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...

OSHA Releases Guidance About Preparing the Workplace for the Threat of COVID-19

OSHA urges employers to take measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

OSHA has released a guidance about best practices for COVID-19 and the workplace. The “Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19” planning guidance is based on traditional infection prevention and industrial hygiene practices. It focuses on the need for employers to implement engineering, administrative, and work practice controls and personal protective equipment (PPE).

For employers who have already planned for influenza pandemics, planning for COVID-19 may involve updating plans. These plans could address the specific exposure risks, sources of exposure, routes of transmission, and other unique characteristics of SARS-CoV-2.

Employers who have not prepared for pandemic events can still take steps to prepare their workplaces and workers. It’s not too late to create a business continuity plan. In addition, provide cross-functional training for workers so that they can step in for quarantined coworkers … Read more...

COVID-19 Update from Intelex: Working to Keep You Safe

No matter where you are located in the world, you likely are working through the impacts and risks associated with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) as it pertains to your employees, your customers, your community, and your business. At Intelex, we are doing the same. 

We have established a COVID-19 Response Team who have been working behind the scenes for several weeks to put measures and policies in place to ensure that there is no significant impact on our products or our service. 

As the global situation intensifies, we have taken a number of steps to do our part in reducing the risk of this outbreak to our customers, our staff, their families and their communities while ensuring business continuity during this challenging time. 

Across our business, the solutions we deliver are ones necessary to enable infrastructure to function – power to be generated, water to be treated, connectivity to be maintained. You are counting on us as part … Read more...

Kristen Duda: It Is Critical to Align Your Personal Values to Those of the Company You Work For

The theme for International Women’s Day 2020 is: #EachforEqual. Women are encouraged to “actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements.”

Kristen Duda was chosen to be profiled for Intelex Technologies International Women’s Day 2020 coverage because she believes that “being yourself and open fosters trusts and builds relationships in a stronger way.”

Kristen Duda is Vice President of strategic alliances at Intelex Technologies and is responsible for development and growth of the partner ecosystem, including consulting, independent software vendors (ISVs), and technology partners. With over 15 years of experience in environmental, health, and safety management field, Kristen possesses in-depth industry knowledge, which she has translated into highly successful environmental strategies for large, multinational corporations in the commercial and defense sectors. She has a proven track record leading and building teams, leading global sales strategies to exceed business performance metrics, and approachable thought Read more...

Jonna Pedersen-Killeen: My Goal Was to Always Be Involved in Work that Brought Good to the World

The theme for International Women’s Day 2020 is: #EachforEqual. Women are encouraged to “actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements.”

Jonna Pedersen-Killeen was chosen to be profiled for Intelex Technologies International Women’s Day 2020 coverage because she strives to keep people safe, happy and connected. Part of the focus of International Women’s Day 2020 is that “Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.” Jonna focuses on helping her coworkers and her customers be the best they can be, every day, all day.

Jonna Pedersen-Killeen is Manager, Customer Success, at Intelex Technologies. She is a tenured relationship manager and is inspired by companies that strive to keep people safe and happy and connected. As a result, she has experienced a 100 percent retention rate on her team. She implemented a technical training course for her team and Read more...

Coronavirus: Will It Cause Workplace Distraction?

Mention the word Coronavirus, and an unsettling knot grows in your stomach. It is sweeping across the globe with great voracity.  Every newspaper headline screams it. Every television news program I’ve watched over the last month leads with it.  

While we can’t dismiss Coronavirus as a medical concern, what is it doing to the mental health of workers?  As a safety practitioner, I’m concerned about how much distraction this creates in the workplace. This especially is true in those work environments where an absolute focus on work tasks separates staying safe or becoming a tragic loss statistic.

Don’t allow workers to become so distracted by the latest news about Coronavirus that they become so distracted that they commit unsafe acts.

My Experience

Years ago, I worked in a paper mill that was progressive in the care for its people. You knew you were driving into a different type of manufacturing plant when you passed signage in the parking lot with the company name … Read more...

Margery Moore: Starting My Own Company Was the Only Way To Truly Honor My Dreams and Achieve My Goals

The theme for International Women’s Day 2020 is: #EachforEqual. Women are encouraged to “actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements.”

Margery Moore was chosen to be profiled for Intelex Technologies International Women’s Day 2020 coverage because she is at the forefront of breakthrough technologies that can solve the most critical challenges in the EHS industry.

Margery Moore is Chief Executive Officer of ehsAI (Moore & Gasperecz Global Inc). Margery is always at the forefront of breakthrough technologies that can solve the most critical challenges in the EHS industry. Before founding ehsAI, an Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning start-up based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Margery designed and developed multiple EHS software products for Bloomberg BNA. She has a BSc. and Masters in Environmental Data Management and in her spare time she is President of the Salt Spring Institute for Sustainability Education & Action, Read more...