Four Considerations to Achieve Health and Safety Compliance

Over a series of three blogs we are going to examine how to achieve health and safety process excellence. There are three main objectives that EHS professionals must fulfill to achieve their health and safety goals: maintain compliance, anticipate and manage hazards, and improve safety culture.

Safety Compliance

This first blog is going to focus on the building blocks that create the foundation for maintaining safety compliance and engaging in continuous improvement. Some keys to achieving this objective are automating reports and document control to ensure consistency between departments and locations, tracking employee training as well as audits and corrective actions and automating compliance with various federal, state or province or local regulations.

Creating the Right Solution

Technology can assist your organization in maintaining all those records and help you ensure that your facility complies with local regulations. In fact, technology has become an essential tool in achieving process excellence … Read more...

Statistical Process Control Turns Potential Problems into Valuable Opportunities

Imagine how nice it would be if you could predict the future, if you could make decisions with the confidence that you knew exactly what their consequences would be.

Unfortunately, we can’t predict the future. But we can get greater insight into the hidden patterns in processes and information that exist right now, and that can give us a much better idea of how to respond to potential problems before they become a reality. When we put what we learn from these insights to good use with an integrated EHSQ (environment, health, safety, and quality) management system, we can also unlock the potential for incredibly valuable financial opportunities.

Statistical process control (SPC) is a method traditionally associated with manufacturing. However, it can provide deep and valuable insight into any business or production process. SPC is a mathematical technique developed in the 1920s to monitor random processes and provide alerts when … Read more...

Close the Loop on CAPAs with Verification of Effectiveness

In addition to meeting compliance requirements for many ISO defined management systems, corrective and preventive actions (CAPAs) serve another critical role: to be the backbone for your organization’s continuous improvement efforts. CAPAs help you keep track of problems that are observed, problem solving processes used to investigate them, and resolutions. Additionally, the CAPA process provides a way to trace exactly how a quality management system evolves and matures through business processes.

In ISO 9001:2015, the emphasis has shifted exclusively to corrective actions (CARs), since a risk-based approach (which includes continuous risk assessment, and regular dispatch of actions to mitigate or otherwise manage risks) should theoretically accomplish the same goals as preventive actions did in the past.

Despite the value that can be driven by a robust CAPA process, it can also quickly become overwhelming and unmanageable. Not every quality event has to be immortalized in a CAPA — some don’t … Read more...

Your Customer can tell you what you need to know. Are you listening?

In our first blog we talked about why listening to the Voice of the Customer is so important and gave you a quick overview of what the customer can potentially communicate to help you improve your business’ efficiency and productivity.

In this second blog you’ll learn about the first and most obvious way the customer communicates with an organization: stated needs. These are needs that the customer is able to articulate and which can be captured using the tools we’re going to talk about below.

Some of the means by which organizations can capture stated needs are already in regular use by marketing and customer experience teams. None are obligated to use all of them, but using a broad selection of them can ensure a business is able to get the broadest cross section of articulated needs from its customers. 

Surveys and Direct Elicitation 

Surveys are a popular method for … Read more...

Knowing When to Buy EHS Software

At what point does the cost of purchasing and implementing new software become preferable to the cost of maintaining your existing organizational software? It’s an important question, especially when you consider that as much as two-thirds of the cost of the new software is probably going to come from your EHS budget. Like just about anything else, software has an expected service life. For most well-designed systems, their useful life cycle can be as long as six to eight years; for systems that are less well designed or for applications that evolve very quickly, the useful life of business software can be as short as three years.

To maintain workplace safety you need a tool that will provide software solutions for a wide variety of services like compliance management, risk management, safety management, incident management, audits, document control, training management … the list goes on.

According to a 2017 survey … Read more...

Ask Enhesa Vol. 18 Intelex Special draft

Featuring contributions from Tjeerd Hendel-Blackford and Shannon Summers Enhesa; Kristen Duda and Jessica Sarnowski, Intelex  

Why do Intelex and Enhesa partner with each other? 

Enhesa and Intelex started working together back in 2013 as there were clear mutual benefits of partnering. On the one hand, Intelex is a market leading EHSQ software platform and enables clients to manage their EHS program in one central platform, including compliance with EHS laws. On the other hand, Enhesa is the global market leader in providing analysis of global EHS laws and regulations, packaged as “regulatory content.” This means there is no overlap in what both companies provide, but a lot of mutual benefits in working together to serve our mutual clients’ end goals – which is ultimately to look after the safety of their employees and the natural environment in which they operate. 

Another way to look at it is by taking the analogy of a CD or Cassette player (remember those?). In this example, Intelex … Read more...

What is the Voice of the Customer?

Businesses are constantly speaking to their customer base using a strategic blend of marketing channels and public relations to optimize engagement. It’s an easy way to control their message, create customer loyalty, drive customer retention and leverage a consistent brand image. But how much listening do they do?

Listening to the customer is incredibly important and failing to engage with actionable, data driven intelligence can result in customer dissatisfaction and a deterioration of the customer relationship. This skill is especially important in the early stages of product and service development. Ensuring satisfaction from the beginning of the customer journey can help reduce the likelihood of waste and rework later.

The Voice of the Customer (VoC) is a process to help organizations drive continuous improvement and innovation through insight gained from customer feedback data. This can be a massive undertaking, so without a clearly defined methodology for understanding the customer experience … Read more...

An Insider’s Guide to Buying Safety Management Software: Part I

With an array of competitive vendors, seemingly complicated technologies, and solutions of varying scope and quality, purchasing enterprise safety management software can seem like an overwhelming process. However, understanding the inner workings of the safety software industry is not as difficult as it may seem.

Further, learning how to maximize your organization’s return on investment (ROI) by choosing the most appropriate software solution for your business needs can be a straightforward process.

The intent of Part I is twofold:

  1. Explain why Safety Management Software can help your organization ensure employee safety and comply with regulatory and legislative standards.
  2. Demystify the software industry, particularly as it relates to safety management software, and provide the questions you need to ask potential providers.

In Part II you will learn:

  1. How to maximize ROI by implementing a safety management software solution.
  2. How to develop effective business proposals that communicate the ROI potential of safety
Read more...

How EHSQ 4.0 Is Set to Supercharge Your Organization

When people think of Industry 4.0, they might think of connected factories and smart manufacturing. Yet the methods and tools of Industry 4.0 extend far beyond manufacturing. Soon, every organization will be able to benefit from Industry 4.0 methods and practices as they adopt more flexible and connected networks of people, data, and machines to improve efficiency of assets, quality of products and services, and process flow.

The approach of Industry 4.0 is poised to supercharge the world of EHSQ. For several years, the EHSQ community has been using integrated management systems to consolidate ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 45001 systems, an approach that ISO has recently made easier with the introduction of the High-Level Structure (HLS). As EHSQ assimilates the tools of Industry 4.0 to become EHSQ 4.0, it will move from being a way to record incidents and track quality events to one of bridging multiple disciplines … Read more...

Root Cause Analysis and the Tools You Need to Drive Continuous Improvement

Root Cause Analysis is part of an ecosystem of tools and techniques you can implement to help your organization harness the value from their EHSQ integrated management systems. Improving your organization’s processes requires identifying a methodology and approach that can spur innovation through evidence-based analysis.  

Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is one of several methodologies in your toolkit – including Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA), Control Plans and Corrective Actions (CAR or CAPA) – that can be used to uncover the reasons for safety incidents or near misses, occupational health issues, environmental issues like repeated violations and quality events like recalls and nonconformances. Implementing a framework that incorporates multiple analysis tools to achieve a desired outcome can result in measurable results.  

Top Five Tools for Continuous Improvement

These tools can be extremely valuable for performance when used proactively — and in conjunction with one another. Here’s how they might be used together:   

  1. Identify potential failure modes through a Process Failure Mode Effects
Read more...