4 OSHA Issues to Follow in Early 2021

OSHA Developments in 2021

James Thornton, chair of the Government Affairs Committee of the American Society of Safety Professionals, offers his view of the issues facing the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 2021, including agency leadership and reinvigorated standards activity.

(This blog is reprinted with permission from the American Society of Safety Professionals.)

It would be fascinating to travel into the future and see what history will say about 2020. As the year closed out, we all had experienced life-altering events that will be forever etched in our memories. Time will determine the impact of these events, but certainly “new normals” have and will be formed. Virtually every facet of our lives has changed – socially, financially and professionally.

The same is true of occupational safety and health (OSH) professionals. Throughout our careers, we have used our education and skills to help workers return safely to their families at the end … Read more...

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Construction Industry in the United States

COVID-19 and Construction

New research released by the Center for Construction Research and Training focuses on the economic impact of COVID-19 on the construction industry through September 2020, examining construction spending, new residential construction and the well-being of small businesses.

A recent report published by the Center for Construction Research and Training notes that COVID-19 has had a “stark impact” on the U.S. economy and many industries, including construction. “Impact of COVID-19 on Construction Businesses and Productions,” published by researchers Samantha Brown, MPH, Raina D. Brooks, MPH, Xiuwen Sue Dong, DrPH, found that while stay-at-home orders aided in “flattening the curve,” they had stark impacts on U.S. workers and businesses, including construction.

The pandemic hit some sectors of the construction industry harder than others, researchers reported. Overall construction spending dropped $68.4 billion from January to May and increased by $44.7 billion from May to September in 2020, remaining about $23.7 billion below January … Read more...

OSHA’s Site-Specific Targeting (SST) Directive: Full Inspections Only in Cases of Elevated Injury and Illness Experience

Updated OSHA Inspection Program

With the end-goal of utilizing limited enforcement resources to target workplaces with elevated injury and illness incidents, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced updates to its site-specific targeting program. The Site-Specific Targeting (SST) Directive takes the place of Site-Specific Targeting 2016, and focuses on non-construction organizations with a minimum of 20 employees.

The changes to the inspection program are as follows:

  1. The creation of a new targeting category for establishments indicating consistent injury and illness rate increases over the three-year data collection period, and
  2. Permits records-only inspections to be carried out when a compliance officer discovers that an organization was included in the program due to error. In these instances, a complete inspection will only be carried out when it has been determined that the reported number of injury and illnesses have increased.

With this in mind, it is important for organizations to focus on developing a … Read more...

How Digital Transformation Is Propelling Operational Excellence in Oil and Gas

Digital Transformation Oil and Gas

Digital transformation plays an impactful role in shaping practices and processes in most industries, including oil and gas. From accurately forecasting the number of incidents to automating administrative tasks related to those incidents and process hazard analyses, the digitization of the oil and gas industry has contributed to worker safety, streamlined EHSQ and compliance processes and nurtured improved safety cultures.

While the oil and gas industry has not been at the forefront of innovation historically, it has, however, retained its position as a leading player in the economy as it continues to be the largest source of energy (in the U.S., it is the #1 source). As the source material for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, it is also used to make products including propane, asphalt and petro-chemical feedstocks as well as heavy and light fuel oil. On top of that, it is also used in producing many consumer products … Read more...

8 Checklists for 2020: A Quick Way to Check In and Level Up Your EHSQ Programs

These checklists from Intelex offer practical advice about managing aspects of safety like slips and falls and electrical hazards, help you touch base with employees during these stressful times, offer insight into your organization’s preparedness planning, provide guidance on quality issues like voice of customer and 5S, and much more!

Don’t Be Shocked – A Checklist for Electrical Safety – While the objective of protecting the safety of their employees continues to be a strong focus for employers, there still needs to be more checks in place to reduce injuries.

Embrace the New Age of Digital Learning: Training Management in the Age of COVID-19 – Learning and training is more important than ever. When the world moves quickly, sometimes in unexpected ways, we need to make sure our training can keep up and give our teams what they need to survive and thrive.

Back to Work Checklist for Mindful Leaders – While strategic vision … Read more...

Key 2020 Trends in Health & Safety in the UK

UK Health and Safety Statistics

Fact: This year has presented more than its fair share of challenges globally, particularly in the area of health and safety (H & S). On top of the fact that COVID-19 has claimed over 65,000 lives in United Kingdom to date, health officials and employers also had to address an increase in the number of work-related illnesses related to stress, anxiety and depression.

2020 will go down in history as a year unlike any other. Governments had to scramble to find solutions to a fast-growing pandemic; pharmaceutical giants had to dramatically ramp up efforts to develop and release a vaccine across the globe; and organizations had to pivot when it comes to their day-to-day operations as well as to their business continuity planning efforts.


Year-Over-Year H & S Trends in Great Britain


Despite the changes that businesses had to make to adapt to changes in the economic landscape, worker health … Read more...

Necessity is the Mother of Invention: ISO Responds to COVID-19 with ISO/PAS 45005:2020

ISO 45005:2020 and COVID-19

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations are reaching previously unimaginable levels of efficiency in their quest to bring stability and safety back to a desperate world. While everyone has been focused on the speed with which pharmaceutical researchers are producing COVID-19 vaccines, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has been working on providing a new specification in the 45000 series for occupational health and safety during the pandemic.


The Development of ISO/PAS 45005:2020


ISO/PAS 45005:2020: Occupational health and safety management—General guidelines for safe working during the COVID-19 pandemic was developed by ISO/TC 283 for Occupational Health and Safety Management in only three months, which is a far cry from the usual three years it takes to develop a standard. ISO/PAS 45005:2020 provides information that helps organizations in the following areas:

  • To protect workers and stakeholders from COVID-19 in the workplace.
  • To provide evidence that it is
Read more...

People, Processes, and Tools: How Industrial Scientific and Intelex are Securing the Vaccine Cold Supply Chain

Students of history know that wars are often won and lost on the basis of their supply chains. Delivering the materials for war, such as ammunitions, medical supplies, and food, is a vital function in any military operation. An efficient and resilient supply chain can mean the difference between a world-class military and a ramshackle group of people unable to manage the basic principles of organization.

In the battle against the novel coronavirus, the supply chain for delivering the vaccine will be as vital for defeating the virus as was the research that produced the vaccine. Hundreds of thousands of workers and a mix of dozens of public and private organizations will make up the army that will be required to deliver the vaccine to the people that need it the most. Cutting-edge technology solutions for health and safety will be vital to ensuring the safety and security of the … Read more...

Sharing Expert Knowledge: A Look at Some of our 2020 Webinars

2020 Intelex Webinars

The coronavirus pandemic has made 2020 a year of crisis, financial devastation, and human tragedy. At the same time, it’s been the catalyst for unprecedented introspection and analysis about the way our world works and what we need to do better to help the people that need it most.

  1. A Look Ahead at 2021—More of the Same for EHS or a Whole New Ballgame?
    • Attorneys Michael Taylor and Adam Roseman from the law firm of Greenberg Traurig look back at 2020 to see what EHS will look like in 2021.
  2. How Quality Professionals Should Gather High-Quality Data to Inform Truly Effective Decision Making via Neuroscience
    • Dr. Gleb Tsipursky discusses how to avoid cognitive biases and blindspots that can give us bad information and result in poor decision making.Moving from Data Collection to Data Decisions—Supporting Business Continuity During a Crisis
  3. Moving from Data Collection to Data Decisions—Supporting Business Continuity During a
Read more...

Safety Tips for the First Day of Winter

Winter storms and cold temperatures can be dangerous. Stay safe and healthy by planning ahead and preparing your home and vehicles.

Although winter comes as no surprise, many of us may not be ready for its arrival. If you are prepared for the hazards of winter, you are more likely to stay safe and healthy when temperatures start to fall.


Prepare Your Home


Staying inside is no guarantee of safety. Take these steps to keep your home safe and warm during the winter months.

  • Winterize your home.
    • Install weather stripping, insulation and storm windows.
    • Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls.
    • Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks.
  • Check your heating systems.
    • Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure that it is clean, working properly and ventilated to the outside.
    • Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
    • Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
  • If
Read more...