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.

Leaders2Leaders: How Can You Maintain a Safety Culture Over the Long Term?

Avoid focusing too much on a top-down approach to safety culture. Employees must feel they own health and safety in their individual workplaces.
Avoid focusing too much on a top-down approach to safety culture. Employees must feel they own health and safety in their individual workplaces.

To be truly effective, health and safety needs to move beyond policy and become rooted deep into the culture of the organisation.

Great safety cultures do not happen by chance. The best safety cultures are continuous works in progress and need careful managing by health and safety leaders. As we learn in the sixth episode of Leaders2Leaders, “How Can You Maintain a Safety Culture Over the Long Term?” culture and culture improvement cannot be limited to small pockets of the business. It must run from senior leadership through to the shop floor and even embrace third-party contractors, according to a group of five safety leaders from companies noted for their world-class safety cultures.

“People ask me, how many people I have in my safety organisation? My answer? … Read more...

L2L: What Impact Are the Advances in Technology Having on Health & Safety Today?

Connectivity, artificial intelligence (AI), and the use of automation and drones to reduce employee exposure to hazards are pushing the practice of health and safety to new levels.

Connectivity, artificial intelligence and reducing worker exposures to hazardous situations and conditions are the hallmarks of the current wave of technology.

Connectivity, artificial intelligence (AI), and the use of automation and drones to reduce employee exposure to hazards are pushing the practice of health and safety to new levels, according to a group of safety leaders from five companies who discussed technology advancements and their impacts in this fifth video in our Leaders2Leaders series.

They agreed that the use of data mapping and AI to predict trends provides a unique opportunity to reduce and eliminate incidents before they occur. However, technology can offer what one health and safety leader referred to as “practical” applications as well.

Paul Darby, Global Head of Health … Read more...

L2L: How Do You Get Executives on Board with Health & Safety Initiatives?

Engaging leaders in EHS is key to changing workplace culture.

Safety leaders from five companies met in the UK as part of our new Leaders2Leaders programme, a new series of videos, content and resources for health and safety professionals. They discussed a number of topics, including the impact of technology on health and safety, regulatory compliance, barriers to visibility, maintaining a safety culture, dialogue and buy-in with executives, bridging organisational siloes and what health and safety professionals should focus on as a matter of priority. While these topics all are interconnected, the experts had a lot to say about each one.

Episode 4 of the Leaders2Leaders video series focuses on how to better engage key executives from across your organisation. How and what you communicate with executives should be predicated upon their role in the company.

Messaging Counts with Executives

In this episode, Paul Darby, Global Head of Health & … Read more...

Don’t Trip Up: The First Day of Fall Is a Good Reminder about Revitalizing Fall Safety Programs

Organizations need to put more focus in and dedicate more resources towards developing and executing walking-working surface and fall protection programs.   

The first day of fall is a good reminder to re-examine your fall protection program. The only things that should be falling in the next several months are leaves, not employees.

When it comes to the sheer number of falls that happen every year and the severity of their impact, the numbers are quite staggering. In the United States alone, they represent the third-leading cause of accidental injury-related deaths. For instance, in 2018, falls represented 22 percent of the total number of unintentional deaths. To say that these rates are alarming would be an understatement. 

Intelex offers these useful resources to help you reinforce the importance of fall safety with your workforce. Whether it’s eliminating falls from heights by utilizing the correct personal protective equipment and training workers in … Read more...

Preserving Your Company’s Brand: Your Business During a Pandemic

When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the United States in early 2020, very few could imagine the enormous impact the virus would make on life as we knew it.

The first quarter of 2020, many business leaders found themselves enjoying the prosperity of a surging economy. We discovered how quickly life can change.

Within weeks of the first positive case in the United States, stay at home orders and other restrictions placed many business leaders in unfamiliar territory. Even businesses that had business continuity plans found themselves wondering how to proceed. The reality is that until recently, very few businesses have ever had the need to action their business continuity plans.

The Sept. 23 webinar “Preserving Your Company’s Brand: Your Business During a Pandemic,” hosted by BLR and sponsored by Intelex, explores the impacts of the pandemic on your business.

All Businesses Impacted by the Pandemic Businesses around … Read more...

HelloFresh Is Using Technology To Take a Huge Bite Out of a Multitrillion Dollar Industry

When families are counting on you for dinner, an unreliable supply chain is not an option. HelloFresh focuses on every step of the farm-to-door journey, shipping meal kits to millions of Americans, each filled with all of the ingredients necessary to prepare three to five different meals.

I recently found out how HelloFresh is using technology to reduce waste, improve quality processes and streamline supplier relations, all while doubling orders and revenue year-over-year.

It’s estimated that 40 percent of the food supply in the United States goes to waste because of over-portioning and wasteful distribution. Because of the attention to correct portioning, HelloFresh reduces the dinner food waste of its customers by at least 21 percent, resulting in a staggering reduction of food waste each week.

The company has over 2,500 employees in the United States who provide millions of meals that are carefully planned, carefully sourced and delivered … Read more...

L2L Episode 3: How Are You Tracking and Managing all the Compliance Issues You Face Day-to-Day?

Corporate manager giving a presentation to group of factory workers and talking with them about future business development.

Health and safety leaders agree that navigating the complexity of regulatory, governmental and even internal compliance can be challenging. 

The five leaders who sat down to discuss the trends and issues that impact health and safety performance as part of our Leaders2Leaders video series agreed that compliance – local, city, province, region, internal, etc. – can be one of the most complex aspects of their jobs. 

“There have been significant changes in the law in some countries which has helped,” said Paul Darby, Global Head of Health and Safety at DHL Global Forwarding. “Corporate manslaughter in the UK really woke a lot of chief executives up. It’s a complex world and even slight variations can introduce massive complexity.” 

Darby and the others agreed that when it comes to compliance, corporate H&S leaders should not assume they know everything required to meet regulations and requirements at the … Read more...

Labor Day Through the Years – Don’t Allow the Pandemic of 2020 to Derail your EHS Efforts

The first Monday in September is dedicated to Labor Day, which honors the dedication and sacrifice made by today’s workers, as well as the sacrifices of the workers who came before us.

Looking at a timeline of the 150 years leading up to now, one thing becomes apparent: the Labor Day celebrations we enjoy today, filled with picnics and family time, are the result of the blood, sweat and tears of millions of workers throughout the last century and a half and beyond.

From mining disasters that claimed hundreds of lives, to construction work that triggered an epidemic of silicosis among workers on a bridge project, to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, workers have paid the price of lax workplace safety and health practices with their lives.

I’m not an EHS professional. I’m a journalist and content director. But over the years, especially as I was growing up, worker safety … Read more...

L2L Episode 2: What Are the Key Barriers to Gaining Better Visibility in Health & Safety Today?

How much visibility do you have into the incidents – actual and near-miss – that occur in your facility?

In this video in our Leaders2Leaders series, our panel of health and safety leaders discuss the barriers that limited their visibility into health and safety performance.

Achieving Visibility into Performance

How to achieve more visibility into safety performance has been a conversation for 25 years, said Paul Darby, Global Head of Health and Safety at DHL Global Forwarding. ‘It’s this capture on the ground, when incidents happen, particularly near misses. Our injury reporting has got much better but being able to capture things and get it into a system or platform… It’s still that on-the-ground battle with operations that incident reporting ‘takes’ their time. Once you get it into a platform, it’s relatively easy.’

Ratna Morjaria, Global ESH Director, Evonik, warned that if companies are going to ask employees to … Read more...

Safe + Sound Week: 10 Ways to Get your Program Started

As part of OSHA’s Safe + Sound Week, the agency has a number of resources available for download.

If you are not quite ready to implement a complete safety and health program, you can download a one-pager outlining these simple steps the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) suggests you take to get started. Once these steps are completed, your organization will have a solid base from which to take on some of the more structured actions you may want to include in your program.

  1. Establish safety & health as a core value – Tell your workers that making sure they finish the day and go home safely is the way you do business. Assure them that you will work with them to find and fix any hazards that could injure them or make them sick.
  2. Lead by example – Practice safe behaviors yourself and make safety part
Read more...