Making Worker and Pedestrian Safety a High Priority: Guidelines to Use When Developing a Robust Walking-Working Surfaces Program

As the saying goes: “Safety isn’t expensive, it’s priceless.”

Falls on level – slips, trips and falls – can be some of the most debilitating and expensive injuries workers can suffer and contribute to a surprising number of worker deaths each year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that “on average, slips, trips and falls cause nearly 700 fatalities per year.” As such, it’s become increasingly clear that this requires attention as well as improved practices and programs.

OSHA’s Standards and Recommended Practices


Designed to protect workers from injuries caused by problematic walking-working surfaces, OSHA updated its existing standards in 2017 and now include training and stricter risk mitigation practices and procedures (e.g. more inspections). Organizations ultimately are responsible for ensuring that they develop walking-working surfaces programs.

Effective Walking-Working Surface Programs: Insights and Tactical Recommendations by Industry Experts


With over 25 years of experience under his belt, Scott Gaddis, … Read more...

Your Business Continuity Toolkit: A One-Stop Destination to Drive Business Agility

As the age-old adage goes, “a goal without a plan is only a wish.” Interestingly, that saying is just as relevant and powerful today as it has been in the past.

As businesses continue to grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders are faced with developing long-term strategies, all while addressing immediate needs and challenges. This is where the business continuity model and framework come in.

For this very reason, it’s become even more critical to provide decision-makers with key industry-specific, actionable recommendations through processes and toolkits – to save them time and give them the bandwidth needed to tackle pressing issues that require their attention.

The Definition of Business Continuity


As defined by the International Labour Organization (ILO), business continuity management is “a management process that identifies potential threats and provides a framework for building resilience and capability for an effective response which safeguards the interests of … Read more...

Strengthen Your Organization’s Workplace Safety Program by Incorporating Electrical-Focused Checklists

Protecting workers, particularly around hazardous energy, is an important aspect of workplace safety. Electrical and lockout/tagout hazards can be deadly or cause serious, disabling injuries, so it is important to train workers and follow standards and company guidelines about working around electricity and energized equipment.

Intelex Technologies and Predictive Solutions have developed ‘Don’t Be Shocked: An Electrical Safety Checklist‘ to provide insight into managing electrical hazards. As reported by The Electrical Safety Foundation International, there were 160 worker fatalities related to electricity in 2018. During that same period, there were 310 recordable electrical injuries in the construction industry alone. These numbers only reinforce the need to refine, expand and enforce safety-related guidelines in the workforce, and the free checklist can help you do that.

The Backbone of Most Workplace Safety Programs: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Key Standards and Controls


To ensure that they are compliant to … Read more...

Ready2Return Conference: An In-Depth View of the Respond-Themed Sessions

Now that our Ready2Return conference has wrapped up, we’re excited to share some highlights from the Respond-themed day!

Respond-Themed Day: Highlights


Travis Vance of Fisher Phillips shared that of seven new policies and procedures that all organizations should implement to meet the challenges of COVID-19, the three that stand out are:

  • The specific questions to ask affected employees to ensure they adhere to OSHA recordkeeping and reporting protocols (e.g. assessing workplace conditions of affected employees).
  • The four actions required to follow protocol for confirmed and suspected cases (e.g. quarantine 6-15-48 employees).
  • The five key considerations following remote working protocols (e.g. corporate competitiveness and wage issues).


Kellie Hart of Intelex Solutions, ULC, who examined the three post-peak employee profiles, also shared these key employee-focused insights:

  • The key categories for employee stressors include economic, physical, mental and environment.
  • Mental health initiatives are critical to business continuity as seven in ten professionals are
Read more...

Driving Progress through a Paradigm Shift: The Importance of a Strong Safety and Quality Culture to the Oil and Gas Sector

In the business world, the word progress is commonly associated with technological advancements, as well as developments in processes and procedures. There are additional drivers to progress and their significance can also have powerful results.

In the oil and gas sector, studies have shown that for companies to be successful in the long run, it’s critical for them to incorporate a strong culture of safety and quality.

How about we take a step back to understand the full picture?

The Traditional View of How Oil and Gas Companies Should Operate


While traditionalists will claim that an industry strongly based on scientific processes and technology don’t need to focus on employee-centered processes or procedures, their thinking has since been proven to be antiquated and potentially dangerous.

How so, you ask? Well, empirical research has proven that high-reliability organizations (HROs), which by nature, have a labor-heavy component to their operations, have shown … Read more...

Driving Agility through Cloud-Based Microlearning, Bulletins and Best Practices in Digital Learning

With so much for people managers and corporate trainers to factor in when developing their post-pandemic Return-to-Work initiatives, organizations are turning to resourceful teaching approaches to ensure that employees are provided with the right training to be successful. In parallel, companies are also leveraging effective communications techniques to ensure their workers remain connected – both to their managers as well as to each other. While this is taking place, leaders continue to put their strategic focus on business continuity.

Impossible? We think not. Feasible? With the right tools and techniques – very much so.

Redefining Training to Drive Agility


At the highest level, what has become clear is that not only do the techniques, tools and processes we introduce have to work well in today’s climate, equally as importantly, they have to help workers become agile to adapt to future changes. Decision makers are now realizing that this idea, which … Read more...

Intelex’s Software Set + the SAFER Framework = A Robust 360° Return-to-Work Solution

With the quarantine phase of the COVID-19 outbreak reaching an end in many areas, organizations have started planning their return-to-work initiatives, with some having already launched them.

Let’s look ahead – not to just the immediate “return” phase, but the phase after that- what we’ve defined as the “reimagine” phase.

Our Return to Work Initiative: Respond, Return and Reimagine


When developing our return-to-work program, we decided the best approach would be a phased one. Similar to the concept of continuous deployment, breaking down the plan to allow individuals to quickly process, adapt, and execute practices and procedures makes it more manageable for employers and employees alike.

To summarize each phase and their objectives:

  1. Respond: involves the immediate steps taken during the initial outbreak
  2. Return: introduces short-term changes implemented to address all the newly discovered issues
  3. Reimagine: implements long-terms policies, procedures and best practices to create an agile and resilient workforce
Read more...

Don’t Let Slips and Falls on Walking Working Surfaces Bring You Down

Ice and snow, oily surfaces, slick floors, and trip hazards not only can cause slips and falls that injure employees, they can kill employees.

We’ve all taken a fall on ice or a slippery surface. Hopefully, the only thing that got bruised was our ego. That’s not always the case; emergency rooms fill with people suffering from fall injuries that occur on walking and working surfaces when water, oil, ice, and snow make walking surfaces slippery.

Workers are not immune to same-surface slips and falls, and OSHA recognized this fact. That’s why OSHA issued a final rule on Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems. The goal of the rule is to better protect workers in general industry from these hazards by updating and clarifying standards and adding training and inspection requirements.

What’s in the Walking-Working Surfaces Standard?

The rule, which became effective in January 2017, incorporates advances in technology, … 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...

Adopting ‘Lean’ Safety Takes You Beyond Compliance

How to embed safety into every minute of every day—and continuously improve it.

Robert Hafey, a 25-year lean practitioner and consultant with 10 years specializing in safety, is working to change how business leaders think about workplace safety. He’s trying to help them understand how much more effective “lean safety” is, compared to “compliance safety.”

Writing in a recent issue of Target magazine, the quarterly publication of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME), he explains the difference. Compliance safety, he writes, “focuses almost exclusively on following OSHA or other regulatory agency rules.” In organizations that focus on compliance safety, he explains, “practices are ‘pushed’ from regulatory agencies to safety professionals, who then take the new or changed requirements to their management team and eventually to those who perform the work.”

While this approach is right as far as it goes, Hafey asserts that this top-down directive approach often causes safety … Read more...