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...

How COVID-19 Exposed the Shortcomings of How We Use Data

Data and Healthcare

Many of us spent much of 2020 looking at news reports and websites filled with visual representations of COVID-19 data. We saw epidemiological modelling, financial modelling, graphs, mortality rates, and much more all represented in vivid colors and complex, intersecting lines and bars. Among the many reasons for which we will remember 2020, one will be that it was the year the benefits of data went mainstream.

Yet the COVID-19 pandemic also exposed many of the ways our policies concerning data sharing, quality, and governance have fallen short and failed to provide decision-makers with the information they need when they need it. Although the pandemic is far from over, the development of multiple vaccines that will slow its advance means we must start assessing what we have learned, creating new plans of action, and preparing for making sure we are better prepared next time.

The Trinity Challenge is a coalition … 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
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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...

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GAS HAZARDS AND THE COVID VACCINE

COIVD-19 vaccine and gas hazards

The latest blog by industrial Scientific (below) examines how the methods for storing and transporting the COVID-19 vaccine come with invisible hazards.  

I write this while sitting in a bed in the ER because it’s that urgent. We need to get 14 more of the O2 GasBadge Pro monitors… ASAP.”

This rush order was a request from an EHS leader at a world-renowned medical center.

The order came on the heels of the FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine and the distribution of those vaccine doses to health care facilities across the United States. The vaccine, manufactured by Pfizer, must be kept extremely cold at temperatures of minus 70 degrees Celsius and methods for storing and transporting the vaccine come with invisible hazards.

Both processes hinge upon the cold temperatures that are necessary to properly sustain the vaccine doses. Gas detection is a crucial element of ensuring safety in the distribution … Read more...

How Amazon’s $800M Investment on Employee Safety is Aligned with the National Safety Council’s Safety Insights

Amazon's worker safety investments

The retail giant Amazon is setting a precedent in another area–by committing to investing $800M in worker safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. From purchasing testing equipment to hygiene-related cleaning supplies to developing new roles and practices, Amazon’s efforts to strengthen its safety culture closely align with the insights and recommendations provided to companies by the National Safety Council (NSC).

If there’s an organization that has been making news in the last few years, Amazon tops the list. From its highly popular Amazon Prime program to their use of AI in elevating logistics- and transportation-related processes, they are also an early adopter of technology and a champion of the customer experience.

Now they about to make a mark in the worker safety area.

Amazon’s Plan to Transform their Worker Safety Practices and Programs


With the end-goal of creating a strong worker safety program and culture, executives have committed to investing $800MRead more...

Do You Know How Cold-Chain Requirements for the COVID-19 Vaccine Can Impact its Time to Launch?

COVID-19 Vaccine cold supply chain
The Good News: The Vaccines Work


News of promising results in COVID-19 vaccine research has brought a glimmer of hope to people around the world. Within the space of two weeks, both Pfizer and Moderna have announced that early results of their front-runner vaccines show an effectiveness rate of about 95%. The news catalyzed an upsurge in the stock market and spurred governments around the world to begin planning for delivering the vaccines to the most vulnerable populations.


The Bad News: Delivering the Vaccine Will Be Challenging


While the world’s attention has been on the vaccine as a way out of the COVID-19 crisis, distributing the vaccine globally will require one of the largest logistical operations in modern history. The most significant barrier to large-scale distribution is the requirement of a seamless cold-chain. Pfizer’s vaccine needs to be stored at an ultra-cold -75C, while Moderna’s vaccine requires storage at … Read more...

World Quality Day: COVID-19 Accelerates Push for Quality Maturity in Life Sciences

COVID-19 Quality Supply Chains FDA

COVID-19 has brought unprecedented challenges to quality and supply chain management within the life sciences industry. Drug shortages caused by unprecedented supply and demand pressures continue to be significant challenges for many life sciences companies today and for the general public at large as the pandemic continues to escalate.


The Fragile State of the Pharmaceutical Supply Chains in the US


According to a recent report by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), the US domestic pharmaceutical supply chain remains in a state of heightened vulnerability, with almost three quarters of the critical drugs required to treat COVID-19 patients facing significant shortages. The current shortages have brought quality management into the spotlight for many life science organizations and have tightened the focus on issues of quality maturity across the larger pharmaceutical manufacturing value chain.

Beyond supply chain disruption, additional factors including implementation of new public health safety protocols, … Read more...

How to Build Supply Chain Resiliency in a Pandemic World

Supply Chain Resiliency

When we go shopping at our local grocery store, pharmacy, hardware outlet, or just about any other kind of retailer, we expect the goods we’re seeking to be there, sitting on the shelf, ready for us to purchase and take home to use whenever we so desire. We take for granted this instantaneous availability of practically anything we want or need.


The Robust Design and Interconnected Systems of Global Supply Chains


What we so infrequently consider is why we are able to do so. The answer lies in the advanced efficiencies built into the modern supply chain that underpins these products’ raw material sourcing, manufacture, and ultimate delivery to the retail outlets we frequent. It’s easy to forget all the necessary steps that must take place for us to enjoy this convenient consumption.

Because supply chains have become so invisibly ingrained in our lives, it’s also easy to forget just … Read more...

Worth its Weight in Gold: How Data Has Become the Driving Force Behind Effective EHSQ Decision-Making

Data and analysis to drive decision-making

In the words of acclaimed engineer, statistician, professor and author, W. Edwards Deming: “In God we trust, all others must bring data.” While Deming passed away over 25 years ago, those words ring true even today.


The Importance of Sound Decision-Making in EHSQ


While the importance of making thoroughly researched and well-analyzed decisions is important in most areas of business, in the EHSQ field, it is even more so as the safety of workers and the environment is the number one goal.

According to experts at BLR: “Data can identify trends, challenges and opportunities, and data-driven organizations know more about their processes and the markets in which they operate, providing them with more options when identifying strategies to respond to disruption and gain an advantage over less-agile competitors.”


The Growing Demand for Data


To highlight the growing popularity and applicability of data, reputable sources such as the Economist have … Read more...