OHS Research Needs to Focus on Why Incidents Don’t Happen

Because a workplace injury may not have occurred yet is not an indication of safety or a predictor of future safety.

Traditional lines of questioning in occupational health and safety research may not always get to the heart of the matter when it comes to truly understanding what’s behind keeping workplaces safe.

Safety research and investigations typically focus on the dissection and analysis of incidents that occur, but not enough query may be examining why they don’t. Hazards are not things thrown into worksites, says Ron Gantt, a director and principal consultant for Reflect Consulting Group, a company that specializes in helping organizations improve their safety management.

“Hazards are unintended side effects of work,” he says. “If all we do is focus on the negative and are not understanding how it is all connected to everything else going on in a job site then we may inadvertently not be helping…we … Read more...

Is COVID-19 the Most Powerful Catalyst for Permanent Workplace Change?

While some precautions and new ways of working were temporary during the initial pandemic outbreak – like masking while at work – others are here to stay, such as remote work for digital knowledge workers and labor market disruptions related to “essential” workers.

COVID-19 has been the most powerful catalyst for workplace change and technology adoption during these past three years. It has also placed new stresses on workers and given pause to the notion of what occupational safety in today’s workplace means.

“The most obvious future-of-work trend today is the role that SARS Coronavirus 2 (COVID-19) has played in our immediate past, the role its many variants and sub-variants play in our present day and what role the coronavirus will play in our future. It is a megatrend that may dictate how future work is organized,” says John Howard, the director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and … Read more...

The Data Collection Components of a Safety Management System

Safety Management Systems report essential business information, ensure compliance requirements, help to manage risks and improve operational performance.
Safety Management Systems report essential business information, ensure compliance requirements, help to manage risks and improve operational performance.

The scope and maturity of a safety management system (SMS) to manage safety risk in the workplace varies by industry type, location and company because some are more regulated than others and that dictates the level of maturity and robustness a system requires. However, there are common components every SMS has, including:

Incident Reporting to capture, track, investigate and report on all incidents and near-misses, including injuries and illnesses, spills, property damage and vehicle incidents.

Audit Management that includes scheduling, tracking, data collection and reporting for all internal or external audits to simplify and ensure compliance across all company locations and operating jurisdictions.

Document Control that improves document management across the complete lifecycle of an organization’s compliance efforts and activities. It’s important to control access to sensitive files, forms … Read more...

NSC Publishes Guidelines for Serious Injury and Fatality Prevention

Serious injury and fatality prevention is dependent on effectively identifying and controlling risk.
Serious injury and fatality prevention is dependent on effectively identifying and controlling risk.

The National Safety Council’s (NSC) Campbell Institute – Center of EHS Excellence recently released details of two frameworks described as “a new direction for research on leading indicators” for serious injury and fatality (SIF) prevention.

In a white paper titled, Serious Injury and Fatality Prevention: Leading Indicators, Cumulative Risk and Safety Networks, cumulative risk assessment and social network analysis are proposed as SIF prevention frameworks. The research involved a working group tasked to define a set of key leading indicators relevant for SIF prevention and interviews were conducted with nine Campbell Institute member organizations as the basis for the white paper’s recommendations.  

Representatives from organizations interviewed shared details about their data collection efforts and analysis strategies, leading indicators related to SIF prevention, leadership and employee engagement around SIF prevention and the challenges their organizations have faced. … Read more...

Don’t Fall For It: The National Fall Safety Stand Down Aims to Reduce Construction Falls

While falls from heights often are a focus in construction, falls to the same level can be fatal and should be included in your fall safety training.
While falls from heights often are a focus in construction, falls to the same level can be fatal and cause thousands of serious injuries a year as well and should be included in your fall safety education and training.

Falls are among the most common causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths. Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 351 of the 1,008 construction fatalities recorded in 2020 (BLS data), which is why OSHA holds the National Safety Stand Down to Prevent Falls in Construction every year. This year, the stand down is May 2-6.

In 2020, 805 workers died in falls, and 211,640 were injured badly enough to require days off of work. Workers don’t have to fall from a high level to suffer fatal injuries; 136 workers were killed in falls on the same level in … Read more...

Workers’ Memorial Day: Remembering the Dead, Fighting for the Living

On April 28 every year, the world pauses to remember and honor the workers who have died from workplace injuries and illnesses. The day serves as a reminder that we must work together to achieve safer and healthier workplaces and a more sustainable world.  

At Intelex, we’ve dedicated our careers to preventing death on the job and protecting the planet. We are proud sponsors of the National Safety Council’s Work to Zero initiative, which helps educate employers about new technological safety advancements that promise to reduce and ultimately end workplace deaths by the year 2050. For 30 years, Intelex has understood that data and technology play a critical role in reducing workplace incidents, making an aspirational goal like zero workplace deaths by 2050 achievable.  

Each year, on Workers’ Memorial Day, we stop to remember why we are so passionate about our work. 

According to the International Labour Organization, an … Read more...

Do Your Employees Have a Stake in Health and Safety?

Encouraging employees to be legitimate stakeholders in occupational health and safety is really a matter of listening, being open to and dealing with employees as equal partners in developing and implementing programs.

The greatest error in trying to create a safety culture is leaving everything in the hands of health and safety professionals, says Intelex Vice President and Global Practice Leader for Safety and Health Scott Gaddis. If you want to limit loss and drive performance, the entire workforce needs to be involved.

Employees as stakeholders of occupational health and safety should be tasked to step into safety leadership roles and responsibilities throughout an organization. It’s an approach Gaddis took earlier in his career while working as the global safety and health leader at Kimberley-Clark.

Relationship Building Is Key

As a “staff of one,” Gaddis says he was only going to be as good as his ability to build … Read more...

How to Get an EHS Audit in Minutes With AI

An environment, health and safety (EHS) audit is a crucial element in an organization’s overall effort to ensure the health and safety of its workforce, to reduce its effect on the environment and to meet the many legal regulations set out by EHS agencies as well as other government agencies. Done properly, an EHS audit can confirm which processes and procedures are in place and working well.

Even more importantly, an EHS audit can identify areas of improvement that need to be addressed before any problems arise – problems that can result in hefty monetary fines, crippling reputational damage, or worst of all, worker injuries and fatalities.

Unfortunately, the traditional EHS audit process can be hampered by issues that threaten its efficiency and effectiveness. The expected amount of time to do an audit tends to be underestimated, especially the time required to properly prepare which can lead to incomplete evaluations. … Read more...

Safety in the Supply Chain: How Technology Mitigates Risk

If you don't take supply chain safety seriously, it is likely – especially in this day and age – for your organization to take a reputational hit
If you don’t take supply chain safety seriously, it is likely – especially in this day and age – for your organization to take a reputational hit if the public realizes you knowingly disregarded known gaps in your suppliers’ safety protocols and performance. Since most industries rely on a supply chain, every business needs to consider and mitigate these risks.

A conversation with Trevor Bronson, Strategic Development Manager at Intelex Technologies, on how the fragility of supply chains have been exposed in the wake of recent global uncertainty and what can  be done at organisational level to improve their robustness.

In February 2022, Trevor Bronson virtually presented to a large Health & Safety Matters audience on the best practices around promoting supply chain safety, including identifying what is required to keep a suppy chain operational, resilient, flexible and compliant.  (If you want to watch the webinar “Safety in the Supply Chain: How To Lower Risk and Read more...

More Work and More Tech Needed to Take EHS to the Next Level of Success

The COVID-19 pandemic placed EHS in the spotlight and has tasked professionals to do more than ever in managing risks within and outside of traditional workspace confines.

The future of environment, health and safety will see the need for more technology adoption by organizations as EHS professionals take on much greater workloads and a role in total worker wellness largely due to the outfall of COVID-19.  

These were among the key observations and topics of discussion during the first day of the Verdantix virtual summit on Innovating for Sustainable Operations that focused on EHS and operations.

Next Level for EHS

During a session titled, Taking EHS to the Next Level of Success, presenters considered how the responsibilities and workloads of EHS professionals have been impacted as hybrid and remote working becomes more popular. 

Verdantix CEO David Metcalfe said the COVID-19 pandemic placed EHS in the spotlight and has tasked … Read more...