupted supply chain schedules and more can double or even triple the actual medical cost of an injury.

The same is true of the “Great Resignation.” We’ve all heard that many employees did not return to their jobs when pandemic-related layoffs ended. These workers decided … Read more...