About Scott Gaddis

Scott Gaddis leads the integration of the Intelex EHSQ Alliance in thought leadership and building partnerships with top influencers in EHS, working with professionals across the globe to deliver a platform for sharing information and collectively driving solutions that mitigate workplace loss. Scott has more than 25 years in EHS leadership experience in heavy manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and packaging. Before joining Intelex, Scott served as Vice President, EHS for Coveris High Performance Packaging, Executive Director of EHS at Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Global Leader for Occupational Safety and Health at Kimberly-Clark Corporation.

The Labor of the Safety Professional

The Triangle Shirtwaist Garment Factory fire killed 146 workers in New York City in 1911 and sparked protest marches across the country as workers demanded safer working conditions.

One of the joys of age is the ability to look back with more experience and, hopefully, more wisdom. I began my career as a safety and health professional in 1989. Worker safety and safe working conditions have been top of mind for me for more than 30 years.

It does not escape me that things have changed a lot in our profession these past three decades and, without a doubt, will rapidly change going forward. Yet, our work is still the same: As safety and health professionals, our core duty is to return people – our colleagues and the workers entrusted to our care – back to their families every day. We do more than that, but if we aren’t protecting … Read more...

OSHA Safe and Sound Week: Using Data to Make Decisions

It is a pivotal part of the safety process to have everyone involved, and more importantly, have them engage.

As we celebrate OHSA’s Safe and Sound Week focusing on the theme of management leadership, finding and fixing hazards and increasing worker participation and engagement, I recognize that at Intelex, we are closely aligned in this mission with our software platform.

At Intelex, our clients are experiencing great success in protecting their employees by using data to make decisions that help keep the work environment safe. Fundamental concerns like auditing, training management, risk assessment and reporting safety hazards – along with being able to prioritize, track and eliminate such issues – can now be controlled within an electronic centralized safety management system.  

With that said, there’s a side of safety management that OSHA called out in this year’s campaign that has long been elusive for some: worker participation. As a … Read more...

Grow Your People, Grow Your Business

The training environment is changing rapidly, and many of us are facing unprecedented challenges.  

The COVID-19 crisis has brought about the need for us to think differently about how we deliver learning experiences. With the volume of information and the gravity of issues like the current pandemic, the ability to distill down to the right information at the right time and to the right audience is crucial.

This webinar will outline the roadblocks for developing impactful training sessions and tips for updating your learning environment to fit the growing needs of your training audiences. We will also highlight how employees learn and how to tailor and target the right training strategies that can help mitigate risk and streamline the transfer of knowledge throughout your organization. 

Whether you have employees working from home, on the front line, or doing remote fieldwork, being able to train them and increase their knowledge and … Read more...

Communicating in Crisis: Preparing the Public Information Officer

In Part Six of the series “Communicating in Crisis,” a checklist for the EHS professional provides insight into the information you might  be asked to provide in a crisis.

Depending on the magnitude of the crisis, the role of the EHS practitioner in many cases is not only to gather and report information but to anticipate what information will be asked Shot of two warehouse workers standing on stairs using a digital tablet and looking at paperwork.

The EHS practitioner likely will lead or be a big part of gathering data and producing information that will be used for communications with the public, media sources and officials affected by the crisis. In most organizations, there is a role defined as public information officer (PIO), and while various titles may be used organizationally, it is this person who serves as the public face for the organization.

The Role of the PIO

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Communicating in Crisis: Emergency Response Planning, Preparation and Training

In Part Five of the series “Communicating in Crisis,” Scott Gaddis explains why you should not leave crisis planning to chance.

It’s not if but when a crisis event occurs at your facility, so make sure you have planned for it and employees are trained in emergency response.

How an organization handles emergency response during a crisis – and the communications of such events – cannot be left to chance. Planning, preparation and especially, training contribute to successfully managing emergency response. So, handle these in a way that benefits you as a practitioner and the organization you represent.  

Personally, and with few exceptions, I always was totally surprised when a crisis event happened. Some were small events, others quite large and complex, but most were very unexpected. Don’t think that a crisis event might happen, because at some point, such an event will occur. Prepare employees by providing emergency … Read more...

Communicating in Crisis: Government Agencies

In Part Four of the series “Communicating in Crisis,” Scott Gaddis explains how important it is for EHS practitioners to know and understand regulations – local, state, and federal – that require reports to be filed following an emergency situation such as an environmental spill or employee injury.

Some emergency situations require reporting to local, regional or federal agencies, which may step in to coordinate a response.

There are no “hard and fast” rules for the EHS practitioner in reporting a crisis event to government agencies. So, know the regulations required by the specific agency that has jurisdiction over your operation.

For instance, in the United States, an environmental emergency is reportable to EPA when there’s a threat that reaches a threshold limit. Likewise, OSHA has similar protocols when fatal or specifically defined injuries occur.

Understand Reporting Requirements

It is vital that you understand the reporting requirements for all government … Read more...

Communicating in Crisis: Employees

In Part Three of the series “Communicating in Crisis,” Scott Gaddis explains how important it is for EHS practitioners to be as honest and transparent as possible when communicating to employees about a crisis situation.

Unless employees are front row center as a crisis unfolds, it’s a safe bet that only versions of the truth are being shared with them by coworkers.

First and foremost, it is paramount during a crisis that the EHS practitioner and the management team be as upfront and honest as possible with employees. This does not mean the organization is admitting fault or taking the blame, but is communicating what is known as truth at the time the crisis is occurring. Unless employees were front row center as the crisis unfolded, it’s a safe bet that only versions of the truth are being shared with various fabrications of the facts crafting a new storyline as … Read more...

Communicating in Crisis: The Role of EHS in Managing Communication

In Part Two of the series “Communicating in Crisis,” Scott Gaddis explains the role of the EHS function in gathering information to help the organization make informed decisions as part of crisis management efforts. Read Part One, “Communicating in Crisis: The Role of the EHS Practitioner.”

The EHS function often plays a role in internal and external communication during crisis management.

The EHS practitioner is likely to work along several paths in dealing with and communicating in a crisis.  In an emergency, the practitioner has multiple audiences that will need to be informed including employees, senior management and government agencies. The media and the public also are a consideration, but usually with the idea of supporting that activity with data that will be shared externally by others.    

It is imperative to gather as much information as you can about what happened. Taking for granted that people have … Read more...

Communicating in Crisis: The Role of the EHS Practitioner

How you manage crisis events impacts their lasting effect on employees, the business, the community and your value as an EHS practitioner.

It’s a safe assumption that you will face a situation at some point, either manmade or natural, in which the need for effective crisis communication is likely.  

Crisis communication for the EHS practitioner is a necessary skill to master and should be part of your skills toolbox. Whether you are a staff-level specialist, leading a program or working within a defined incident command system, there is a need to be able to actively listen, gather and analyze information and deliver credible communications in high-stress situations. 

Granted, and I would venture a guess that this is true for most of us, there are organizational policies that dictate specifically who speaks in crisis and who does not. At least for me – and for most of my career it was … Read more...

Coronavirus – Leading EHS During Crisis

Have your priorities as an EHS leader changed during the current Coronavirus crisis?

Organizations are experiencing an unprecedented situation. Now more than ever, EHS professionals can help lead their organizations through the crisis caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Over the past 25 years, I’ve spent all my time working as an EHS professional in local and corporate level positions, determined to improve business processes and performance. Throughout my career, I’ve noticed one consistent theme: organizations optimize their efforts when they provide robust and well-balanced leadership.

This means that they do not focus on a single factor but consider the work system, employee capability and capacity, how the organization is led, and the management system. During times of crisis such as what we’re now experiencing with Coronavirus, it is vital to lead your organization more effectively.

Simply, the dividing line between managing things and leading them is measured by the ability to affect … Read more...