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...

Breathing a Sigh of Relief: The Answers to the CDC’s Top Ten FAQs on Respirator Use

If “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” then the importance of wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during this post-pandemic time is beyond critical. Within this category of equipment, respirators are high on the list. However, given that it is quite an advanced piece of equipment (compared to some of its counterparts), users can often have questions in terms of how to best use them.

This brings us to the objective of this blog: to provide you key best practices and the answers to the to the CDC’s top 10 FAQs on respirator use.


What Are Respirators and Why Are They Important?


Let’s take a step back and start from the definition of what a respirator is. Basically, a respirator is a device worn over the face or head which covers the nose and mouth areas. By design, they are also used to reduce the wearer’s risk … Read more...

Safe + Sound Week: Redefining Health – Achieving Completion by Incorporating Mental Health

In the words of acclaimed poet Robert Frost: “the best way out is always through.”

While that saying can be applied to many different things, I found it especially relevant to that of the perception of mental health. It is an area which not only has been underestimated or downplayed for years, but also has been deemed unsolvable. In recent years, it’s become more than evident that neither of these schools of thought are accurate.

Full disclosure: I’m not a professional in the mental health field. I am, however, a professional in the ESHQ software space and the H in EHSQ represents health. Recently, EHS practitioners are learning “health” now includes mental health.

More importantly though, this topic hits home for me. In my close network of family and friends, two people have been afflicted with mental health-related issues. As such, I’ve seen firsthand how it not only impacts them … Read more...

Combining Worlds: Why Leveraging Key Health and Behavioral Economics-Based Strategies Are Integral to Post-Pandemic Business Continuity

While it’s not common to incorporate highly scientific principles and insights into corporate strategies, it’s not completely unheard of either. If anything, the current business landscape calls for it.

Incorporating Science and Business: The Key to Reviving Post-Pandemic Business Operations


To meet the pressures of continuing commerce-related activities and trade, leaders have been faced with making challenging decisions on a regular basis. As a result, many decision-makers, through a lack of understanding of the true breadth and severity of the epidemic, have decisions that appear to favor business interests over public health.

To add to the gravity of the situation, let’s look at some alarming and insightful observations that health and business experts have made:

  • COVID-19 is not an emergency that has short-term implications – rather, it is a major disrupter, having both high impacts and long-term implications.
  • The pandemic will be around for the next 2 to 5 years
Read more...

6 Feet Apart: How Our Lives and Workplaces Have Changed Post-COVID

To reduce the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, it is important for all employers to address the specific exposure risks, sources of exposure, routes of transmission, and other unique characteristics of COVID-19.

For the first time since March 14, I ate a meal in a restaurant. Well, not in a restaurant; on a restaurant patio.

While the restaurant looks the same from the outside and the brunch food is familiarly delicious – brioche French toast with local blueberries, ricotta custard and Ohio maple syrup – everything else is different. Masks are required for all employees and customers, who could take them off once seated. Customers are reminded not to “congregate” around other tables or the bar area to observe proper social distancing. Tables are spaced 6-8 feet apart. Menus are paper and are thrown away after use. Tables are disinfected as soon as diners got up to leave.

While I … Read more...

25 Tips to Stay Safe While Celebrating the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July should be a fun family holiday, so follow these tips to avoid a trip to the emergency room.

The Fourth of July is the quintessential summer holiday in the United States. It’s a fun celebration, filled with picnics and barbecues, fireworks displays and time spent in pools and on beaches and on boats. It also can be a painful day for many, and results in thousands of trips to the emergency room each year. Injuries caused by mishandled fireworks, drownings and boating injuries, fires and burns related to grilling incidents, insect stings, food poisoning and car crashes are just some of the fun buzz kills seen by ER doctors and nurses.

This year, a new layer of safety concerns has been added. Celebrating Independence Day will be different this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The American Red Cross offers these safety tips you can … Read more...

Intelex’s Software Set + the SAFER Framework = A Robust 360° Return-to-Work Solution

With the quarantine phase of the COVID-19 outbreak reaching an end in many areas, organizations have started planning their return-to-work initiatives, with some having already launched them.

Let’s look ahead – not to just the immediate “return” phase, but the phase after that- what we’ve defined as the “reimagine” phase.

Our Return to Work Initiative: Respond, Return and Reimagine


When developing our return-to-work program, we decided the best approach would be a phased one. Similar to the concept of continuous deployment, breaking down the plan to allow individuals to quickly process, adapt, and execute practices and procedures makes it more manageable for employers and employees alike.

To summarize each phase and their objectives:

  1. Respond: involves the immediate steps taken during the initial outbreak
  2. Return: introduces short-term changes implemented to address all the newly discovered issues
  3. Reimagine: implements long-terms policies, procedures and best practices to create an agile and resilient workforce
Read more...

NSC: A Temporary OSHA Standard Is Needed to Protect Workers from COVID-19

The National Safety Council is calling on OSHA to issue a temporary standard to protect workers from COVID-19 as they return to the workplace.

The National Safety Council (NSC) is using all means at its disposal – legislative, administrative, judicial, and public support – to pursue implementation of a temporary OSHA standard to protect workers from COVID-19.

As employers send more workers back into facilities, they are doing so without a standard to protect workers from COVID-19. This becomes even more problematic given 20 states are reporting surges in cases. In response, the NSC is calling on OSHA to immediately exercise its emergency authority and issue a temporary emergency standard. The standard would protect workers during the pandemic and reopening process. The NSC made its position clear regarding a temporary OSHA standard in a new policy position statement released June 12.

“Employers must know the specific measures they are required … Read more...

COVID-19 and Mental Health: Are Employers Prepared for Increased Employee Substance Misuse?

Employers should prepare for a surge in substance misuse issues and employee mental health issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Safety Council (NSC) is warning employers to prepare for a surge in addiction issues and is offering guidance to handle employee mental health issues related to the pandemic.

At least 30 states are reporting spikes in fatal opioid overdoses and ongoing concern about mental illness or substance use disorders, all in connection with COVID-19, according to the American Medical Association. To help employers address these interconnected issues, the NSC is calling on employers to prioritize employee stress, including emotional and mental health, both now and as they return employees to traditional work environments.

Prepare for an Increase in Substance Misuse

Additionally, NSC warns employers that they must prepare for an increase in substance misuse – one that could be a serious threat to worker safety. Substance misuse … Read more...

COVID-19: How Social Distancing and Other Measures Fit into the Traditional Hierarchy of Controls

Some workplaces are measuring the temperatures of workers and visitors before they enter the workplace.

Like any workplace hazard, the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace can be slowed or eliminated by using a hierarchy of controls like those created for other hazardous exposures.

Elimination

The first step in the hierarchy of controls, however sometimes elimination of a hazard is not possible. Until a vaccine or other countermeasures are identified, COVID-19 is a potential hazard in the workplace. Review, update, or develop workplace plans to potentially include:  Liberal leave and telework policies including a leave policy for workers with COVID-19 symptoms; encourage employees to stay home and notify workplace administrators when sick; and provide non-punitive sick leave options to allow staff to stay home when ill.

Substitution

COVID-19 is not a hazardous chemical or process that can be replaced with a less-dangerous option. However, some employers are implementing a new … Read more...