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.

Performance and Why It Matters

Improving safety performance is a team effort that is based on data that easily can be monitored and measured to prioritize where safety programs can have the most impact.  When it comes to improving performance in Health and Safety, this webinar, “Performance and Why It Matters, sponsored by Intelex, explains why organizations must leverage their most important asset - their tools and data - to improve future H&S performance. 

Better tools and processes give workers the power to improve their performance through data-driven decision-making and enhanced situational awareness. The result is a stronger EHSQ practice that drives improved overall business results and revenue. Tomorrow’s businesses will rest on a strong foundation consisting of rigorous EHSQ performance, singular dedication to customer satisfaction, and a passion for innovation.   

You will hear from Kanwer Kahn, CSP, CRSP, QEP, P.E., who is Vice President, Environment, Health, Safety and Security for SUEZ North America. In his … Read more...

Intelex 2019 Middle East Customer Forum: The Future Is Now

EHSQ leaders in the Middle East and Intelex innovators and partners met in Dubai to share best practices and opportunities for growth and innovation in 2020 and beyond.

Dubai is a melting pot; millions of people from different cultures, coming together to support a glowing city that has risen out of the desert like a phoenix. Everywhere you look, the city/state is expanding, from the world’s tallest building – the towering, twinkling Burj Khalifa, reaching 2,722 ft into the air – to the suburbs that are stretching out around the city to accommodate workers and their families who have come to Dubai to support the city’s main drivers: construction, energy and tourism.

Neil Berry, SVP and GM of Intelex’s UK office, welcomed over 100 attendees to the 2019 Middle East Customer Forum, telling them, “The future is continuous innovation.”

Berry quoted His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice … Read more...

Why Your People Are Your Most Important Metric

In the workplace, health and safety strategies specify the need for actions that management expects. Efforts to meet such expectations are employed and measured to ensure a successful journey. Though it is doubtful you are at war where you work, Sun Tzu’s approach involved first looking at the battlefield in detail (your organization), evaluating the enemy (poor performance), understanding any strengths or weaknesses (gaps in the management system) as well as the capabilities (resources) required to win. Once all of this is done, it’s merely a question of deciding what must be deployed and monitored for victory.  

Though they are not exciting parts of the process, the acts of measuring and evaluating how well the organization has implemented its health and safety strategies are the measure of management system success. Metrics are measures used to track, monitor and gain an understanding of the effectiveness of business processes. Such measures are … Read more...

Are Workers Losing Lives and Limbs to Satisfy Production Goals?

In an article written by Issac Arnsdorf and co-published with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, ProPublica highlights the conflict between worker safety and health and production goals at chicken processing plants

At first glance, Fieldale Farms, a chicken processing facility in Gainesville, Georgia, appears to be focused on safety. A big sign outside of the facility promotes the slogan “Think Safe, Work Safe.”

Approximately 1,900 workers are employed by Fieldale Farms, and according to public records obtained by ProPublica, workers there probably have a higher than average chance of losing fingers and even their lives as a result of their work for Fieldale Farms.

In 2009, OSHA cited Fieldale Farms with 22 alleged safety and health violations and proposed fines of $73,275. The violations included two repeat violations – for failure to provide standard guardrails for open-sided platforms and using flexible cords and cables as a substitute for fixed wiring; 18 … Read more...

How the Data Revolution is Changing the Safety Professional’s Role

The safety professional’s goal in an organization has not changed significantly since its inception. The mission of the safety professional is to safeguard workers and contribute to the goals of the organization by anticipating, recognizing, evaluating, and controlling workplace hazards. What has changed is the way we collect data and the data we collect. 

Organizations always have tracked data, looking for trends. Your organization may be most interested in tracking market and economic trends, but you probably focus on data related to leading and lagging indicators, such as near misses, audit reports, training records, and injuries and illnesses. Until very recently, tracking leading and lagging indicators of safety performance has been a matter of paper documents that either were filed in a cabinet or entered into a spreadsheet or rudimentary software program. The process of collecting the information was time-consuming, and the amount of information that could be collected was limited by available resources, namely, how much “spare” … Read more...

Change Your Culture by Making Employees a Part of Safety Strategy

New webinar explains why employees support proposals and programs they help to create and offers guidance on achieving employee buy-in for your safety management initiatives.

For excellence in any operational category to be recognized, it is imperative employees make decisions and behave in alignment with the intended strategic direction. Strategy is a framework of choices an organization makes to determine how to capture and deliver sustainable value. How value focused are your efforts, and do the customers of your safety strategy agree with this? 

In a new September 25 EHS Today-hosted webinar, sponsored by Intelex, Terry Mathis, the founder and CEO of ProAct Safety, an international safety and performance excellence firm, explain why safety is not a standalone strategy within a business; it must be an integral part of the overall operational plan. The webinar is scheduled for 2 pm on Sept. 25, and registration is open now.

Mathis … Read more...

The First Day of Fall (Safety)

On average, slips, trips and falls cause nearly 700 fatalities per year. Furthermore, twenty percent of the 30,000 forklift accidents that occur each year involve a pedestrian being struck by the vehicle. 

The first day of fall is a great reminder that preventing pedestrian accidents in the workplace has long been challenging but not impossible. Working alongside a wide range of material handling equipment, traveling across ill-prepared work surfaces and dealing with elements like weather, congestion and poor illumination is, in many cases, part of work for many. Add a distraction such as a cell phone and we have a perfect storm of substandard conditions met by an increase of undesired behaviors.  

Both slips and trips result from an unintended or unexpected change in the contact between the feet and the ground. Slipping occurs when the friction between the foot or shoe sole and the floor surface provides insufficient resistance … Read more...

Fall Protection Tops List of Top 10 Most Cited Violations

Fall protection once again tops the list of OSHA’s most cited violations, followed by hazard communications and scaffolding violations.

The National Safety Council and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the preliminary Top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety violations for fiscal year 2019 in San Diego at the National Safety Congress.

Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA directorate of enforcement programs, presented the Top 10 on the Expo floor as part of the NSC 2019 Congress and Expo, the world’s largest annual gathering of safety professionals.

The rankings for OSHA’s Top 10 most cited violations typically vary little from year to year; Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501) tops this year’s list for the ninth consecutive year. Eye and Face Protection (1926.102), a newcomer to last year’s list, remains in the No. 10 spot. Like the other most cited violations, fatalities and injuries related to fall … Read more...

A History of Labor Day’s Impact on Health and Safety

September 2, 2019 Marks the 125th Anniversary of Labor Day 

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American and Canadian workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our countries. 

From the events that shaped the start of the labor movement to the often-tragic events that shaped workplace safety and health, the contributions and sacrifices of people made over the past 125 years has shifted worker safety from reactive to preventative.  

The future, though, is predictive and through connected people, processes, and “things,” technology has the potential to create a zero/zero future: zero worker harm/zero worker deaths. 

While past events like the founding of Labor Day and disasters like the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire have helped shape the practice of health, safety and industrial hygiene, recent events – such … Read more...

Keeping Employees Safe + Sound: Best Practices

Connecting workers via mobile apps and software systems put safety at their fingertips 

Safe + Sound Week is a nationwide event held each August that recognizes the successes of workplace health and safety programs and offers information and ideas on how to keep America’s workers safe.  

Successful EHS management systems identify, manage and eliminate workplace hazards before they cause injuries and illnesses for employees, damage assets and create environmental issues. August 12-18, 2019 is dedicated to Safe + Sound Week this year. Safe + Sound Week is a good time to get your EHS management system started, energize your existing program and provide a chance to recognize EHS successes. 

14 U.S. Workers Killed Each Day 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of worker deaths and reported injuries in the United States has decreased by more than 60 percent in the past four decades since the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act was passed. However, every year, more than 5,000 … Read more...